Most players who frequent online UK poker venues agree that the size of their bankroll is a critical part of the game. But they also have something else in common – they’re all looking for a challenge. And while some players are still perfectly satisfied with sticking to Texas hold ’em, others are increasingly turning to HORSE poker, which brings something new to the table.
Today, this is one of the most popular multi-game forms of poker at high-stakes tournaments and gambling venues. However, a lot of people aren’t familiar with this variant and have no idea what a winning strategy looks like. That’s why we’ve decided to introduce you to this fantastic form of poker.
Evolution of Mixed Games
A HORSE betting game combines five different poker games that are played with a fixed limit. Every game lasts for one round as players cycle through the different poker disciplines. HORSE is an acronym for these five disciplines:
- H for Hold ’em
- O for Omaha Hi/Lo
- R for Razz
- S for Seven Card Stud
- E for Eight or Better
When it comes to HORSE rules, poker players participate in Texas hold ’em for a specific amount of time before moving on to Omaha and then through remaining poker games. In most tournaments and matches, every game in the HORSE sequence lasts for one round.
The first round starts with Texas hold ’em and moves to Omaha Hi/Lo. The round continues with Razz, followed by Seven Card Stud High Only, and ends with Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo. Every subsequent round of the HORSE card game begins with Texas hold ’em before the same cycle is repeated.
The thrill of the game is the same whether you’re playing HORSE or video poker at betting venues. But the rules are different. For example, when the HORSE game switches from Omaha to Razz, the dealer button remains in the same spot. This is intended to prevent players from skipping blinds or paying additional blinds when the new round goes back to Texas hold ’em.
Of course, you can always follow the game switches on your own, but in a HORSE poker tournament, a live game dealer will inform players about the game change and place a card with the current game at the top of the table.
Fixed Limit Poker
Another important thing to know about this type of poker is that it’s always played as Fixed Limit. A poker player must place all bets or raises in a specific accession that is linked to the table stakes. If you’re more interested in No Limit or Pot Limit poker games, you’re better off sticking to some of the top Bitcoin poker sites.
At a $5 or $10 HORSE poker table with a fixed limit, you can place a $5 lower stake or a $10 upper stake, depending on the poker game you’re playing or the stage of the round/hand you’re participating in. If you put down a lower $5 bet, you can only raise in $5 increments. You’re only allowed four raises in each betting round.
Each Step of the Round
Even though we’ve covered the sequence of play and the betting rules, there are still a few critical factors that you need to familiarise yourself with. If you really want to know how to play HORSE poker, you need to become accustomed with each variant of the game to outsmart other participants.
Texas hold ’em
This is the first of five HORSE games. The Fixed Limit is the only change from Hold ’em games typically played at e-wallet online casinos.
Every player gets two cards face down, which they must combine with the five revealed community cards in the middle of the table. The goal is to create the best possible hand with five of the seven available cards. Some of the best hands in Hold ‘em include a royal flush, four of a kind, and a full house.
The next stage in HORSE poker is the Omaha Hi/Lo game, where each player receives four hole or face-down cards. The cards are mixed with five community cards that all players can use. The winning hand has the best five cards made up of two hole and three community cards. A royal flush is the best hand in Omaha Hi/Lo.
Most Omaha poker games have a Pot Limit or No Limit format. However, in a HORSE game, Omaha is played under the Fixed Limit rule. Omaha Hi/Lo and Texas hold ’em are considered Flop games that include hole cards and a flop, turn, and river being dealt.
Razz is a variant of seven-card stud in HORSE poker or a mix of face up and face down cards, where the most valuable hand is the lowest ranking one. Every player gets seven cards throughout the hand. They have to use five out of these cards to make the lowest ranking hand.
Razz poker can be confusing to Texas hold ’em veterans who are used to chasing the highest-ranking poker hand on their UK gambling apps. Here, an ace is worth one, and you read low hands starting from the highest card down. Hence, the best hand in Razz poker is A-2-3-4-5.
Seven Card Stud High Only
According to poker HORSE rules, this game is similar to Razz poker but is played in reverse. Every player gets seven cards over a seven-card stud hand. Players strive to secure the highest-ranking poker hand. This game has no community cards, and participants can only create hands from the cards dealt to them.
Seven Card Stud Eight or Better
This Seven Card Stud game is commonly referred to as Stud Hi-Lo. It plays similarly to a standard Seven Card Stud game, with each participant getting seven cards throughout the hand. The goal is to secure the highest-ranking five-card hand, followed by the lowest-ranking hand with five cards.
A punter who chooses to play HORSE poker needs to be the first to get the highest-ranking five-card hand to win half of the pot. Afterward, the quickest player making the lowest ranking hand with five cards receives the other half. The player who makes the lowest ranking hand must not have cards higher than an eight. If there are no players with the lowest ranking hand, the second half of the pot goes to the bettor with the highest-ranking hand.
Razz poker, Seven Card Stud High, and Seven Card Stud Eight or Better are Board games. As such, some of your cards are revealed to your opponents.
Creating the Perfect HORSE Poker Strategy
Now that you’re familiar with all the poker games, you need to figure out how to gain an edge over your opponents. Below are a few tips and tricks on how to excel at HORSE games. These are important because juggling between so many poker games can quickly confuse and overwhelm an unprepared player.
Know the Rules of All the Poker Games
Remember that you are not playing one but five different poker games when you choose the HORSE variant. Many of the players who decide to experiment with this variant of poker are ill-prepared and are often familiar with only one game.
The key to winning a HORSE championship is to know the rules of Stud, Razz, and other games. Of course, knowing how to make use of poker bonuses is always a plus.
Use the Fixed Limit
An important part of every cash poker tactic is to make use of your opponents’ weaknesses. Unprepared players that aren’t familiar with all these poker games are used to playing No Limit. It leaves them exposed to the intricacies of Fixed Limit gaming.
If you’re comfortable with the rules of fixed HORSE limit gaming, you’ll gain a significant advantage over your competition, especially in Razz and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo games.
Cover Your Weaknesses
If you’re only knowledgeable about a few of the poker games in a HORSE combination, bear in mind that some players will have the edge during other poker games. And while it’s rude to sit out and not play all of these games, you can minimise the damage with small and cautious bets when faced with superior opponents.
Understand Poker Basics
Here, it’s important to know the basics – what is HORSE poker all about? Knowing these poker basics will help build a winning strategy in any game. The first basic rule is to play in position or act at the end of the hand. The second fundamental rule is to avoid bluffs that don’t make sense. The third rule is not playing every hand; instead, focus on better-starting hands.
Memorise Stud Cards
If you’re new at Stud cards games, you’re better off remembering the cards you’ve seen and those you didn’t. This game is all about outsmarting other players with a few cards available in Stud. Knowing about Stud cards in the HORSE poker game will give you better odds during these confrontations.
Put the Pedal to the Metal
This part is all about putting pressure on the opponents by playing aggressively and forcing them to make difficult choices. Arm yourself with patience and knowledge, and you’ll make other players buckle under pressure.
What does HORSE mean in poker?
HORSE is an acronym for five poker variants: Hold ’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better. The players cycle through each of these games after playing one round.
What are the HORSE poker games?
This poker type includes Texas Hold ’em, Omaha, Razz poker, Seven Card Stud High, and Seven Card Stud Eight or Better.
How does poker HORSE work?
During the first round, players start with Texas hold ’em and then move on to Omaha poker, followed by Razz, Seven Card Stud High, and Eight or Better. At the start of the second round, the player with the dealer button begins with Texas hold ’em again.
What are the 3 types of poker?
The main types of poker are community, Stud, and draw card games. There are many other poker types.