Mixed game formats have been around in poker for years, and used to be very common in casinos and home games. For those of you not familiar with the concept of mixed games, they involve playing a selection of different poker variants as part of a single overall game. The variants played rotates after either a fixed amount of time or a fixed number of hands.
Many consider mixed games to be the ultimate test of skill for poker players as they need to be accomplished at multiple forms of poker. Switching from one variant to another is quite challenging as the strategy required is constantly changing while you play.
The popularity of mixed games dwindled somewhat once Texas Hold’em established itself as the game of choice for so many. However, since they have been offered online by a number of leading poker sites they’ve attracted a lot more interest again.
On this page we’ve looked at some of the reasons why you should give mixed poker games a try. We’ve also provided details of several different formats and listed the best poker sites for playing mixed games.
Why Play Mixed Games?
One of the biggest reasons for playing mixed games is simply that it can be a lot of fun. If you play a lot of poker then you may well get bored from time to time, particularly if you find that a lot of your decisions are made on autopilot. Playing in a mixed game makes things that much more interesting and you’ll certainly have to be on the ball in terms of your decision making.
Mixed games can also be a great help in terms of progressing as a poker player. You’ll need to be using different strategies at different stages, depending on what variant is being played at any given time, and this experience will definitely improve your all round play.
It’s also worth noting that there can be some very good opportunities for making money playing mixed games, particularly online. A lot of people will try these without being very good at some of the variants involved – and sometimes without even fully understanding the rules. If you’re skilled at just one or two of the variants and have at least some basic knowledge of the other variants then you’re likely to be in a much stronger position than the opponents you come up against.
Popular Mixed Game Formats
There are a lot of different mixed game formats, using a wide range of poker variants. Many of them feature games that you’re probably familiar with, while some of them feature more obscure ones. The following are the four formats that you will come across most when playing online.
- 8 Game Mix (also known as T.H.O.R.S.E.A.)
- 10 Game Mix
H.O.R.S.E. is possibly the best known of these. Its name is simply an acronym of the different variants it features; Hold’em (Texas), Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud High and Seven Card Stud Eight or Better. H.O.S.E. is very similar, with just Razz missing. The betting in H.O.R.S.E. and H.O.S.E. is usually all fixed limit.
The fact that all the betting is fixed limit in those formats is a big reason why 8 Game Mix has become so popular. This format features everything that H.O.R.S.E. does and also includes no limit Texas Hold’em and pot limit Omaha as well as 2-7 Triple Draw. This makes it a bit more intense and it’s favored by a lot of players
10 Game Mix adds two further variants; no limit 2-7 Single Draw and fixed limit Badugi. This is one of the hardest of all the mixed game formats to be proficient in, simply because of the fact of that there are 10 different variants played.
Best Poker Sites for Mixed Game Formats
Mixed game formats are not as widely offered online as some other poker variants but you do still have some options if you wish to play them. You just need to make sure that you choose where to play carefully and, in particular, that you choose a poker site that gets plenty of players at the mixed game tables.
We’ve put together the following list of what we believe to be the best poker sites for playing mixed format games. They all have a selection of busy tables running at most times of the day and they are all reputable and trustworthy places to play. They perform well in a number of other areas as well, which is why we are happy to recommend them.