Tips from the top: Barry Greenstein

Mixed games are Barry Greenstein’s bread and butter. So what’s his take on razz?

razz seems a pretty straightforward game – does it have hidden depths?

Razz is the game with the most straightforward basic strategy in that you want to start with three low cards and you can always try to steal the bring-in if you’re in late position with a low card up. But there are still a lot of subtleties that arise, which enable good players to win against the bad.

What combinations of your hole cards and up cards do you look to play?

Three to an Eight is the benchmark, but a lot depends on the other up cards and position. For example, against a late position raiser who could be stealing you could certainly call with a Nine or Ten and hope to be ahead or catch up, whereas in early position Three to an Eight on a bad board can be folded.

What advice do you have on: a) defending the bring-in?

You can defend with any Two to a Seven low, though this is best done against late position players.

b) folding or sticking around on the later streets?

The pot will often be so big at this stage that you’ll need to call down unless you have strong evidence that even hitting could still not help you.

c) looking for opportunities to check-raise instead of playing straightforwardly?

You should play straightforwardly most of the time, but there are spots you can check-raise in. For example, if you raise in late position with a strong hand and someone plays back at you suspecting a steal with a weaker hand, you might wait until fifth street to check-raise when the bets are bigger.

d) playing seventh street?

You should rarely fold if there are many bets in the pot and there’s any chance that you can be winning.

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