HORSE poker is a combination of the five most popular poker games. It is a serious test of your poker skills and you can play it on numerous HORSE poker sites.
HORSE poker is actually an acronym where each letter stands for one type of poker games:
Finding HORSE poker online is not difficult but it is certainly not as easy as finding the individual games that it’s made of. In order to help you out and prevent you from wandering around the web, we’ve created a list of the best HORSE poker sites which you can check out below.
How to Play HORSE Poker
Since the HORSE poker is a combination of five poker games, it is played by playing one orbit of each game. One orbit of a game means that the ‘dealer’ chip needs to travel a full circle around the table, so if there are six players at the table, six rounds of a game need to be played before the game switches to the next variation.
The order of the games played is always the same and it corresponds to the name: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight-or-Better.
Of course, you need to make sure which game is played at all times. If you play in a land-based casino, the dealer is going to announce when the game switches. When playing in one of the best HORSE poker sites, the name of the game is going to be specified on the top side of the screen.
When playing HORSE poker, all of the games are usually played as fixed limit games. For example, this means that you’re not going to be able to go all in before the flop but will have to raise in increments.
The limits are kept the same for all the games throughout one rotation. For example, if you start with the $5/$10 Texas Hold’em game, the limit will increase when the rotation reaches Texas Hold’em once again.
The Five Games of HORSE Poker
HORSE poker might be intimidating to new and inexperienced players but it can also serve as a great opportunity for such players to develop skills in all five variations and become all-rounded experts. Before that, you need to learn the basics of each game type.
The first game played in HORSE rotation is Texas Hold’em. It is one of the most popular games on poker sites, so most will be acquainted with it. However, it is played in a fixed format, which is slightly different than what most are used to.
In Texas Hold’em, each player receives two cards dealt face down and needs to combine these with five community cards in order to come up with the winning five-card combination.
The rules of Omaha poker are pretty similar to those of Texas Hold’em. The only difference is that players are dealt four cards face down, which they need to combine with five community cards to make a five-card winning combination. This is done by combining two personal cards with three community cards.
Razz is completely different from Texas Hold’em and Omaha, so it requires a different set of skills. Instead of aiming for the highest hand, you need to get the lowest hand in order to win.
Each player receives seven cards, so it is quite similar to the Seven Card Stud. The player needs to use 5 out of 7 cards to come up with the winning combination. The best hand to hope for in Razz poker is A-2-3-4-5.
Seven Card Stud
The Seven Card Stud is the opposite of Razz. Each player also gets seven cards and needs to use five of those to come up with the highest-ranking hand in order to win. Contrary to Hold’em and Omaha, there are no community cards in Stud variations. Players can only use the cards dealt to them.
This is another variation of the Seven Card Stud, which is also known as a Hi/Lo game. In this game, you can either chase the low hand or the high hand, as both will be winning. The best high hand and the best low hand earn half of the pot at the end of each hand. However, if there is no qualifying low hand, the strongest high hand will win the whole pot.
HORSE Poker Playing Strategy
HORSE Poker is one of the most demanding poker games technically speaking, so it is very important to always be on top of your personal game. You can start by checking out some tips that we have prepared for you. These are definitely things to do when playing HORSE poker on the best online poker sites if you want to leave the table with money in your pockets.
Make Sure You Know the Rules of All Games
This might seem to you like common sense but many people start playing HORSE poker thinking they will figure out the rules along the way. So, by knowing all of the rules properly, you will already have an advantage against some players at the table.
Know Your Weak and Strong Points
You should know what game you are best at and act accordingly. It is not gentlemanly to completely skip the game that you are not well-versed in but you can definitely avoid playing heavily in these games.
On the other hand, when the game that you are most experienced in comes into play, you should try playing big pots whenever possible and create an edge for yourself.
Memorize the Up Cards
Of course, this tip applies to Stud poker games. By paying attention to the up cards and trying to memorize them, you will have a good idea of which cards might come next and which are out of question. This will help you figure out which cards your opponents have but also which cards you can expect to get.
HORSE Is a Showdown Game
The Stud-related poker games of the HORSE rotation are Showdown poker games. This means that you should not be playing troublesome hands, play only the hands that you are sure you will take to the showdown. The earlier you discard an uncertain hand, the more money you will save and the longer you can play.
Learn Your Opponents’ Weaknesses
When playing HORSE poker, from time to time you will come against a player that is a specialist in all five HORSE games. However, most of the time, a player will be good at only one or two games and the other ones will be their weak points. Therefore, make sure to figure out these low points and play more aggressively during these rounds. Of course, do so only if these are not also your weak points.
HORSE Poker History
HORSE poker was played for the first time at the World Series of Poker in 2002 when the buy-in was $2000. The winner of the tournaments was John Hennigan, who managed to snatch $117,320 .
HORSE Poker started becoming increasingly popular after this event, reaching its highest ever bid-in at the annual World Series of Poker in 2006. The buy-in was $50,000 and the legendary Chip Reese was the winner, earning $1,716,000 .
Chip Reese passed away in 2007 and today the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy carries his name. The winner of the HORSE event at the annual World Series of Poker gets this trophy as one of the highest prizes .
In 2007, the HORSE poker tournament returned with a $50,000 buy-in, featuring seven smaller events at a $2,250 buy-in. This continued until 2010 when the HORSE World Championship Event was replaced by an eight-game format. The players rotate between the following games:
- 2-7 triple draw
- Texas Hold’em
- Stud 8-or-Below
- No limit Texas Hold’em
- Pot Limit Omaha
However, the original five-game HORSE rotation is still very popular and is offered by many top online poker sites. We have compiled the list above, so make sure to check it out if you wish to test your HORSE playing skills.