I started playing Razz a couple weeks ago, interested in learning the game. I read a short beginners strategy article online and headed over to play a sit-n-go at Pokerstars. Funny, all I really got from the article was to play hands with nothing larger than a 7, then gradually loosen up my starting hands as we started to lose players.

To be honest I was pretty confused at first, couldn’t figure out why a 6, 5, 3, 2, A beat a 6, 4, 3, 2, A. It didn’t take long though, and I don’t think we lost more than 2 players before I pretty much had it figured out. One thing that had me scratching my head though was that I thought I was seeing situations where a guy could not beat me, yet he was betting at me and raising me. I was thinking “wtf”, you can’t possibly have me beat. Based on both of our upcards alone, it was clear that I had the best hand, yet a couple of players at the table were happy to aggressively bet, raise, and reraise me with losing hands.

At first I thought “well, they’re just new to the game”. But then I started to wonder why someone new to the game who doesn’t know what they’re doing would reraise someone with a losing hand. That doesn’t make much sense either. The only thing I could think is that maybe they thought I was the new guy who didn’t understand the game and maybe they could bluff me out?? I don’t know, this game is bizarre.

Anyway, I won that sit-n-go, the very first time I’ve ever played Razz in my life! So I played another one and took second. Then I started playing Razz cash games, at something like $.25/.50. In my first 30 minutes I made about 1 1/2 times my buy-in. Since then I’ve played several times and only walked away a loser once, and even that was for a very small loss.

This is how bad people are at Razz, that a newbie like me can come in and clean them out…pretty cool. When I play Razz now, I think “I wonder if this is how Phil Ivey felt 6 months after the 2003 World Series of Poker when NL Hold’em was starting to boom. Was he like ‘wow, these people are terrible‘? I’m sure it was a feast for pro players.

So, I don’t normally play limits as low as I’ve been playing Razz, but one thing was starting to piss me off, so I did some investigation. I noticed that at $.25/.50 Razz games I wasn’t earning any FPP’s. Okay, so the stakes are low, but so low that I can’t earn any FPP’s??

I did a some research on the Pokerstars bonus code so I could figure out the clearing requirements. The Pokerstars website is pretty vague about earning FPP’s in pots that rake under $.40, so I ended up at the site I linked to. After I saw it on that site, I contacted support at Stars and after one email reply by them that basically sideskirted the question, I sent them another email, which was very clear. I finally got confirmation about it, players do not earn partial FPP’s for pots that rake less than $.40 – total BS imo. Anyway, so now I guess I’m gonna play Razz at FT instead just for the principle of the whole thing.

Well, I pretty much rambled on and on, lol. Moral to the story, Razz tables are weak as can be, I’m convinced I could make some consistent money playing it. Oh, and btw, it’s not anything like what people say it is. It’s not so frustrating as you hear allthe time. Actually, the funny thing is that the people who are playing Razz are so bad that you can play really tight, just waiting for great starting hands, then go crazy. If your upcards are better than your opponents, bet the hell out of it. People will call you all the way down to 6th st, just to fold on 7th. It’s such easy money that the game is actually a lot of fun for me. I also started playing 3 tables at once to keep me from getting bored while I play tight. If you aren’t getting anywhere playing hold’em, omaha or stud, try razz. Seriously, if you can’t win at razz, you need to find another hobby.


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