Learning Mixed Game Poker

No Limit Hold’em is a great game, but it’s becoming harder to find soft competition and make money.  Mixed games on the other hand are filled with opportunity like the glory days of NLH.  Back in the early 2000’s you might find just one shark at a NLH table full of fish and now it’s often the other way around.

Why Learn Mixed Games?

  1. They are populated by a variety of players making a variety of mistakes. Mixed games tend to bring together an eclectic group of individuals.  You get…
    • high/low players who tend to play the draw games erratically
    • draw game specialists taking their hands way too far in the high/low games.
    • hold’em players who luck-boxed a big tournament and think they can play any type of poker through sheer aggression.
    • and finally these games frequently include a few wealthy older recreational players that enjoy playing many different games… similar to dealer’s choice games that they may have played when growing up.

    The one common denominator amongst of all of them is that there are many mistakes being made, ones that can be exploited with a fundamental understanding of all the games.

  2. The games are still unsolved. Some would say no limit hold’em has been solved.  But people are still experimenting and optimizing strategy in the many mixed game variants.  Thus, there is great opportunity and challenge to develop your own strategies and profit from your diligence.
  3. The biggest games are mixed. The biggest game in the room is often the mixed game rotation. It’s not unusual to see a $400/800 limit mix going while the biggest no-limit game is “only” $25/$50.
  4. You will play a greater % of hands. Mixed games are often capped at six to eight players because less players can be dealt in draw and stud variants. This means less sitting and more playing for all of the games. No longer will you have to subject yourself to a cramped hold’em table with several players just sitting around trying to “peddle the nuts”.
  5. You can become a better overall poker player. Mixed games will cause you to examine poker more broadly and many players find that learning new variants elevates all of their games.  If you are getting bored with hold-em it’s a great way to re-spark your love of poker.

What is a Mixed Poker Game?

Mixed poker games refer to playing more than one poker variant at a table in rotation.  This could be as few as two games, like a no limit hold’em and pot limit mix, or a wide variety of games like HORSE (Hold’em; Omaha Eight or Better; Razz; Stud; Stud Eight or Better).  In cash games, typically one poker variant is played for six to eight hands and then you switch to the next one.  Online mixed tournaments utilize a time structure with each game being played for a specified amount of time before moving to the next.

Mixed game rotations primarily started as HORSE, however, many younger players arriving during the poker boom were not that fond of Razz and StudDeuce to Seven Triple Draw and Badugi arrived on the scene around 2005 and these draw games became very popular and created more action.  In order to keep players on their toes and hopefully extract more money from novices, split pot games such as Badeucey and Badacey were introduced and quickly spread like wildfire.

New games are being tried all of the time as players enjoy the challenge and wish to profit from those who cannot adapt quickly.  Some newer games such as Archie appear to have staying power while others go the way of Duck Flush and provide some entertainment for a brief time and then disappear soon after.  If you have no clue what some or all of these games are; don’t worry because you are in the right place.

The split pot games, Omaha and Stud High Low/High Eight or Better are the two most common games included in mixes. After that the draw variants such as Badugi, Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, Badeucey, and Badacey are the next popular.  To play the cash games out in Vegas you must be ready for anything and everything; Archie, Razzdugi, Drawmaha, and Big O are just a few of the games that are typically included in mixes during WSOP time.  But no matter what games are included Counting Outs will have you covered; it is our goal to provide material for every game that is currently being played for money either online or in card rooms all across America.

Here are some strategy guides for the different mixed games.  This is a new website and more games are being added regularly!

Flop (Community Card)StudDraw

What Mixed Games Should I Learn First?

One of our favorite and most spread games is Pot-Limit Omaha.  The game plays similar to No Limit Hold’em but you’ll need to make a few adjustments to account for having four cards instead of two.  The main adjustment is that relative hand values go down since you have more cards to make good hands.  You can learn a basic strategy quickly and start making money off the no limit players who overvalue their hands.  Big mistakes made in big bet games (no limit and pot limit) translate to big profits.  In addition, PLO is a component of many mixed games played online.

Ideally the next step is to familiarize yourself with the games in the HORSE rotation paying particular attention to the Omaha and Stud High/Low split games that are almost always a part of any mixed game.  Stud High is very popular on the East coast and can only help improve your Stud High/Low split game.

After that it would probably be best to learn the one winner limit draw games; Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, Badugi, and Ace to Five Triple Draw.  These games are popular in their own right but would also be a prerequisite to learning Badeucey and Badacey.  Badeucey is a split pot game where the object is to make both the best Deuce to Seven and Badugi hand, whereas Badacey is a combination of Ace to Five and Badugi.

Why Counting Outs?

It’s a catchy name right?  An out is a card in poker that will give you the best hand.   Knowing how many outs you have allows you to calculate your chance of winning.  As games get more complicated, particularly in Omaha variants, you need to learn how to quickly count your outs so that it becomes second nature and you focus on mixed game strategy!

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