Different Variants of Mixed Poker Games

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BetMGM Jan 02, 2024, 3:18 AM

Mixed games poker refers to a collection of poker variants played in rotation during a single session or tournament. These games combine different poker formats, allowing players to showcase their versatility and expertise.

While Texas hold’em and no-limit hold’em may be the most widely-known variants out there, it’s becoming harder to find soft competition in these formats and make money. As a result, players often turn to mixed games. 

Poker mixed games are a great alternative since many opponents tend to lack the skill and experience required to win the games at hand. Read on for an in-depth look at the different poker variants and tips about how to play them.

What Are Mixed Games and What Is the Appeal?

When you think of poker, you probably think of no-limit hold’em. The reality is that players have grown tired of this classic version and have cited reasons like excessive tanking, new crowds of aggressive players, and the solver-based strategies as having spoiled the game.

The same cannot be said for mixed games, where the action is fast, and players are usually inexperienced. This makes it an attractive option if you’re looking for easier wins.

Some common mixed games include the following:

  • HORSE: Hold’em, Omaha, razz, seven-card stud, and 8-or-better.
  • Eight-game poker: 2-7 (deuce-to-seven) triple draw, pot-limit Omaha, and others.
  • Dealer’s choice: Dealer selects the game.

Types of Mixed Games and How To Play Them

Although most people are familiar with the classic version of poker that typically involves five cards, there are actually many different variants, each with its own unique set of rules and strategies. 

Take a quick dive into the most popular mixed games, the HORSE variety, along with some tips and comments about mixed games poker strategy

1. No-Limit Hold’em

No-limit hold’em (NLHE) is often referred to as the ‘Cadillac of poker’ because it’s one of the most renowned casino games in the world. It’s included in the poker eight-game mix — a popular mix in tournaments and cash games, as well as online poker games.

In mixed games, the basic strategy in NLHE involves being completely honest about your skill level. It would be a mistake to play large pots against more skilled players when you have a better edge in the other games.

If you think you’re at a disadvantage, it’s fine to adhere to a “small ball” strategy and be more cautious when defending your big blind. It would also be acceptable to put in larger bets or raises to end a hand sooner rather than later.

2. Omaha

Omaha high/low 8-or-better (O8b) is a community card flop game in which everyone is dealt four cards face down instead of two, and two of their hole cards must be used to make a hand. 

O8b may be the second-most popular poker variant and certainly the most popular game as far as its inclusion in mixed games is concerned. Most of the playable hands in O8b are low-oriented because they often end up in a coveted free-roll position.

Hand selection is of utmost importance in O8b, more so than in any other poker variant, because if you play inferior hands, you’ll constantly get squeezed and free-rolled, which is a recipe for disaster.

3. Razz

Razz is a lowball poker variant in which the lowest hand wins. Because aces are low in razz, the best possible hand is 5-4-3-2-ace. You should avoid making pairs and high cards, as these will only hurt your chances of winning.

The best starting hands in razz are unpaired cards of 8 or lower. You can also play three-card 8s or better, but you should be careful not to overplay these hands.

As the hand progresses, you should pay attention to the door cards (the cards that are face-up in front of your opponents). When you see a lot of high cards, you can be more aggressive with your low cards.

4. Seven-Card Stud

This American classic is a high-low split game, which means you can win with either the best high hand or the best low hand. Aces are high in seven-card stud, so the best possible high hand is ace-king-queen-jack-10, and the best possible low hand is 5-4-3-2-ace.

The best starting hands in this game are high pairs, suited connectors, and big cards. You can also play three-card aces or kings, but as with three-card 8s, you shouldn’t overplay these hands.

As the hand progresses, you should pay attention to the door cards. If you see a lot of high cards, you should be more cautious with your low hands. If you see a lot of low cards, you can be more aggressive with your high hands.

5. Stud Eight-or-Better

Stud 8-or-better is a dynamic game in which the pot is split evenly between the player with the best low hand (which must be 8-low at worst) and the player with the best high hand. Straights and flushes don’t count against the low hand.

Since players are competing for both the best low and high hands, starting hand selection is one of the most important facets of stud 8. The split-pot component of the game allows for many more playable hands than in other stud variants.

Aces are very powerful in stud 8 since they can be both high and low. If you have an ace, you should approach a starting hand selection in an early position by aiming to have three low cards, a pair, or three to a flush when open-raising.

Mixed Games Are Easy To Find Online

Playing mixed poker games turns you into a more well-rounded player, capable of handling different situations and opponents. More importantly, the biggest games in many poker rooms are often the mixed game rotations, which offer higher stakes. Register with BetMGM for a selection of different variants and improve your poker strategy when you play poker online.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.