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See HORSE Poker Strategy

HORSE is actually an acronym describing a combination of poker games:

  • Hold'em
  • Omaha high-low
  • Razz (Seven card stud low)
  • Stud (Seven card stud high)
  • Eight-or-better (Seven card stud high-low)

The background of HORSE

In large cash games in brick-and-mortar casinos, the players often agree to play a mix of poker games rather than a single game. This reduces the edge that a single-game specialist has, and emphasizes a player's breadth across multiple versions of poker. Many people feel that HORSE and other mixed games are the best judge of a player's true poker ability.

HORSE has also gotten a lot of publicity because it was added to the 2006 World Series as a $50,000 buy-in event - the largest buy-in event at the *WSOP. And it is now part of WCOOP, the World Championship Of Online Poker, held annually on PokerStars.

HORSE is one of many popular mixed game variants. PokerStars offers both HORSE and "HOSE", which is just HORSE without the Razz (seven card stud low) round.

Playing HORSE

HORSE is played as one "round" of each of its component games. It begins with limit hold'em, then limit Omaha high-low, razz (seven card stud low), seven card stud, and finally seven card stud high-low. When the seven-card stud high-low round is complete, the game goes back to limit hold'em, and so on. You can tell which game is being dealt by looking at the top border of the table window.

When switching from Omaha high-low to Razz, the button is frozen. That way, when the game switches back to hold'em (after seven card stud high-low), nobody skips blinds or pays extra blinds.

All the component games in HORSE are played fixed limit - there are no pot-limit or no-limit games. The limits (such as $5-10) are kept throughout the game rotation, and you play $5-10 fixed limit hold'em, $5-10 fixed limit Omaha high-low, etc.


HORSE and HOSE are great ways to develop expertise in multiple games, and break up the monotony of playing a single game throughout a session. We encourage you to get comfortable with each of the component games first so you'll know what's going on, and then jump right into the HORSE and HOSE games.



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