H.O.R.S.E is an acronym that refers to a combination of five different poker games. The games are Limit Hold'em - H, Omaha Hi/Low - O, Razz - R, 7 Card Stud - S, and Stud 8/b - E. An integration of the best aspects of five highly popular games offers the best of excitement and exhilaration.
HORSE Poker strategies essentially revolve around combining the strategies of all five games and adapting to subtle changes in the gameplay. However, most players still find it very difficult to adjust to an ultra-fast game like HORSE poker. Stakes are raised as often as possible and if you are looking for a break from conventional poker games, there is no better option than HORSE poker. However, the game carries a statutory warning. If you do not know the rules and strategies of the five different games, this game is not for you.
As a mixed limit game, HORSE poker is one of the most popular among professional circles. For beginners, though, this game is taboo. One of the primary reasons for this is the inability of most players to shift gears from no-limit to limit games. In no-limit games, defending against draws and acquiring chips wouldnt be a tall order. In limit games, it is just the opposite. Moreover, HORSE poker strategies involve understanding the rules of rarely played games like Razz and Stud Eights or Better. For most players, this ignorance is a handicap and not necessarily, bliss.
The first step to learning HORSE poker strategies is getting acquainted with the strategies of the five games:
- Limit Holdem
- Omaha Hi/Low
- 7 Card Stud
- 7 Card Stud Eights or Better
Since most players have a fair idea of how Limit Holdem, Omaha Hi/Low and 7 Card Stud are played, they would ideally want to whet their skills in Razz and 7 Card Stud eights of better. However, it is essential that the strategies of all five games are combined effectively to formulate your basic HORSE poker strategy.
Limit Hold'em Strategy : H
For most players, this game would be a walk in the park, because this is one of the most regularly played games, both online and in casinos. However, people tend to prefer no-limit games when it comes to tournaments. With limit games, it is essential to understand that a HORSE poker strategy would require an understanding of how the role of draws, pots and bluffs changes. In a limit game like HORSE poker, the draws are quite common; the pots are smaller, while bluffing is not as vital as in no-limit games. HORSE poker strategy requires that you call single bets since you tend to get 10:1 pot odds or better more often than not, especially when you are not sure if the hand you have is the best on the river. In limit holdem, the chances of slow play improving your value are low. This is because you wouldnt receive many opportunities to grow your pot.
Omaha High/Low Split Strategy : O
Omaha H/L is usually played like Holdem. However, you would have to play 2 of the cards that you are dealt. As a part of HORSE poker strategy, you can employ two different cards for the high and low since the best high hand is likely to split the best low. In order to use this HORSE poker strategy for a low hand, you would have to hold a hand with 5 cards 8 or lesser. In this case, the best low hand possible is the A,2,3,4,5. Starting hand HORSE poker strategy is holding hands like A,A,2,3 or A,K,2,3 with both suited Aces, as much as possible. With this hand, nut flush, a strong full house, and/or the nut low hand are possible.
Razz Strategy : R
Razz is a 7 card stud game played for the low. Starting hand HORSE poker strategy essentially involves holding a hand like A,2,3,4,5, which is the best in Razz. More importantly, HORSE poker strategy for the Razz element requires a lot of discretion and caution. 5 low cards are usually needed to be able to qualify. Since most players dont understand Razz, the safest option is to stay alert for bungling opponents with 3 Queens and a showing Ace. This HORSE poker strategy will ensure that you have the best hand with a 9 or a 10-high.
7 Card Stud Strategy : S
HORSE poker strategy for the S element will incorporate the strategies of regular high-card stud games. Starting hand HORSE poker strategy is holding an A,A,A hand. The drawing odds HORSE poker strategy for 7 Card Stud is the same as Holdem. The safest HORSE poker strategy is to have a 2 pair, which the average winning hand in Stud games. Keep an eye on the betting actions of other players and also watch out for their exposed cards.
7 Card Stud Eights or Better : E
HORSE poker strategy for this element is centered on playing for the low. 7 Card Stud eights or better is also known as 7 Card Stud H/L. Basic hand HORSE poker strategy involves holding a low hand with 5 unique cards 8 or lesser in order to qualify. You can get the entire pot if you play sensibly. Starting hand HORSE poker strategy for 7 card stud eights or better is holding A,2,3 or A,A,2. An effective HORSE poker strategy in this game is to make a straight flush like A,2,3,4,5.