Mixed Game Variances
Bankroll Tips and Strategy for Playing Mixed Poker Games
Poker variance is an important thing to understand for a budding poker player. It is crucial to understand that some days the cards will fall your way, while others it will not. But even more important than that, is how to prepare one’s self for these swings by first having an understanding of how each game creates variance since all games use different betting structures.
The topic up for discussion now would be Mixed Games. Now, a common question is “How can Mixed Games create so much variance” Most of them use a fixed limit format. It just does not make sense!” While Mixed Games use a fixed format it is important to remember that this means that it is much cheaper to see a flop, call a bet while on a draw, and just more often than not players will play way more hands in fixed limit games. The biggest difference from fixed limit games to say, no limit games, is the fact that in no limit games players can devote their whole stack at any given time which puts more pressure on opponents.
So with that in mind, it is much easier to picture how Mixed Games can create so much variance. With players playing more often, they will be inclined to lose just as often as they win creating a pretty rocky graph. Although these games will have variance more often then no limit and pot limit games, the biggest difference is in the size of the swings. Since players cannot bet as big in fixed limit games, the amount that can be won or loss is much less thus having smaller swings.
Regardless of the size of the swings, whether good or bad, it is important for players to be properly prepared so that their bankrolls can handle it. What we have provided for you below are some tips on how to properly maintain a bankroll for Mixed Games as well as few tips on how to better control the swings associated with playing Mixed Games.
Mixed Games Bankroll Tips
The first tip to point out is the size of the bankroll a player should strive for. Popular vote tends to lean towards 300 big blinds however; it would be suggested to have as much as possible. If a player were to have a bad 100 big blind swing followed by a positive 25 big blind swing and then another bad 100 big blind swing, then a player is in the hole for almost half their stack. There is nothing wrong for having a bigger bankroll for the stakes you are playing. Another thing to keep in mind is if a player is taking shots or playing the game for the first time, it is important to have a little bit extra to offset the learning curve.
Secondly, it is important to decide when to move up in stakes and when to move down. Moving up needs to be done when a player has consistently beaten the stakes they are playing at now and have anywhere from 300 to 500 big blinds of the stakes they want to move up to. So for example, if a player were playing $.50/$1.00 and wanted to move up to $1/$2 then they would need a minimum of $600, if not $1,000, before taking the shot. More importantly is the amount that a player needs to be below before moving down. If a player were to move up to $1/$2 with $600 then maybe move down when a player has between 300 and 600 big blinds for the stakes they are moving down to. So, if a player were to start with $600 and lost $200 right of the bat, then they may consider moving down to $.50/$1 as they now have 400 big blinds for that level. There is no shame in moving down and it is a very important lesson to learn for all players.
Mixed Game Tips
Having good bankroll tips will do absolutely no good if a player sucks at the game they are playing. As harsh as that may be, it is the truth. This is especially true in Mixed Games, as players need to know how to change gears frequently just to stay in tuned into the game at hand, not to mention opponent tendencies. So, we have provided a few tips below that should help save a few chips in your next game.
Chasing Draws: Chasing draws in Mixed Games is almost impossible at times to avoid. But when doing so, keep in mind your pot odds and odds of hitting your outs to make sure that it is an expected value move in doing so.
Starting Hands: When a player chooses a starting hand, they are setting themselves up for the rest of the hand. While players may think any pair, suited card, or ace-rags is good, the truth of it all is that if it is not the nuts, it can be beaten.
Pay Attention: When playing a Mixed Game, it is imperative that players pay attention. From personal experience, there has been many times where I was still stuck in “Razz” while others were playing Stud in Horse. Aside from being embarrassing, it is also costly.
Sit Out In Your Weaker Games: Obviously it would not be a good strategy to just skip rounds altogether, but if you are stronger in Stud than you are Razz then just stick to playing the “nuts” in Razz to avoid losing lots of chips.
Bankroll Variances in Mixed Games
Although they may not seem like they can have a drastic affect to your bankroll, the truth of the matter is that Mixed Games will have variances that are small in size, yet more frequent than any other game. While keeping this in mind, it is important that players prepare their bankrolls for Mixed Game play. Combined with some of our Mixed Game tips from above, players should be able to hold their own with very little worries in regards to going broke.