Not just one game but a mix of several poker types, HORSE poker contains phases of Texas Holdem, Omaha Eight, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Eight. It is a limit betting game but you can find in some tournament play that the limit is forgiven near the end of the tournament to pick up the pace. HORSE is one of the most visible games in the World Series of Poker and often seen in high stakes poker games to challenge the skills of players during multiple games. Felt to be THE game of games for poker professionals, HORSE demands a complex comprehension of the rules, systems and strategies of many games.
For those players unaccustomed to playing combination games, a concerted effort to educate oneself about the rules of methods of play is mandatory before placing that first bet. It’s true the game is a limit one but it is not difficult to stumble upon extravagant pots and bets on Horse tables particularly since game play can rapidly accelerate. Limits in Horse generally start at $2/4 and then the sky’s the limit. The limit stays across all rounds. Multiple limits can usually be found in casinos as they cater to the player new to the game right on up to the professional high roller.
Methods in HORSE Poker
If only one of the variants in HORSE is your forte, better stick to the low limit tables. The type of poker will change upon each rotation of the dealer button, where you will begin to play up to ten rounds of each variant prior to moving on to the next one. It will be greatly to your advantage to familiarize yourself with each type of poker involved in HORSE so you won’t fall on your face and empty your wallet. Horse poker involves the fundamentals of each of its variants, but you should vary your strategy according to your skill level at each type. Table and tournament varieties of the game are played where you find each of the following in combination:
* Texas Holdem
This is the most played variation and is the mainstay of World Series of Poker. Holdem is a round-type game in which players construct the highest five-card hand from five community cards and two hole cards. None of the hands, one or both of them can be used to structure the highest hand at showdown.
* Omaha Eight or Better
Four cards are dealt in this variant and the majority of players will need at least two of their cards and any three out of five community cards to construct the highest hand. The showdown pots are split between the highest and lowest hand with the low hand having cards ranked between aces and eights.
* Razz Poker
A most unusual variant where the lowest possible hand gets the gold. It is somewhat akin to the low part of Omaha but there are no hand qualifications. The lowest high card is usually the winner, but a master of bluffing strategy can rule the pot as well.
* Seven Card Stud Poker
A very commonly played poker type where players are dealt cards in progression, some face up, some face down. The highest five card hand takes the cake.
* Seven Card Stud Eight or Better
This one is similar to Seven Card Stud but it includes in its play a split pot, split between the lowest hand (with all card values below 8) and the highest hand.