5 Mixed Games That Give You a Big Advantage Over Amateur Poker Players
As the number of players competent at Texas Hold'em grows, pros and skilled amateurs are looking for games where they have a distinct edge over other players.
Some non-Hold'em games offer a better advantage to skilled players over others. Part of this is due to lack of popularity while others are up and coming games that just aren't quite mainstream.
Below are the games we believe give skilled players the best advantage over the average poker player.
1. Stud 8 or Better
Stud 8 or Better is perhaps one of the most misunderstood non-Hold'em games. Most players want to try to play this game like regular Stud with the low pot as an afterthought.
The key to success in this game is to always play for the scoop and this impacts the poker strategy one employs beginning with starting hand selection all the way to showdown.
You can spot the bad players in this game based on starting hand selection and for most players this snowballs into multiple bad decisions per hand.
Players that are skilled at Badugi have a major advantage over other players due to the fact that the game is lightly spread in the live arena and still gaining traction online.
The object of Badugi is to make a four-card non-pairing hand with one of each suit. This is called a Badugi. In the event more than one player has a Badugi hand, the lowest hand wins.
Badugi is a triple draw lowball variant that is becoming increasingly popular with pros. Players that learn the nuances of this game will have a distinct advantage over most players in a mixed game setting.
3. 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
This five card draw variant is a game that has become popular because of online poker sites but still gives you a solid advantage over the standard amateur mixed games player.
The reason is that most players like to draw too thin in this game. It is often incorrect to draw more than two cards in this game or to start a draw to anything higher than an eight.
Players make mistakes in this game when they draw too thin or they chase hands when they are clearly behind. An example would be chasing two cards to an eight when your opponent is drawing one or standing pat after the first or second draw.
Discipline in this game will give you a huge advantage over most players but smart play coupled with discipline will make you one of the stronger lowball players in most games.
4. Omaha Hi-Lo
Omaha Hi-Lo is not a new game for most mixed game players, but you will still find a high percentage of players that play this game poorly.
Again, starting hand selection is key in this game as is going for the scoop. However, many players will chase too often after one way hands.
Unless you have the nuts one way in an Omaha Hi-Lo hand, it is usually unwise to chase after half the pot in a multi-way pot. This will be a long-term loser.
Also, there are many players that miss out on certain nuances of the game that wind up costing them money.
One example is chasing down a low with A-2 with no chance for high in a multi-way pot. The chances of quartering are high and you will lose in this scenario long term.
The best Omaha Hi-Lo players almost always are going for the scoop and understand the game better than the typical amateur.
This is where the advantage is in this game and something that makes the difference between a winning player and a break-even or losing one.
For those that focus exclusively on live poker Razz is a game you seldom see outside of WSOP season. Online poker players have more experience with this game because it is still spread, but still not with the same frequency as other games.
Razz is more than just solid starting hand selection. While a solid understanding of starting hands is key, there is one other skill that will win you more money in the game over the standard amateur.
Razz is a game where representing a hand will pay off huge long term. Players can see up to four cards in your hand and each time you improve, you have to represent that you are drawing or have hit a strong hand.
The difference between a winning Razz player and a losing one is the ability to identify situations where they need to represent a strong hand and take advantage of those spots.