If you are looking for a challenge after playing poker for years, Horse poker should be the next game you play. It is a mixture of five poker games in rotation. The name of the game is an acronym formed from the poker variants. The letters, H.O.R.S.E actually stand for:
Eight or better
The variants in horse are usually played using a fixed-limit betting structure. To play this game, you will to understand all five variations. Read our guide below to learn how to play Horse poker.
If anything Horse is an advanced game of poker, and to do well in it, you will have to be familiar with the rules of all five poker variants. You will have to spend some time practicing each of the variations individually before you play.
How it works is that each variation is played for specific amount of time before switching to the next variation. The time spent on each variation will differ. At a cash table, the dealer button will complete do a complete rotation, which is generally 5 to ten hands, before changing the game.
During a Horse poker tournament, this can differ. The game will change each time the blinds increase. The rotation of the games can also go on for some time.
Games that Make Up Horse
For a clearer understanding of how Horse works, here is a detailed description of each game below:
H – Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is the first step of the game. In this game, your position is important. You will be dealt two cards, which you have to use along with the community cards to create a winning five-card hand.
The community cards are dealt face-up in the middle of the table. You can choose to keep none, one or both of your hole cards to create your hand.
O – Omaha Poker
Omaha poker has similar rules to Texas Hold’em, but you will get four hole cards and five community cards to create a winning hand. You can only use two hole and three community cards to great your hand.
R – Razz Poker Rules
Now, this is where the game gets exciting. Razz plays similarly to seven-card stud as you will get seven cards to create a winning hand.
You may only use five cards, and you will have to create the lowest ranking hand rather than the highest. In fact, the best hand in Razz is a 5, 4, 3, 2, and ace straight.
S – Stud Poker
Moving on from creating the lowest hand, in Stud Poker, you will have to create highest-ranking hand using seven cards. You receive seven cards with five cards being community cards.
E – Eight or Better
At first glance, you may think this is a video poker game, but it isn’t. Actually, the Eight or Better video poker comes from the Seven-Card Stud Eight or better. It is also commonly known as high low or hi-lo.
It is a variation of seven-card stud, and in this game, you have to create two winning hands from the seven cards dealt.
Our first-hand consists of the highest paying five-card hand. If you manage to post the best hand, you will win half the pot. The second hand will consist of a low-ranking hand that has cards lower than 8. The player that has the lowest hand will win the other half of the pot.
Horse Poker Strategy
The only way you can improve your chances of winning in Horse is practicing each variation. With that, we have few pointers you can use get you started.
Each game uses its own specific strategies. You have to understand each game and how to switch your strategy to be relevant to the game at hand.
Know your strengths and weakness of each game to know where to focus most of your attention.
Don’t shy away from playing bigger pots in games you play very well.
Stick to the basic gameplay for the games you may struggle with.
Be aggressive as this may pressure your opponent to maker bad decisions.