Poker Stars 8-Game Strategy – Part #2

In Part #1 of this 2-part series we introduced Poker Stars new mixed game known as ‘8-Game Poker’ and outlined some general strategy tips based on the nature of opponents that you are likely to meet at the tables. This article continues by looking at the specific strategy adjustments and things to look out for in each of the 8 games which make up this entertaining and profitable form of Mixed Game Poker.

PokerStars 8-Game Strategy – Game Based View

2-7 Triple Draw. The first tip here is to read the rules, many times we have seen otherwise solid players play a hand with an ace for a big pot. In this game aces are high and straights and flushes do count against you. What is more position is very important as it is a big advantage to see how many cards your opponents draw. Starting hands should usually involve 3 non-straightening cards 7 or below from early position or 3 to a smooth 8 in later position, stay cautious with ‘rough’ hands – where you have 3 low cards but at the higher end (for example 5-6-8-X-X should rarely be played).

Limit Holdem. For those players more used to no-limit there are several adjustments to make. The first is that more hands will be shown down, especially at the loose / passive lower level 8-game tables. Secondly it is rarely a good idea to fold on the river – since your call will usually have great odds when compared to the size of the pot. Bear in mind that raising early can easily build a pot to the size when every player is ‘correct’ to chase draws all the way to the end.

Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8-Or-Better. We have an entire section dedicated to Omaha Hi-Lo here at Omaha Planet. Here we will mention the adjustments you should look to make against recreational opponents. These are really just ‘good O8 strategy plus’ with the plus being to make even more sure your hand has nut potential, 2-way possibilities and is counterfeit proof. When you do make a nut or strong 2-way hand then bet it as fast and hard as possible – you will get paid off by some very unlikely holdings.

Razz. The low-only version of 7-card stud does not count straights or flushes and counts the ace as a low card – making the best hand A-2-3-4-5, known as the ‘wheel’. Razz is a game where the cards you have seen are very important, if you have seen 5 or 6 low cards that you need by 5th street then it can be correct to fold a hand you might otherwise have raised with. It can also be worth understanding how draws compare to made ‘rough’ hands, for example if you have a 1-card live draw to a smooth 7 you will often be a favorite against a rough 8 on 5th street, and actually a big favorite against a rough 8-7.

7-Card Stud. Again the cards that you see (or have seen folded) make a big difference to your strategy. Inexperienced players will often bet and raise with the highest upcard regardless of opponents – identify these as early as possible as this strategy will often result in going broke fast (with the exception of an extremely passive table). Remember that Stud games have one more betting round than Omaha or Texas Holdem – this can make an error on an early street costly if you find yourself priced in to call.

7-Card Stud Hi-Lo Split. The 8-or better qualifier means that the old myth about going for low only is well and truly dead – however the premium starting hands in this game remain the ‘suited babies’ particularly those which contain an ace. Folded cards are again important, as are opponents at the ‘recreational’ end of the scale who will bet furiously to win half of the pot – remember that with a 2-way draw you will often be freerolling against these types (minus a little extra rake). Since your passive opponents will stay in the pot with shaky holdings you should often try and charge 2 bets to continue on 5th street, when the betting limit has doubled.

No-Limit Holdem. Players that you find at a typical lower-limit 8-game table are unlikely to be the hyper-aggressive 6-max sharks from the mid buy-in NLHE tables. They will usually be passive, try and slowplay at every opportunity and overplay top-pair type hands horribly for their entire stack. Position and aggression are the key factors in taking the cash from this type – you can exercise some pot control on later rounds if you meet too much resistance.

Pot-Limit Omaha. The few hands of PLO Poker every round of the games should be any Omaha Planet readers dream come true. Opponents who will draw to the low end of a straight on a paired 3 flush board will never keep their stack too long. Over-valuing overpairs or 2-pair hands (even low / mid set) is endemic. Play a wide range of hands and be prepared to get it in when things look favorable – you will rarely have such good opponents as this!

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