When I worked with P&G, one of the first things I learned was the importance of consumer habits when it came to marketing. P&G spends millions of dollars on studies to research our habits. If you understand consumer habits, you have taken the first step in being successful in marketing. The fact is that people don’t change their habits unless there is an overwhelming reason to do so.
The same is true for Razz poker. Players have habits. If you observe the players around you, you will witness certain habits of players. Here are the the most common types of Razz players, their habits and how to beat them.
1) The ABC player: Knows that he should only start with three cards to an eight.
Habit: When he gets a playable hand–three cards to an 8 low or better–he will raise.
- When he raises, you know he has a playable hand–three cards to an 8 low or better.
- The only time this player calls is when he there are multiple players behind him who may have a lower starting hand.
- If you and this ABC player are the only ones with low cards on the board, raise when you are first in the hand, regardless of your hole cards. You are betting that he does not have three cards to an 8.
- When he calls entering a pot, and you do have a good hand, you should raise and try to get heads-up. Take advantage of his fear that you have a better hand.
2) The Aggressive player: Knows he can win more pots by raising and betting, than waiting for the three cards to an eight.
Habit: Raising when first in a hand with any low card showing.
- When he raises with a low card showing, and you have a lower card showing, re-raise and try to get heads up.
- When he raises with a low card showing, and you have a higher low card showing (8 or lower), re-raise and try to get heads up.
- When he raises since he has the 2nd low card remaining before the bring-in bettor, and you have the other low card, re-raise.
The reason you are making these re-raises and not calling is because you want to be heads-up. You know that if you get a better card on 4th street, you will often win with a bet. And, it gives you pot odds to call a bet when you are behind on 4th street.
3) The Cautious player: Wants to make sure he has the best starting hand, before he raises.
Habit: Raises only when he knows he has the best starting hand. Otherwise, he will limp.
- You will rarely win a big pot against the cautious player, but you can win more pots, and avoid losing big pots.
- When he raises, and you have a good starting hand, just call. You are behind, but may catch up on 4th street.
- When he calls, and you have a good starting hand, raise to get heads up.
- If you get a better card on 4th street, you should bet, and get the cautious player to fold.
- Play straight-forward Razz poker against the cautious player from 4th street. Remember if he checks, you must always bet.
If you just identify these three types of players and their habits, you will go from a poker player to a winning Razz poker player.