What are mixed poker games?
Mixed poker games are games where you play more than one poker game. You play them in rotation, going from one game to the next every so many hands or blind levels.
Many pros say these games are a trust test or measure of a player’s skills. Since you’re not just playing one game, but you’re playing several, you have to be competent in both the rules and strategies of as many as 10 games. And be able to adjust on the fly.
Interested? You’re not alone – I’ve noticed that these games are becoming more and more popular. One reason, I think, is that mixed games are a good change of pace. It’s a new challenge, way to break up the mundane of whatever your normal grind is.
It’s also a way for more accomplished players to get away from the more popular and saturated games, like holdem or omaha. Instead of playing massive tournament fields – where often more luck is needed – you can play smaller fields where skill is more of a factor.
Whatever your reason, you should consider playing mixed poker games. This page will tell you more about them.
I already gave you a rough explanation of what a mixed poker game is. But let’s dive a little deeper. What poker games are included in a mixed game rotation?
Let’s say we’re playing HORSE. That means you’d be playing the following games IN ORDER:
Once you finish the stud hi/lo round, you’ll start over.
The rounds will change after so many hands – for cash games – OR – after so many minutes – for tournaments.
That’s the general idea.
Games will vary in stakes, betting limits, structure, and so on. There are some standards (like usually sticking to limit when you play HORSE). But this can and will vary. And it can be custom based on the people playing.
For example, here’s how they do it in Bobby’s Room, the “Big Game” that runs at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The table features no-limit and pot-limit games with wagers up to $100,000 per hand. Limit games as high as $4,000/$8,000 are often played but $800/$1,600 is normal.
The table features a variety of poker games played in rotation and changing every 8–10 hands. The games are selected from a list of the players’ choices, including:
And here’s an example from the 2010 World Championship event. They changed it from HORSE to an 8-game mix, which was played in the limit format until the final table.
It just depends on where you’re playing, what you’re playing and who you’re playing with.
Now that you know what a mixed game is and a rough idea of how they work, let’s look at the different variations you can play.
There are several mixed game variations. Many of them you can say are “formal”, as in you’ll see these played at major tournaments, series, cash games and online.
Others you could call “informal” if you want to place a name on it. But it’s basically any set of games you choose, in the order you want to play them in.
Here are the most common mixed poker game variations:
Many, if not most of these options will be available online, offline, or both.
Finding a mixed poker game nowadays shouldn’t be too difficult.
It’s not something I’ve seen in smaller poker rooms, lesser popular casinos or even in the daily tournaments or cash games that the larger Las Vegas casinos hold.
But these games ARE popular enough you’ll find them online at most rooms. The room may not have a ton of traffic to those games, so they might be hit or miss. But they’ll be there.
There are major tournaments that offer mixed games too.
For example, here’s the options from PokerStars’ WCOOP 2016:
And this is what you can play at the WSOP 2016:
There are plenty of options if you know where to look.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to play mixed poker games.
It’s hard to give specific advice since it’s game dependent and, well, most mixed poker games have a handful of different games in rotation. But with all the resources out there – and the fact that you can play mixed games for free – there’s no reason to struggle. Just choose a game to focus on and get to work.
There you have it. That’s the basics to mixed poker games.
I like mixed games for the variety. But from my experience it’s a much slower game due to the slower pace of games like razz and stud, and the limit betting. But they’re still worth checking out.
But one thing to keep in mind is you’ll struggle to find many tips online.
You can always look for tips for specific games, like holdem, omaha, stud, and so on. But you’ll want to remember that there’s probably nuances or strategies involved with the switching of games, too.
But if you want to test your abilities and become a true poker master, you’ll figure it out.