Let me preface this by saying that I am clueless, but not entirely clueless, about Razz, but is folding here on 5th terrible? Unless John paired the 5, which will happen roughly 13% of the time, we won’t be able to win the pot without the best hand until 7th, right? Seems like we can get out pretty cheaply at this point and save a lot of headache.

Edit: My assumptions may be wrong as if we catch an A, 3, 4, or 6 on 6th and he catches bad we have a pretty good hand, but I still don’t know.

It’s actually a good question and there are instances where you can justify a fold on fifth street with your piece of cheese. An extreme example would be a HORSE tournament format where chips are valuable, you don’t have a lot of them, your opponents are weak in the other games.

In HORSE tournaments it’s generally correct to try and avoid overplaying hands in the non-split games as they are more volatile. For example, if I have A-2-4 against a guy with a 5, I do NOT want to cap it with him heads up on 3rd street. For 1) I don’t need him knowing I have two cards smaller than a 4, and 2) I can’t be that far ahead of his hand anyway. It’s too small an edge to push.

As for this hand in particular, I would not have called the raise on 3rd street against Jdags raising from first position- even short handed. The board is showing all players with low cards which makes it highly unlikely that he is on a steal. No need to really get involved here with a 9 draw.

If I did call, I wouldn’t be all that excited about drawing to a 9-8 on fifth street in the hopes that my opponent paired his 5. Your 8 being up puts you on the defense no matter what, so you’d be hard pressed to play this hand for a profit on sixth and seventh.

I would have folded on 3rd. If not, I dump my 9-8 draw on 5th. If not, then I give up on sixth instead of hoping he pairs 5’s AND 7’s. If he didn’t pair- you are drawing dead. If he paired once, he is drawing much better than you.

There was no raise on any street in this hand making it a relatively small pot and I don’t see a real need to chase the hand down.