Playing 8 Game Mix Poker
The thing to bear in mind when you set out to learn how to play 8 Game Mix is that every variant involved has its own distinct rules. To play 8 Game Mix well, it is therefore important to be able to switch from one new set of rules to another at regular intervals. The betting possibilities, the hand you are aiming for (high or low) and even the value of the ace will change as you progress through rotations.
That is a lot of information to keep in your head for a single session at the poker table. Just remember that the next time someone tells you that poker isn't a game of skill!
You won't need much in the way of strategy to get started playing 8 Game Mix. Later, yes, when you have some actual experience at the tables. But to begin with, the best thing you can really do is to make sure you are absolutely 100 percent up to speed with all of the rules and procedures for each variant.
We will take you briefly through each of those variants right here. However, we would also strongly suggest that you take a look at the separate 'how to play' guides that we have made available for each game. Simply follow the links provided below.
- 2-7 Triple Draw
- Limit Texas Hold'em
- Omaha Hi-Lo
- Seven Card Stud
- Stud Hi-Lo
- No-Limit Texas Hold'em
- Pot-Limit Omaha
2-7 Triple Draw
2-7 Triple Draw is a six-handed game and the reason why 8 Game Mix is usually restricted to six players. It is also a five-card low-draw game. Each player is dealt five cards and your aim is simply to make the lowest possible five-card hand.
The game has four betting rounds, two with small bets and two with big bets, which are double, plus three draws. After each round of betting, players can choose to lose as many cards as they wish. The dealer will then replace them.
While it is simple to swap out bad cards and hope for better ones, you must keep in your head a few key considerations. The first is that, in this game, aces are high. That makes deuces low and, thus, the best card in the game.
Also, straights and flushes are no good because you are looking to make the worst hand that you can. So, while 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 might look like a good low hand, it isn't because there is a straight in there. It needs breaking up. The best possible hand you can make is 7-5-4-3-2 without a flush.
Limit Texas Hold'em
A nice game of Texas Hold'em follows next. This is the first of two Texas Hold'em games in the mix, and it has a limit format. That means there will be a stated limit on bets in each of the four rounds of betting.
Aces are high here, and your aim is to make the highest hand possible using any of the seven cards available to you (two hole cards and five community cards). That being the case, the best possible hand is the Royal Flush.
Omaha games are similar to Hold'em games in that they follow the same betting patterns. The main difference with Omaha is that players receive four hole cards instead of two. On top of that, players must use precisely two of them to make a winning five-card hand.
This, though, is Omaha Hi-Lo, which is played to almost identical rules until play reaches the showdown. This is because Omaha Hi-Lo is a split-pot game. This means that the pot is split in two. One half going to the winning best hand and the other half going to the best qualifying low hand.
Razz is another of these variants where the aim is to form the lowest possible five-card hand from the seven cards that have been dealt. Basically, Razz is Seven Card Stud played low with low aces where straights and flushes do not count.
Because of this, the best possible Razz hand is 5, 4, 3, 2, ace. Those seven cards are dealt at intervals and betting rounds throughout the game known as streets which, assuming everyone is still in the hand, will lead to a showdown.
Seven Card Stud
There is almost no difference between Razz and Seven Card Stud. In this game, you are aiming to put together the lowest five-card hand as possible from the seven that have been dealt. The dealing and betting is also done in several streets, as previously described.
We return to split pot action next as Stud Hi-Lo becomes the featured game. Stud Hi-Lo is a little bit like both of the last two. It is basically Seven Card Stud, but you play for two hands - a high one and a low one. It could even be called Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo.
The pot is split in half. One half is won by the player with the highest hand and the other by the player with the lower hand. Of course, that could in fact be the same player, in which case he or she is said to "scoop the pot".
This game is also known as Stud Eight because the low hand requires five unpaired cards, with no card higher than an eight, to qualify for the lower portion of the pot. Other than that, the format of the game remains as above.
No-Limit Texas Hold'em
The 8 Game Mix picks up a head of steam here as the shackles are taken off for a hopefully thrilling, almost climactic game of No-Limit Texas Hold'em. Play runs exactly as in the first game of Hold'em, but here there are no limits on betting. As a result, you can expect far more aggressive shoves and all-ins. Not to mention maybe even a bust or two in some action-packed winner-takes-all hands.
Pot Limit Omaha
Pot Limit Omaha is the final game in the rotation and works in the same way as all other Omaha games. This time the game has a pot-limit format, meaning that no player can bet more than the pot is worth at that particular time. Other than that, it's the same game we played before but for high hands only. The best of which will scoop the whole pot.
Remember, although you are dealt four hole (pocket) cards in games of Omaha Poker, players have to use exactly two of them. No more and no less. Those two are used in conjunction with exactly three of the five community cards to make a winning five-card hand.
Best Hands in 8 Game Mix
With so much happening in 8 Game Mix, it can be easy for a beginning player to get confused. That's even the case if a player is familiar with all of the varieties just mentioned. Here, then, is a quick reminder of the best hands that can be made in the games involved.
|2-7 Triple Draw||7-5-4-3-2 (different suits)|
|Limit Texas Hold'em||Royal Flush A-K-Q-J-10 (same suit)|
|Omaha Hi-Lo||High Hand: Royal Flush|
|Seven Card Stud||Royal Flush|
|Stud Hi-Lo||High Hand: Royal Flush|
Low Hand: A-2-3-4-5
|No-Limit Texas Hold'em||Royal Flush|
|Pot-Limit Omaha||Royal Flush|
Where Can I Play 8 Game Mix?
8 Game Mix isn't as common as H.O.R.S.E., but that is changing. As the game becomes better known, more and more online poker rooms can be expected to offer it. We would suggest checking our state pages to see which online poker rooms are legally allowed to operate in your state (if any) and seeing what's available.
Note that it probably isn't a good idea to rush straight into 8 Game Mix if you're relatively new to poker as a whole. Make sure that you at least understand the eight featured games before trying to tackle them all in a single session. In other words, be ready. If you're not, the other players at the table will instantly sense the fact and your bankroll will be easy pickings. With all of that said, when you are truly ready to play 8 Game Mix, you'll be in for a treat.