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PokerStars recently introduced a new mixed-game, 8-game, to their games. 8-game combines eight different poker games in a 6max format, testing a player’s ability in a wide variety of games. 8-game can be played in both a cash game and tournament format, including the new 8-game SNGs.
The games run at buy-ins as high as $1060+$50 and as low as $1+$.20. There are regular and turbo formats, the lowest turbo running at $3+$.25. The difference between the two is the speed in which the blinds increase and the games change. Every time the blinds change the game changes as well.
The blind structures can be found below, in the regular format the blinds change every six minutes, in the turbo structure the blinds change every three minutes:
15/30 Blinds 2-7 Triple Draw
20/40 Blinds Limit Hold’em
25/50 Blinds Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
50/100 Limit Razz Ante: 10
60/120 Limit Stud Ante: 12
80/160 Limit Stud Hi/Lo Ante: 16
25/50 Blinds NL Hold’em Ante: 5
30/60 Blinds Pot-Limit Omaha
80/160 Blinds 2-7 Triple Draw
100/200 Blinds Limit Hold’em
125/250 Blinds Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
300/600 Limit Razz Ante: 60
400/800 Limit Stud Ante: 80
500/1000 Limit Stud Hi/Lo Ante: 100
150/300 Blinds NL Hold’em Ante: 40
200/400 Pot-Limit Omaha
8-game is played as a 6max game because of 2-7 Triple Draw and the limits of cards in the deck. Because of this only two-players get paid in each 6-person SNG. Here are typical pay outs for some of the more popular buy-in levels:
$3+$.25 Turbo 1-Table
$3+$.40 Regular 3-Table
$20+$2 Regular 1-Table
As you can see there are many different games, to be successful at these SNGs one must understand how all of the games play.
2-7 Triple Draw
2-7TD is a draw game. There are four betting rounds and the bet doubles after the 2nd round. Each player receives five cards and the goal is to make the worst poker hand possible. Straights and flushes count against a player, and the Ace is high, therefore the best possible hand is 2-3-4-5-7. Players can draw anywhere from 0 (standing pat) to 5 cards in each round.
Limit Hold’em is a community card game. Each player receives two hole-cards and there is an initial round of betting. Once this round is complete three cards are spread in the middle of the table, known as the “flop”. Every player can use these cards to improve their two hole cards. Another betting round commences. Once this round is complete, a fourth card is dealt face-up and this time the bets are doubled. After the fourth round (or “turn”) a fifth and final card in revealed. A final betting round occurs and the best five-card poker hand wins the pot
Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
Omaha Hi/Lo uses the same betting structure as Hold’em except players are dealt four cards and must use two from their hand and three from the board. On top of this Omaha Hi/Lo is a split pot game in which half of the pot is awarded to the best five-card poker hand and the other half is awarded to the lowest five-card poker hand. The Ace can be used for the high, low, or both, and players are allowed to win (or scoop) both halves of the pot.
Razz is a Stud Variation in which every player starts with 2 hole-cards and one door (or “up”) card. The player with the highest door-card showing must bring in an initial bet, and all other players can call or raise the bet. The object of the game is to make the lowest 5-card poker hand, with A-2-3-4-5 being the nuts. There will be a round of betting after the initial deal and after each subsequent card is dealt. After the 6th card the bet doubles.
Stud uses the same betting structure as Razz. The major differences is that in Stud the best five-card poker hand wins and the initial forced bet is from the lowest door-card. There is one special rule to Seven-Card Stud that differs from Razz, on third street (where each player has two up-cards) if any player has a pair showing he/she is allowed to employ a “double bet”, meaning in a $5/$10 game instead of using the normal $5 bet on fourth street the player with a pair showing can either check, bet $5 or bet $10.
Limit Stud Hi/Lo
Stud Hi/Lo (or Stud8b) is another split pot game in which half of the pot is awarded to the best five-card poker hand and the other half is awarded to the best five-card low hand, which is five cards 8 or lower. In the event there is no eligible low-hand the high card wins the entire pot. The same betting rules apply in this game as they do in Seven-Card Stud. The bring-in remains with the player with the lowest card showing and the first person to act on subsequent rounds is the player with the best high-hand showing.
The major difference between this game and Limit Hold’em is that at any given time a player can bet all of his/her chips. Each player starts with 2 hole cards and then sees the flop, turn, and river with a betting round after each is dealt. In 8game NL has an ante, which is an additional forced bet outside of the blinds that helps to increase action.
Pot-Limit Omaha is another Hold’em variant where players receive four cards and must use only two from their hand and at the most three from the board. Players are limited by the size of the pot in how many chips they can bet. The best five-card poker hand wins the pot after the flop, turn, and river is dealt. Pot-Limit Omaha tends to be an action game with many drawing opportunities.
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