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Not everyone loves Texas Hold’em. I don’t. When Moneymaker was winning the Main Event, I was grinding Seven Card Stud Sit & Go’s on PartyPoker. Then Hold’em exploded and mixed games took a backburner.

Fortunately, online poker and the World Series of Poker both helped to revive mixed games and now you can find plenty of mixed game action online. Fortunately, for some of us, many online mixed game players are Hold’em players trying their hand at mixed games.

If you’re new to mixed games, check out the three tips below to help you improve your game and covers some nuances often overlooked by beginning mixed game players.

Don’t Lose Your Mind During Limit Hold’em Rounds

Whenever I’m playing H.O.R.S.E. tournaments, I look forward to the Limit Hold’em round because I know we’re about to cull a percentage of the field.

Short stacks and weaker mixed game players seems to think that the Limit Hold’em round is the answer to all that ails them. They haven’t been able to play a hand for a while in the Stud rounds and hallelujah, they can now see a flop.

A flop must have some type of mind-altering properties to it because people tend to lose their minds during the Limit Hold’em round.

Great example was in a recent H.O.R.S.E. tournament. I was the second shortest stack in the tournament about 5 spots out of the money, paying 12.

The game switched to Limit Hold’em and I started in the cutoff position. Action was so heavy during the Limit Hold’em rounds that by the time the blinds go to me, we were in the money. By the time Hold’em was done, we were at the final table.

Some of you are playing excessively loose in the Hold’em rounds or taking a “double or go home” mentality in the game.

Limit Hold’em requires the same type of focus as other games in H.O.R.S.E. and in some cases, it requires a bit more patience as you have less information about your hand. Also, you’re not going to push draws and bottom pairs off their hands like you can in NL.

The R in Razz Stands for Represent

I tell new players to the game that the R in Razz stands for represent. If you’re going to win at Razz, you have to learn to represent with your board and how to interpret things when you’re called.

For example, you have a 2 showing, but a 10 and 9 in the hole. This is not a hand you’d usually play but you’re in late position with a queen bring-in and a limping 8. This is a time where you can possibly limp in with a chance to steal on Fourth if your opponent with the 8 catches badly.

When your board gives you the appearance of being solidly in the lead, you need to represent your hand with a bet. If you are called, then you have a pretty good idea of what your opponent is holding.

In our prior example, let’s assume that 8 caught a king and you represented with a bet. They called. It is safe to assume that he has two really low cards like A-2, 2-3 or 3-4. Otherwise, he is drawing too thin.

Also, pay attention when a player in a hand with a low card catches good and fails to represent against bad boards. Chances are that they paired one of their hole cards and are waiting to improve their hand. This will help you in later streets when you improve and they are still drawing or have a weaker made hand.

Consider Folding More on Fourth Street in Stud 8

Sometimes it is tough to pick up a decent starting hand in Stud 8 and when you get one, you may be inclined to go to war with the hand. Keep in mind that nearly all scoop potential starting hands are drawing hands and need two cards at least to win your the pot.

When you miss on fourth street, you need to catch good on two of your final three cards in order to make your hand. It is not an ideal situation to be in and you should consider abandoning your hand in most cases, especially to heavy action.

Even when you improve, you need to consider your opponents. If you start out with a non-scooping three-card eight-low and catch on fourth, are there any other opponents with a better potential draw showing? If so, you want to be careful if there is action and they stay in the hand.

If you’re heads-up in a pot on fourth, you want to be staying in with a scoop worthy hand. When you continue in a heads-up pot with a one-way hand, the best you can hope for is to chop the antes. Otherwise, you are just getting your money back. In most cases, the risk is not worth the reward.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.

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