Razz: BR requirements / Beatable limits after rake

    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      I've just been re-jazzed about Razz after watching RainmanTrail's Razz - an introduction for beginners. As an aside it's an excellently pitched, well prepared video - it does what it says on the box.

      If I'm gonna apply some time to the study of the game, I'd obviously like to beat a limit that my bankroll allows, and wondered if anyone had any input as to which limit is realistically beatable/profitable after rake and what sort of BR you'd need to play that limit.

      I guess PokerStars and Full Tilt are the most likely candidate sites - I'd prefer playing at Full Tilt but if PokerStars offered a more reasonable "beatable" level I'd consider playing there (or any alternative site I guess... but I suspect these two are going to be the best).

      Any help or input gratefully received!
  • 13 replies
    • madorjan
      madorjan
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2009 Posts: 5,561
      Hi there!

      I'm not a great or good razz player, only played them in HORSE MTT/SNG/CG-s, and sometimes for practicing. I think 300-350 BBs should be enough (just like in FLHE FR). I've read that somewhere, also a Hungarian community member who played razz told me that. Also there should be no big variance in razz because you play few hands, fold most of them on 4th or 5th (so you'll play most of your hands only on SB-streets), and usually if you don't you have a great chance winning the pot.

      FTP or PS? Interesting question. At the moment at least 1 or 2 table runs on every limit on both of them. I play on FTP, and find micro limit razz games all the time, and also usually on higher limits (1/2-5/10) too. I don't think the players are better at one site, but I have no experience on that.
      Which are beatable limits? I have no experience either, the only thing I know so far is 0,1/0,2 is a very funny goldmine! I believe you aimed higher than that, so if you have no clue where to start, start here, then slowly move up as you see you beat the limit. (And you will see, believe me!)

      Good luck!
    • FWKanobi
      FWKanobi
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.02.2009 Posts: 740
      Originally posted by madorjan
      Hi there!

      I'm not a great or good razz player, only played them in HORSE MTT/SNG/CG-s, and sometimes for practicing. I think 300-350 BBs should be enough (just like in FLHE FR). I've read that somewhere, also a Hungarian community member who played razz told me that. Also there should be no big variance in razz because you play few hands, fold most of them on 4th or 5th (so you'll play most of your hands only on SB-streets), and usually if you don't you have a great chance winning the pot.

      FTP or PS? Interesting question. At the moment at least 1 or 2 table runs on every limit on both of them. I play on FTP, and find micro limit razz games all the time, and also usually on higher limits (1/2-5/10) too. I don't think the players are better at one site, but I have no experience on that.
      Which are beatable limits? I have no experience either, the only thing I know so far is 0,1/0,2 is a very funny goldmine! I believe you aimed higher than that, so if you have no clue where to start, start here, then slowly move up as you see you beat the limit. (And you will see, believe me!)

      Good luck!
      BB is big blind or big bet ?
      How do you calculate a big bet on 0.1/0.2 razz limit ?
    • redskwerl
      redskwerl
      Black
      Joined: 03.03.2008 Posts: 3,802
      Originally posted by FWKanobi
      BB is big blind or big bet ?
      How do you calculate a big bet on 0.1/0.2 razz limit ?
      its a big bet. if you're playing a 0.1/0.2 game, the big bets are 0.2 and the small bets are 0.1.

      razz is a stud-variant so there are no blinds per se, but rather antes and a bring-in. (people do still call it 'stealing the blinds' though)
    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Originally posted by madorjan
      FTP or PS? Interesting question. At the moment at least 1 or 2 table runs on every limit on both of them. I play on FTP, and find micro limit razz games all the time, and also usually on higher limits (1/2-5/10) too. I don't think the players are better at one site, but I have no experience on that.
      Which are beatable limits? I have no experience either, the only thing I know so far is 0,1/0,2 is a very funny goldmine! I believe you aimed higher than that, so if you have no clue where to start, start here, then slowly move up as you see you beat the limit. (And you will see, believe me!)
      Thanks madorjan!

