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Poker used to be incredibly fun, but today it’s easy to get the impression that everyone sees it as a job or just as a routine thing. However, this is far from true in my case, and I highly believe that you can enjoy this game and still have fun even when playing seriously.

I am a big advocate of choosing one format as your main game and sticking to it. This way you can achieve much better results in the long run, learn the game faster, and reach high stakes. Playing multiple formats simultaneously makes these much more difficult to achieve.

The majority of players choose cash games or MTTs and grind that out through days, weeks, months and sometimes even years, without doing anything else. It is not hard to see why it can be exhausting, and that some players lose motivation on the way. But what if I told you that you could learn how to relax, have some fun and most importantly continue to grow your bankroll?

Poker games to relax

Quite a while ago, I was introduced to Open Face Chinese Poker, and after playing it with my friends, I fell in love with the game. The rules are very easy, and everyone can learn in few minutes. Thus, even if you do not have extended experience in this format, you are likely to do quite well if you spend a few minutes learning the basics before jumping into play. To help you out with this, I created an Open Face Chinese Poker rules guide and explained differences with other poker formats. If you’re new to this game, be sure to check it out before playing. Otherwise, you will be surprised and likely not in a good way.

Another, better-known game that can be a lot of fun is jackpot tournament or simply ‘Spin & Go’ as it is called on Stars. It attracts many recreational players chasing the jackpot, and you can see some interesting stuff going on when you hit small multipliers. Weak players just do not care enough to play it seriously, so you have a lot of room to win some money and get crazy action.

It is true that quite a few players are playing it professionally and at higher stakes, although margins are very small. You probably will be on the losing end without studying it hard and putting a lot of work into your game. However, small stake games are full of recreational players who are making tremendous mistakes, so you can get the better of them very quickly if you have some experience in other formats. That being said, it is still worth learning the basics and building preflop ranges.

Why these games will help you

Obviously, OFC poker will not help you to improve your strategy, but Spin & Go will. It is an excellent way to learn short stack play, and it is a crucial skill to have in every game.

It is easy to see how it can help in MTTs; you will be making your most important decisions with a short stack in the late stages of these tournaments and making those decisions correctly will help you win more. Nevertheless, it is crucial for cash games as well. Even if you are playing with a full stack, you will encounter professional short stackers and many recreational players who will be operating a short stack.

Learning Spin and Go strategy will pay big dividends when you face those players. Most importantly, the majority of your competition sucks at it, so you have a good chance to gain an additional edge at the tables.

All things considered

I still think you should stick with your main game for the most part, but learning other formats will surely bring back the fun if you lost it somewhere along the way. Moreover, it can even help you improve your strategy, so it’s worth giving it a shot.

But don’t take it too far. If you’ve been playing cash games for the last five years, you are unlikely to make more money in Spin & Go or OFC poker, so it’s better to play these games just for fun. Obviously, if you learn the rules you will add some money to your bankroll, but it will take a lot of work and study to catch up with the players who are playing it for the living. The bottom line is: always know why you are playing and keep improving steadily. That’s the way to success!

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Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis is a professional poker player, author of the free poker book “Play ‘A’ Game and be the Boss at Your Poker Table," and poker coach at He is also a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students and deeply enjoys it.