Are you ready to take the plunge into mixed games but don’t want to take the time to learn each game separately? You’re not alone. Many players jump in feet first into the mixed games pool and take a “trial by fire approach.”
For those considering the same path, we present seven tips to get you started in mixed games. Note that these tips are for those wanting to jump into mixed games rather than taking the time to learn each game individually.
These tips aren’t going to make you a mixed game expert but it will help you be a bit more competitive until you take the time to properly improve your skills.
Razz – Fast Play Your Boards When Ahead
Razz is Stud played for low only. Starting on Fourth Street, you will have a good idea of where your opponent is heading with a hand. When you’re showing strength on Fourth and beyond, a bet is needed.
For example, you completed with a 2 showing and your opponent called with a four. You caught a five and they caught a king. Right now, they are drawing to a king and won’t get better than that until at least Sixth Street.
Betting now will often result in a fold from your opponent. If they call in this spot, chance are they started with three wheel cards and hope to catch lucky on Fifth.
2-7 Lowball – Draw No More Than Two Cards Whenever Possible
In 2-7 Lowball, you’re drawing to the best five-card non-straight or flush hand possible. Often you will play the Triple Draw version in mixed games. Many players will draw too loosely and set themselves up for ruin.
When paying Lowball, you’ll be best suited to stick with hands that require you draw just two cards or less. While you may be tempted to hold 7-2 and draw three, you’re odds increase dramatically when you show discipline and play hands requiring just two cards or less to make your hand.
Stud 8 or Better – Don’t Draw One-Way Heads-Up
A one-way hand in Stud 8 or Better is any that has no legitimate chance of scooping. The most common example is a weak low draw like 8-4-2 rainbow. While you may speculate with one-way hands in multi-way pots, many pots in Stud 8 will be heads-up.
When playing heads-up with a non-scooping hand, you’re essentially playing to get your money back or maybe just split the antes. The antes are not worth risking 3 big bets or more.
Often you won’t know until at least Fourth Street that you’re drawing one-way. If action starts getting heavy heads-up in such a situation, in many cases you will want to fold and try again another hand.
Seven Card Stud – Pay Close Attention to Paired Door Cards
The first up card in regular Stud is referred to as the door card. In many cases, you’re opponent is starting with a pair and often the door card indicates that pair. When your opponent pairs that door card, you should lean towards folding unless you happen to have a monster hand.
Even if your opponent didn’t just hit trips, they likely still have two pair. Unless you know you have a better hand at this point (such as them showing an open pair of jacks and you have buried aces and caught a third ace on fourth), it is time to fold.
Omaha Hi-Lo – Be Careful With Non-Nut Hands in Multi-Way Pots
When you’re playing in multi-way pots in Omaha Hi-Lo, you need to be very careful with non-nut hands, especially low hands. A second nut low in a multi-way pot is often a loser as someone is likely to have the nuts.
With so many possible starting hand combinations, you should be playing the nuts whenever possible in this game. In multi-way pots, this isn’t just a suggestion but as close to a requirement as you will get in poker.
Limit Hold’em – Don’t Go Crazy With Big Pairs on Drawy Boards
Limit Hold’em allows for players to speculate with drawing hands due to the limit betting structure. As such, you can’t let yourself go crazy with big pairs when a board produces a straight or a flush draw.
Often, a player will get a big hand like pocket kings and fail to slow down when a draw produces on the board. In Limit Hold’em, the chances of your big pair getting outdrawn increases over NL and if you start receiving resistance with your big pair, slow down.
PL Omaha – Consider All Redraws
PL Omaha is a game of big cards and big draws and many beginners fail to consider the big draw aspect. For example, let’s say the board falls 10h-7h-6s and you have Ks-Kd-9s-8d.
In this example, you have flopped the nut straight but your hand is extremely vulnerable. Beginners often will overplay this hand and ignore that the board pairing or producing another heard will kill their hand. Also, any eight or nine will produce a higher straight.
If you have a player that starts going crazy with their betting in such a scenario, chances are they have a nut redraw or even multiple redraw chances. There are some scenarios where you can flop the nuts and still be an underdog to win the hand due to redraws.
Also, don’t forget your own redraws. If the same scenario presented but your hand was Ah-Ad-9h-8d, you would have the nut straight and a redraw to the nut flush. Your odds of winning this hand are dramatically greater in the second scenario because of your nut redraw.