Some players like to use the mixed poker games as a diversion to their regular tables, and the leading poker sites are happy to oblige. Games such as HORSE, HEROS, HOSE and 8Game are mixtures of the most popular online poker games, broken down into specific segments and played as either a ring game or tournament.
HORSE will be the most familiar to people, being an acronym for Hold´em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud and Stud Hi/Lo (8´s or better), but in order to be comprehensive, here is the full list of games and the order in which they appear in a typical 8Game mixed poker tournament.
Limit 2-7 Triple Draw. This opening game frequently catches new players out as they try to make the best possible hand – rather than the worse. Slightly different from Razz in the way that there is the option of changing the cards in your hand three times, and four rounds of betting, the best strategy is to wait for the prime hands and do not get involved in a betting war with somebody who might strike lucky. Also note that aces are high in this game, and also unlike Razz, flushes and straights count! The best hand you could have is 23457.
Limit Hold´em. Most players who indulge in mixed game poker, have a strong understanding of the principals of both Texas Hold´em and Omaha. There is an element of frustration about coming into one of your stronger games so early in the competition and being limited in your betting by the flop. Ideally, you should continue to only play you premium hands, but remember that there are only six players, so you can relax your opening hand selection a little in comparison to what it would be on a full ring game.
Omaha Hi/Lo. The key to this round is avoiding getting into a potentially damaging betting spree with somebody holding a bottom hand when you are trying to complete your top hand. Also, if the pot is being built by three players, and the lower hand is tied (for example), each of the winners of the lower hand would actually get back less than what they put into the pot – a net loss, and something many Hi/Lo players do not acknowledge..
Razz. Some people excel at draw games, whereas others stink. The secret to successfully negotiating the rounds of betting involves noting the open cards on the deal – These may disappear quickly, as players tend to sit out some rounds (like Razz) they do not like, but they will give an indication of how many low cards are already out and the type of hand that will be needed to win the pot. Again, remember that you are playing short-handed, so there will not be so many great hands out.
Seven Card Stud. By now you should have established some of the betting tendencies of the people around you at the table, and be aware of who to attack and who to shy away from. As the stakes are starting to increase there may be an advantage to betting into calling stations, but be vigilant of all the cards that are dealt open, so you can be aware of your opponent´s chance of catching in a later street. Occasionally players do not notice the transition from Razz to Stud. You should watch out for players betting manically with 358T as their open cards.
Seven Card Hi/Lo. The same principles apply as with the Omaha Hi/Lo round. Players thinking that they have a good chance of getting the low hand will create a false betting scenario – one that you do not want to get caught up in. The fact that there only six players around the table again plays a significance in the quality of the hands on offer.
No Limit Hold´em. This is the first game in the roster that is no limit and a chance for experienced hold´em players to open up and really make a difference to their chip stack. The power of position and bet sizing are the all-important factors in this round. You may also notice different betting techniques from your opponents as the competition evolves from flop limit draw games to no limit. Be aware that somebody you had identified as tight might just loosen up in this round.
Pot Limit Omaha. This is just the Hi version, which fools some of the people some of the time. Aggressive play from good position is again the key to a successful round, and once you have got through it – you go back to the beginning and start again!