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Bankroll Builders, Vol. 2: Heads-Up Razz Sit-N-Go's Part 1

Bankroll Builders, Vol. 2: Heads-Up Razz Sit-N-Go's Part 1 0001

When it comes to poker variants, Razz gets a bad rep. Burdened with the stereotypes of being a cranky old man’s game, a fast-track to tilt or an exercise in sheer torture, Razz is actually a fairly simple game to learn. If you can get past the luck factor (which in this game can often times feel compounded when bricks rain on a four-card wheel) and commit to studying the fundamentals, Razz can be an extremely profitable game when played at the lower limits, and an excellent way to grow a bankroll. If you’re bored senseless with no-limit hold’em and are looking to change things up, try a few heads-up Razz sit-n-go's. The variance is lower, the action is swift, and most important, the donkeys are plentiful.

Where can I play?

PokerStars spreads heads-up Razz sit-n-go's with buy-ins starting at $2.20. Players get 1,500 chips to start and the blinds increase every ten minutes. On Full Tilt Poker, both regular and turbo heads-up SNGs are available with the lowest buy-in at $1.10. In the turbos, the blinds go up every three minutes. In regular-speed matches, they increase every six minutes.

Full Tilt also spreads heads-up Razz cash games starting at $1/2 limit; however, low-limit heads-up cash games (below $5/10) cannot be recommended for building a bankroll. No matter how good you are, at those levels the rake will eat your hard-earned roll alive.

Where should I start?

When it comes to bankroll requirements, start with whatever game for which you have 15-20 buy-ins. If you have $25 in your account, start with the $1.10s. With $50-75 try the $2.20s, $5.25s or $6.25s, and with $100-200 go for the $10.50s or $11.50s. The turbo SNGs will take 20-30 minutes to play out while regular ones can take up to 90 minutes.

Should I multitable?

While you’re starting out, try and stick to only one game at a time. If you end up bored out of your mind single-tabling, go ahead and add another, but try not to play more than four at once at these limits, especially on a small bankroll.

How much can I earn?

This year, the top $5.50 heads-up Razz sit-n-go players on Full Tilt have made high four-figure amounts with sample sizes ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 games. At the $11 and $21 levels, some players have netted as much as $40,000 in profit depending on volume. Return on Investment (ROI) varies wildly in the heads-up games. While the top high-volume players average between 7 and 9%, some players have posted ROIs as high as 23% over 10,000 games.

When should I move up?

Move up only if you feel comfortable. By all means, get out of the $1.10 and $2.20 ghetto as fast as possible, but if you’re sustaining a good win rate at the $10.50 or $21 games, proceed with caution when moving up to the next level. While the quality of play doesn’t vary too much between the $2 games and the $21 games, the players at the $33 level have a much stronger skill set.

Now that you've got the basics down, come check us out tomorrow where will bring you some tips from the trenches.

To try your hand at heads-up Razz SNGs, head over to Full Tilt Poker. And hey, why not follow us on Twitter while you're at it?

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