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Coronavirus Lockdown Poker Strategies Part Three: Learning New Games and Formats

1,276 Views on 5/6/20

Let’s take a look at some of the options we have and what some of the positives and negatives are for each of the choices

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One of the effects of living under lockdown conditions is boredom. There is no ignoring this if you want to remain in a relatively happy state. Fortunately, as poker players we now have an opportunity to start to mix it up.

Just think how many times over the years you have toyed with the idea of learning a new game or format just to increase your enjoyment of the game. Well, now you’re going to have to start thinking like that again until life gets back to normal and that could take a long time judging by what has happened so far this year.

Let’s take a look at some of the options we have and what some of the positives and negatives are for each of the choices.


This is the daddy of boredom killers for a poker player. If you’re ever feeling tired of your usual format then give 8-game a try.

Eight games rotating constantly is enough to keep even the most easily bored person entertained. Not only that but it is a favourite amongst the world’s elite when playing nosebleed stakes in places like Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio Casino, Las Vegas.

It is often said that mixed games are the truest test of a player’s skill so why not give it a go. When the World Series of Poker finally comes around again there will be a great opportunity to go and play all of these games live in the spiritual home of poker.

While the online pickings of this format are, unfortunately, a bit thin, these old classics are still played across the state of Nevada today by many.

If you’re really getting bored, you can also seek out new games that might be added to the mixed games rota in coming years.

  • Badugi
  • Badeucy
  • Razzdugi
  • Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw
  • Crazy Pineapple Hi/Lo

NL Cash or Tournaments?

This is the classic switcheroo. Should you carry on with cash games or give tournaments a try? If you’re getting pummeled with variance playing large field MTTs then maybe you’re thinking about giving 6 max cash games a whirl.

Under lockdown conditions, it’s almost certainly worth keeping your fresh and trying out something new. This, of course, comes with the usual advice of following bankroll management because unseasoned tournament players can be shocked at how brutal their variance can be.

You shouldn’t be taking a switch too seriously right now, the idea is just to keep yourself sane while you can’t go out and do the things you’d like to do.

If you’re going to give tournaments a try then do it with a relaxed state of mind with the attitude that you’re just going to learn something new rather than have the same success at your usual format.

PLO - Can You Handle the Variance?

Pot Limit Omaha is another game that punishes the weak minded. The variance is said to be more than double what a NL player can expect. But the thing with PLO is, is that it’s extremely interesting and fast paced.

In comparison with tournaments where you are forced to play tight due to the stack depth, PLO is a game where you can play an insane number of hands, and legitimately too.

In a nutshell, you won’t ever be bored playing PLO. This is the ultimate lockdown poker variant.

NL Short Deck 

Short Deck NL is the coming game for the poker world, of that there is no doubt. By removing the lower cards from the deck we have been left with an insanely exciting game that has the seal of approval from the world’s best players.

The Triton Super High Roller Series has showcased the elite playing this game in both cash and tournament formats and the reaction has been nothing but positive.

We can be sure that if this carries on being the case then it will be used during major festivals all over the world when the lockdown ends.


Mark Patrickson

Mark Patrickson is a professional cash game player grinding stakes up to 100nl 6 Max NL Hold'em13 years experience of poker, across MTT SnG and cash, FL PL NL.Currently living in South East Asia and trying to make it back to mid-stakes befo ... Read More


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