Poker Stars 8-Game Strategy – Part #1

This article looks at 8-Game Poker Strategy from the perspective of someone with a little poker experience already under their belt who wishes to profit from these games. It is divided into two sections. The first contains general strategy adjustment and looks at how to exploit the opponents you will meet in these games. The second goes through a rotation of the games and briefly highlights specific strategy areas for each.

For those who have not yet discovered 8-Game Poker, this is specific to Poker Stars and involves a rotation of 2-7 Triple Draw, Fixed Limit Holdem, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Stud, Stud Hi-Lo, No-Limit Holdem and Pot-Limit Omaha. It is popular and potentially profitable due to the large number of recreational players the game attracts. If you do not already have an account at Poker Stars then now is the time to find out exactly why this is the most popular poker site by a long way. When you first deposit, you are entitled your 100% to $600 sign-up bonus and entry to the VIP club which awards cash bonuses to regular players.

General Strategy Overview

Strategy for 8-Game Poker is as much driven by the type of opponents you face than the games played. The recreational players who often sit down at these tables have not logged on for the evening to sit folding – they want to play and will bet and call with a range of sub-standard hands, often winning pots where a more experienced player would have folded.

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Adjusting to this takes 2 main forms. You must bet for value with lesser holdings and charge worse hands the maximum possible to draw out on you. Sure, once in a while you’ll lose a big pot while holding a decent hand, but those times you make bets will more than make up for this over time.

We also recommend that you keep pots small on the early betting rounds where you have a good but not great hand. Raising is fine (and profitable) if you can force another player out of the pot or ensure position for later rounds. However when everyone is likely to call you are building a pot in which it will be correct for your opponents to keep calling you, due to the odds they see on later streets.

Where you have certain games in which you are strong and some that you are weaker adjust the mix of hands that you play. For example, if you win at Holdem and Stud but only break-even in the Fixed Limit Omaha Hi-Lo games then fold more hands, this will give you a tighter image for when the rounds that you specialize in come around. Conversely many players would benefit from opening starting hand requirements up during the ‘big bet’ pot limit and no-limit games. If you have opponents who will easily get all-in with an over-pair (or other trash) in PLO then you have the implied-odds to call with any reasonably coordinated hand – especially when in position on the weaker players.

Remember that you will face many recreational players – they will keep donating their money as long as they are having fun. Never criticize a bad decision, even when you lose a big pot. Remember that over time the cash will flow from their stack to yours, a timely ‘nice hand’ in the chat can ensure this happens sooner rather than later.