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Updated: July 10, 2024

8-Game Poker

8-Game Poker or simply 8-Game is a type of poker event where 8 different disciplines of the game are played. It is usually a tournament format where the variant of poker played changes with each round or one complete orbit (a full rotation of hands where the blinds have passed around all the players at the table).

The popularity of having mixed games in poker increased after it was introduced in the most prestigious tournaments – WSOP. The $1500 Buy-In 8-Game mix is played in Las Vegas every year.

What is 8-Game Poker?

In general terms 8-Game Poker is a poker variant consisting of eight separate disciplines of poker played on rotation. The disciplines are in order: 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or better, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Stud Hi-Lo 8 or better, No Limit Texas Hold’em, and Pot Limit Omaha.

The variant was introduced in the year 2006 as the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E, and was played under this format until 2010. After it became the Poker Players Championship, then the format was switched to 8-Game Poker. It has remained this way till date, but in some tournaments the 10-Game variant has also been played since 2015, that includes Badugi, and No-Limit Single Draw.

The Eight Games in 8-Game Poker

  • Texas Hold’em: The most popular variant of poker in which players have to use their two hole cards, and combine them with the 5 available community cards on the deck to make the best five card hand. 
  • Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or better: In Omaha Hi-Lo to win, each player has to make two separate hand combinations. One five card high hand following the standard hand combinations, and one five card Ace-5 low hand (eight-high or lower to qualify). The entire pot winnings is split between the high and the low hand. One player can win both or it gets split between two players.
  • Razz: This is a form of Stud poker that is normally played for Ace-5 low hands (Lowball poker). It is one of the oldest forms of poker, and has been played since the start of the 20th century.
  • Seven Card Stud: 7-Card Stud is played with two face down cards, and one face up card dealt to all players before the first round of betting. This is followed by three more face up cards with a round of betting after each card is dealt. The hand ends with the dealing of one more face down card, and a final round of betting. Players have to make the best five card poker hand from these cards to win the pot.
  • Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or better: The Hi-Lo 8 or better variant of Seven Card Stud is a split pot game, played between 2-8 players. Players are dealt seven cards, three of them are face down, and the other four cards are face up. Winner is decided by either the highest possible hand combination or the lowest (the highest card can’t be more than 8).
  • Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball: Two to seven or Deuce to seven Triple Draw Lowball is a poker game in which the lowest poker hand wins the game at showdown. It’s a draw game, meaning that you are dealt five cards at the start, and have to keep drawing or discarding in each round to get a replacement number of cards.
  • Pot Limit Omaha: PLO is similar to Texas Hold’em, and the second most popular variant of poker played across the world. There is PLO 4, 5 and 6, in each version the number mentioned is the number of hole cards given to the player. To win the player has to make the best five card hand combination using 2 cards from their hole cards, and 3 more cards from the community cards.
  • No Limit Hold’em: No Limit is a form of Texas Hold’em, and as the name suggests it is played under No Limit rules, meaning the betting amounts and the number of raises can be unlimited. Every player at any time can bet as much as they wish or simply go All-In. 

Basic Rules of Each Game

In 8-Game Poker, there are three general types of poker games: Flop, Board and Draw. So the basic rules are:

  1. The four Hold’em/ Omaha variants are Flop types of poker, meaning they have a Flop, Turn and River round in them.
  2. The three board games (Razz, Stud and Stud Hi-Lo) are played with board rules, meaning the players have their own boards laid out in front of them for all players to see.
  3. Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball is the only Draw type variant in the mix. Here players have to draw, and discard cards to get replacement cards numbering 5. Using those cards they have to make the lowest 5 card hand possible.
  4. Omaha Hi-Lo and Stud Hi-Lo are the split pot games. The rules are simple, as players have to make both a high hand and a low hand to win the pot. If two different players make a hand each, then the pot is split.

Strategies for 8-Game Poker

Since 8-Game Poker has several variants in the mix, it is important to consider some of the strategies given below:

  1. Understand the basic rules of all the different variants first, and formulate strategies for how each round is played out in each of them.
  2. Understand your relative strengths and weaknesses in each type of poker variant. You cannot win in all of them, so consider the strong ones first.
  3. Avoid going into betting battles with opponents who are considerably stronger, and are trying to bluff you to lose all your money.
  4. In split pot games, try and win one part of the pot. You cannot win the entire pot all the time.
  5. Also, in Hi-Lo games, start building your hands early. If you feel that the hand you have been dealt is somewhere in the middle, drop out of the game.

Tips for Mastering 8-Game Poker

  • Try to understand the poker rules of all 8 variants and master them first. If you show weakness in any of the games, your opponents will exploit it.
  • Prepare yourself with multiple strategies, what you think is an optimal strategy for one type of poker, may be suboptimal for others.
  • Understanding of hands is critical when there are so many variants involved. Learn to recognize the best starting hands for each variant.
  • Positional awareness is critical in mixed games. Play more aggressively in later positions than in early ones.
  • Reading opponents is a good way to understand strategies. Practice reading your opponents, and their hands.
  • Understand your opponents tendencies before you decide to bluff. You can formulate a good bluffing strategy, and take out more senior opponents.
  • Fatigue becomes a crucial component of your game since it’s a long tournament with 8 games in the mix. Constant changing of rules and tempo can cause you to lose focus. Try and stay in the game by changing strategies or betting tempo to keep your focus.

8-Game Poker or mixed poker is really enjoyable between 6-8 players at a poker table, going through 8 different disciplines of poker. The 8-Game is mostly played in tournaments, and can be tough against seasoned players. Try playing the different variants against amateur players to improve your skills, and strategies for each variant.


1. How to play 8-Game Poker?

Players play their way through 8 different poker disciplines in rotation. The disciplines are in order: 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo 8, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8, No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha.

2. What is 8-Game Poker?

A tournament version of poker, where 8 different disciplines are played in rotation. There are four flop, three board and one draw type of poker discipline played.

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