      Do you know what the rake is like on the micros compared to winrates for FTP/PS? I'd rather minimise the cost in rake paid allowing moving up faster, while not playing a limit that is too good for a n00bish Razz player - ie reasonably beatable after rake.
    • Jim9137
      Jim9137
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2007 Posts: 5,608
      I think the micros are pretty beatable. At least I did when I played them regularly a year or two back. The players there are so atrocious, that you'll experience larger swings just because of the sheer number of huge multiway pots, but then again, people are happy to showdown every low that doesn't have a K in there. :f_biggrin:

      And we politely ask for the antes in the Finnish community, we do not "steal".
    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Originally posted by Jim9137
      I think the micros are pretty beatable. At least I did when I played them regularly a year or two back. The players there are so atrocious, that you'll experience larger swings just because of the sheer number of huge multiway pots, but then again, people are happy to showdown every low that doesn't have a K in there. :f_biggrin:
      Hmm.. I might just start at .25/.50 then and see how that goes. Sounds like it isn't the embodiment of a shark infested, water filled pit with spikes at the bottom.

      And we politely ask for the antes in the Finnish community, we do not "steal".
      Written request in the chat?
    • Jim9137
      Jim9137
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2007 Posts: 5,608
      Sometimes, if the opponent is not very keen to release them. :f_grin:
    • madorjan
      madorjan
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2009 Posts: 5,561
      So BB is of course Big Bet, and at 0,1/0,2 the Big Bet is 0,2. (BTW, why don't we count in antes in stud games? FE. I won a 119 ante pot. It sounds much better than 12 BB pot, isn't it?:) )

      So I don't know much about the rake, but I have a slight feeling that the winrate:rake ratio is about the same in each limit. (Better players, less rake) The .25/.50 sounds good to me to start.

      In Hungary we don't steal or ask for the antes, we just raise or complete. Call it whatever you want to.:D However, I'll try this chat method, maybe it's working... any experience?:D
    • Wacko118
      Wacko118
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.06.2009 Posts: 300
      I havent played much in razz, but i know the quality of the stud varients in general online is very poor.
      I currently play $1/$2 on Full tilt, mostly stud hi but a bit of stud 8 as well. Its very very easy people just call down. If you get rolled up, trips with the first 3 cards, you get at least 1 person always paying you right down to the end.
      I love it, just wish the was a tracker for it.... my stats for the month are in the red despite winning well over 150bucks in stud in 2 days.

      In england we mug you and then steal your blinds. Its called blinds cos afterwards you need to hold ice packs on your eyes.

      Oh yeah, at the lower limits, even 1/2 dont bother with stealing. They wont fold anything, ever.... I think i successful stolen once or twice in several thousand hands.
    • FWKanobi
      FWKanobi
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.02.2009 Posts: 740
      Originally posted by Wacko118
      I havent played much in razz, but i know the quality of the stud varients in general online is very poor.
      I currently play $1/$2 on Full tilt, mostly stud hi but a bit of stud 8 as well. Its very very easy people just call down. If you get rolled up, trips with the first 3 cards, you get at least 1 person always paying you right down to the end.
      I love it, just wish the was a tracker for it.... my stats for the month are in the red despite winning well over 150bucks in stud in 2 days.

      In england we mug you and then steal your blinds. Its called blinds cos afterwards you need to hold ice packs on your eyes.

      Oh yeah, at the lower limits, even 1/2 dont bother with stealing. They wont fold anything, ever.... I think i successful stolen once or twice in several thousand hands.
      Poker Tracker STUD

      http://www.pokertracker.com/products/PTS/
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by Wacko118
      Oh yeah, at the lower limits, even 1/2 dont bother with stealing. They wont fold anything, ever.... I think i successful stolen once or twice in several thousand hands.
      Razz may be different from other stud games. Stealing is often successful in razz even at the 0.25/0.50 level since the bring-in often has an obviously indefensible hand. Defending often means giving up on the next street or two anyway. So, stealing is profitable even in microstakes games. If you have (KK)8, and you are in steal position against (xx)J, you will show an immediate profit by stealing, and if you get called, you will have a profitable follow-up if you get something lower than a jack and your opponent catches something higher than a 9.

