There are many poker variants, and the most well-rounded players know how to play many of them.
Here are the games that are a part of the popular 8-Game Mix –
Players well-versed in several games garner a lot of respect among poker professionals. So much so that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) plays 8-Game Mix for the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about 8-Game Poker Mix.
How to Play 8-Game Mix Poker
8-Game Poker, which is also known as 8-Game Mix and simply 8-Game, is a poker variant comprised of eight different poker disciplines –
- 2-7 Triple Draw
- Limit Hold'em
- Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
- Seven Card Stud
- Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better
- No-Limit Hold'em
- Pot-Limit Omaha
The games are usually played in the order listed above. (T.H.O.R.S.E.H.A. is sometimes used as an acronym). On occasion, the variations may be randomised to establish a new predetermined rotation.
In online events, the game tends to change after a specific time interval. In live tournaments, the format usually changes after either an orbit or a particular number of hands.
To play 8-Game Mix Poker, players must be familiar with three different types of poker –
Flop, Board, and Draw Games.
- Flop Games: No-Limit Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better are all flop games. They involve a flop, turn and river. All these games utilise blinds.
- Board Games: Razz, Stud, and Stud H-Lo 8 or Better are all board games. Each player has their own board in front of them as opposed to shared community cards. All these games utilise antes and a bring-in.
- Draw Games: The only draw game in the mix is 2-7 Triple Dra. Each player exchanges (AKA draw) cards after each betting round. Like the Hold’em and Omaha games, 2-7 Triple Draw uses blinds.
Furthermore, players should already be familiar with split-pot games. Both Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better and Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better will award both the high and low hands half of each pot.
8-Game Mix Poker Rules
The best way to understand the rules for 8-Game Mix Poker is to appreciate the rules for each game. They are nuanced and varied.
So, understanding each is crucial if you hope to play 8-Game Mix Poker successfully.
Click each of the games to learn more about the rules for each:
8-Game Mix Poker Hand Rankings
Standard poker hand rankings apply to most games in 8-Game Mix Poker. The exceptions are Razz and 2-7 Triple Draw, which we’ll get into more below.
For the other games, the high hands are what you’ve no doubt become accustomed to making.
A Royal Flush is the best possible hand all the way down to a high card.
Hi-Lo 8 or Better Hand Rankings – The two Hi-Lo games – Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better and Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better – are split-pot games. The best high hand wins half the pot in these variations, while the other half goes to the best low hand.
In both, there must be a qualifying low hand comprised of five unpaired cards, eight or lower. Aces can count as a low card but also play as high if needed.
- Remember, it is possible for a player to win both the high and low hands, referred to as “scooping.”
For instance, if they have a hand like, 8♣7♣3♣2♣A♣ then have a qualifying low as well as an ace-high flush. This player could put them in contention to scoop the pot.
Finally, say in either game, there is no qualifying low hand (again, five unpaired cards eight or lower). Then the best high hand wins the entire pot.
2-7 Triple Draw Hand Rankings – Straights and flushes count against your low hand, and aces are always high. So, the best possible hand is 7-5-4-3-2, hence the name of the game. The second-best hand is 7-6-4-3-2, the third-best 7-6-5-3-2, and so on.
Razz Hand Rankings – In Razz, straights and flushes do not count, and an ace is always the lowest card. So, the best possible Razz hand is 5-4-3-2-A, also known as "the wheel.” The second-best hand in Razz is 6-4-3-2-A, the third-best 6-5-3-2-A, and so on.
Strategy for 8-Game Mix Poker
There’s no single strategy for success at 8-Game Mix Poker. Remember, you have to know strategies for eight different games!
- Tip #1: Know the Rules – The best strategy is to make sure you’re confident with the rules of each game. Then delve deeper by getting familiar with various strategies for each street.
- Tip #2: Identify Your Strength & Weaknesses – Be sure to identify your strengths and weaknesses in each game. Are you proficient in the flop games but not so much in the board games? If so, maybe you loosen up when playing the former but tighten up during the latter.
- Tip #3: Identify Your Opponent’s Strength & Weaknesses – You should also focus on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents. When a player seems strong in one variant, you might want to avoid them. But, if you spot a failing in another game, that may be your opportunity to attack.
- Tip #4: Look for Low Cards in the Draw Game – In 2-7 Triple Draw, your starting hand is super-critical. As a general rule, you should fold unless you start with three unpaired cards, nine or lower.
- Tip #5: Remember What Game You’re Playing – Finally, we can’t stress this enough. Always keep track of what game you’re playing. You’d be surprised at how many players play a 7-Card Stud hand shooting for a high hand, not realising the game has switched to Razz.
Strategy for 8-Game Mix Poker
8-Game Mix Poker - FAQ
What is 8-Game Mix Poker?
- 8-Game Poker, also known as 8-Game Mix and simply 8-Game, is a poker variant with different poker disciplines. They include 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha.
Where can I play 8-Game Mix Poker?
- Finding an 8-Game Mix game at your local casino might be challenging, especially at lower stakes.Instead, you’d probably have better luck either online or at a larger tournament series.
What’s the difference between H.O.R.S.E. and 8-Game Mix Poker?
H.O.R.S.E. is the acronym used for the mix of five poker games that include - Limit Hold’em (H), Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (O), Razz (R), Stud (S), and Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better (E). 8-Game Mix includes all those games but with three others – No-Limit Hold’em (H), Pot-Limit Omaha (A), and 2-7 Triple Draw (T).
Do I have to play all eight games?
- Yes and no. You can always fold and not play the games you don’t like. But you can’t simply sit out and avoid the blinds and antes. If you’re going to play 8-Game Mix, your best course of action is to learn to all eight games.
What are the flop games in 8-Game Mix Poker?
- No-Limit Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better are all flop games as they involve a flop, turn and river.
What are the board games in 8-Game Mix Poker?
- Razz, Stud, and Stud H-Lo 8 or Better are all board games. Each player has their own board in front of them as opposed to shared community cards.
What is the draw game in 8-Game Mix Poker?
- The only draw game is 2-7 Triple Draw as players exchange cards after each betting round.
8-Game Mix Poker - Summary
There’s nothing wrong with sticking to No-Limit Hold’em. It’s by far the most popular poker game in the world. Many players stick to what they know and are good at playing.
But, if you’re interested in expanding your poker knowledge, learning new games is the best way to do it.
- There’s no better place to start than learning each variant played in 8-Game Mix Poker.
- Your skills and knowledge will increase.
- Chances are you’ll have a lot of fun
And, if you play your cards right and find success, you could even earn the respect of the best poker players in the world!