How To Play H.O.R.S.E.
Monday, 17. May 2010

It is not uncommon in the higher stake casino tables that players will agree to play a mixture of different poker variations rather than a single game. This ostensibly reduces the edge that any one player might have as a specialist of a particular poker variation thus testing each player’s skill over a variety of different games. Most experienced players would agree that mixed games such as H.O.R.S.E. and H.O.S.E. are the best test of a player’s true ability as a poker player. H.O.R.S.E. in particular amongst the mixed games has gained a great deal of popularity with it’s introduction into the lineup of games offered in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 2006 as a $50,000 buy in event.

H.O.R.S.E. is an acronym for a series of 5 different poker variations:

Hold’em (Texas Hold’em)
Omaha Hi/Lo
Stud (Seven Card Stud)
Eight or better (Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo)

A game of H.O.R.S.E. will be made up of a round of each one of its component games. Depending upon the online poker room, a round will generally be made up of several hands. A game of H.O.R.S.E. will begin with a round of Limit Texas Hold’em, then a round of Omaha Hi/Lo, then a round of Razz, then a round of Seven Card Stud and finally a round of Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo. Once the round of Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo is complete, the game goes back to Limit Texas Hold’em and so it continues. When playing H.O.R.S.E. in an online poker room, the game played will always appear prominently on the game window.

Players will notice when playing H.O.R.S.E. that when the game changes from Omaha Hi/Lo to Razz, the dealer button doesn’t move. The reason for this is so no one will skip a blind or pay extra blinds when the game switches from Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo back to Texas Hold’em.

Mixed games such as H.O.R.S.E. and H.O.S.E. are not only a great way to judge a player’s overall poker skill but it is also a great opportunity for players to get some practice with games that they might not necessarily play on a regular basis.

Visit PokerStars and checkout their fantastic lineup of H.O.R.S.E and other mixed games tables.