Mixed Poker Games
Mixed poker games have been around for a long time, although it's only relatively recent that they have become popular online. Before Internet poker was around, when the game was mostly played in casinos and poker rooms as well as private homes, a format known as dealer's choice was very common.
In this format, whichever player was the dealer could decide what game would be played. This choice would then be played for either one hand or one orbit of the table. Once completed, the next player to be dealer would then choose the game. There would usually be agreement about exactly which games could be played, but a wide variety would typically be included.
Mixed poker games helped keep things more interesting and helped to even things out against those players who were highly skilled at one particular game. For whatever reason, however, Texas Hold'em became the game of choice and started to dominate the poker scene. Mixed games have made a comeback, and they have started to regain popularity.
On this page we provide details of the mixed game format most commonly played online, which is H.O.R.S.E. We also look at a few other well-known formats and list the best poker sites for playing mixed games.
H.O.R.S.E. is probably the best-known mixed game poker format. It has been featured at the WSOP (World Series of Poker) since 2002 and can be played at a number of leading poker sites. The name H.O.R.S.E. is an acronym made up of the first letter of the five different games played in this format: Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight-Or-Better.
The way it works is really quite simple. The first hand of the game is played using Texas Hold'em and the game switches in each subsequent hand. Texas is followed by Omaha Hi/Lo, which is then followed by Razz and the Seven Card Stud. A hand of Eight-Or-Better is played before another hand of Texas starts the cycle again.
H.O.R.S.E is typically played using a fixed limit betting structure, and can be played in cash game and tournament formats.
Other Mixed Games
There are loads of other mixed game formats: some of the most popular are:
- Hold'em Mixed
- Omaha High/Low Mixed
- 10 Game Mix
- 8 Game Mix
For many of these games, the format is fairly easy to work out by looking at the letters contained in the acronym. H.O.S.E. is just like H.O.R.S.E. but without Razz, while H.O.E excludes Razz and Seven Card Stud. H.O. is just Texas and Omaha Hi/Lo. H.A. is pot limit Texas Hold'em and pot limit Omaha.
Hold'em mixed is fixed limit Texas and no limit Texas; Omaha High/Low mixed is fixed limit Omaha and pot limit Omaha Hi/Lo. A relatively new format, 10 Game Mix features limit Texas, limit Stud Hi/Lo, pot limit Omaha, limit 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Razz, no limit Hold'em, limit Omaha Hi/Lo, Limit Stud Hi, no limit 2-7 single draw, and limit Badugi.
The final format listed above, 8 game mix, features 2-7 Triple Draw, Texas, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo all using fixed limit, plus no limit Texas and pot limit Omaha. As you can imagine, playing formats where both the games and the betting structure change can be somewhat difficult, but there a lot of players who really enjoy them.
Mixed game formats can be great fun to play. They are good for developing skills in a variety of games, and can help prevent boredom from playing a single game all the time. You obviously need to be familiar with the rules of each component game and to be able to cope with switching from one game to the next. However, if you can play the format well, there's plenty of money to be made.
Best Mixed Game Poker Sites
Many of the leading online poker sites offer H.O.R.S.E., and a lot offer a number of other formats as well. If you prefer giving these a try, we suggest looking at the following: currently the best poker sites for playing mixed poker games.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: March 2015
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