      For bankroll management, there is a general formula which applies across poker variants. This lets you create a razz-equivalent to whatever amount you use for NL hold'em or STTs or LO8.

      Bankroll = Comfort x (Standard Deviation^2) / Win Rate.

      Comfort is a parameter which measures your personal risk tolerance and your ability/willingness to move down when you hit a streak of bad luck. A comfort level of 2 is generally considered aggressive. A comfort of 4 is generally considered conservative.

      I hope your tracking software reports your standard deviation. This is a measure of the typical swings in a period of play.

      Your win rate depends on your skill and the softness of the games. If you are a marginal winner, due to mediocre skill or tough games, then you need a much larger bankroll than someone with a high win rate. This is one reason a fixed number of big bets does not fit everyone, or even the same person who moves up.

      For example, if you choose a comfort level of 3, your standard deviation is 12 BB/100, and your win rate is 2 BB/100, then the formula suggests that you should have a bankroll of 3 x (12^2)/2 = 216 BB. If your win rate is 0.5 BB in the same games, then you need 864 BB. If you fall below the recommended amount, that's ok, but you should move down before your bankroll drops to half of the recommended level, at which point you would view playing as an expense rather than a way to build your bankroll.
    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Thanks folks for all help, comments and assistance. Much appreciated! :f_love:

      pzhon, thanks for the nicely encapsulated Universal BRM Calculator (tm).

      I guess what I now need to quantify is at what limit should a mediocre winrate be reasonably expected of a mediocre (but thinking/improving) player, and what sort of standard deviation could you reasonably expect at that limit.

      With no information, tracker (other than spreadsheeting BR movement and number of hands) I've taken a punt at Razz at the $.25/$.50 limit. Anyone with an idea of the standard deviation that should be expected and winrates that can be reasonably expected at that limit (and $.50/$1 > $3/$6 for that matter) for Full Tilt/PokerStars/A.N.Other Razz providing pokerroom? A tracker can come later if I find I'm starting to put in any significant volume.

      Ultimately I'm after advice as to what limit/site I can play and reasonably expect to be able to beat as a studying beginner.

      I don't mind working through the limits but if the standard of play at $3/$6 was so terribad, the rake was prohibitively expensive at lower limits, and the swings were such that even a hard working novice could expect to beat $3/$6 with, say, a $1k BR then I can avoid mucking around bank roll building a Razz BR at $.25/$.50. Equally if it's insane to approach $.25/$.50 as a novice as the swings and winrates and competition make such a move prohibitively expensive and you should only play there with a $5k buffer at a 2 comfort level, I'd rather know in advance, save some cash, and work up from nano stakes.

      /novel

      Advices mon ami?

      BTW thanks also, pzhon, for this little gem:

      Stealing is often successful in razz even at the 0.25/0.50 level since the bring-in often has an obviously indefensible hand. Defending often means giving up on the next street or two anyway. So, stealing is profitable even in microstakes games. If you have (KK)8, and you are in steal position against (xx)J, you will show an immediate profit by stealing, and if you get called, you will have a profitable follow-up if you get something lower than a jack and your opponent catches something higher than a 9.
      :f_love:
    • goldchess
      goldchess
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2010 Posts: 641
      I have messed about a bit with $0.25/0.5 on Pokerstars, and most of the players are pretty awful. I'm all for stealing from the steal position, but I would never try to get through more than 2 people- you will be amazed what some people will try to defend with, like J92, thinking its a fairly decent hand...

      Edit: Not necessarily just J9/2, also J2/9 and 29/J :D