HORSE is also known as a “Mixed” game of poker. It is made up of five of the most well-known poker variations and is played in a rotating fashion. This is the ultimate game of skill, as it requires players to have skill in many poker variations.
HORSE is very popular in both online and land-based poker rooms. It is also a main event in the World Series of Poker as well as in other live poker tournaments. It is a well-known event that has been featured in some of the most prestigious poker tournaments.
HORSE is an extremely advanced game. Players must be familiarized with all five poker variants. Before you attempt to play HORSE, it is highly recommended that you learn and practice each variant of poker.
What is HORSE?
HORSE has 5 variants of poker that are rotated in an order:
- H = Texas oldem
- O = maha
- R = Razz
- S = 7 Card Stud High
- E = 7-Car Stud ight or better
Each variant will only be played for a certain amount of time before moving on to the next. Each variant will only be played for a set amount of time. The dealer button will pass around each player once.
If the blind levels are changed in a tournament, the game type also changes.
In a tournament, you might play Texas Holdem with 4 to 5 hands at $1/$2 blinds. Then switch to Omaha with blinds $2/$4. The next blind increase would change the game to Razz. Play switches to Texas Holdem when the blinds in 7-Card Stud 8 or better increase.
Fixed Limit Poker – How To Bet
HORSE is played with a fixed limit format. This means that players must place all Bets and Raises within a predetermined increment, which is proportional to the stakes at the table.
If you’re playing at a $1/$2 table, for example, you might choose to use either the lower stake of $1, or the higher stake of $2, depending on which game variant you were playing or what stage you’re in.
In this example, a bet must equal $1 if the stake is lower. An additional $1 would be added to the total stake to make it $2. A third raise would add $1 to make it $3.
Each round can only have 4 raises
Texas Holdem = H
Texas Holdem is the first HORSE game and will be the most familiar to players. However, it is played in Fixed Limit format which is a slight change from the No Limit Holdem format.
Texas Holdem requires that each player receive 2 cards face-down and must then combine them with the 5 community cards in the middle of the table to create the best 5-card poker hand.
Learn how to play Texas Holdem by reviewing our comprehensive guide to Texas Holdem Rules.
O = Omaha Poker
Omaha Poker follows the same rules as Texas Holdem. Each player gets 4 hole cards, and must combine them with the 5 community cards in the middle of the table.
To create the best 5-card poker hand, players must use only 2 hole cards and 3 community card.
This is again played in Fixed Limit format. Regular Omaha players will be more comfortable playing in Pot Limit or no Limit formats.
For more information on how to play Omaha, please see our complete guide to Omaha Poker Rules.
R = Razz Poker
Razz is a new game because the goal is not to have the best poker hand but to get the least.
It’s played in the same format as 7-card Stud poker. Each player will be given 7 cards and must use 5 cards to make the lowest ranking hand.
Ace counts as low (number 1); low hands are read starting with the highest card, so A-2-3-4-5 is the best Razz hand.
Learn how to play Razz Poker by reviewing our complete guide to Razz Poker Rules.
S = Seven Card Stud
Similar to Razz poker players will each receive 7 cards during a seven-card stud hand.
The goal is to reverse Razz and get the highest-ranking poker hand.
Stud-based games do not have share or “community cards” like Omaha and Holdem. Players can only use the cards dealt to them.
Learn how to play 7-Card Stud by reviewing our comprehensive guide to 7 Card Stud Rules.
E = 7 Card Stud Eight Or Better
7 Card Stud 8 Or Better is also known as Hi Lo or High Low. It is a sight variant of the 7 card stud.
Each player gets 7 cards in a hand. However, this time the objective is mixed and they have two hands.
First, make the highest-ranking 5 card hand. This is just like regular 7 Card Stud. Half of the pot will be awarded to the player who achieves this feat.
The second option is to make the lowest 5 card hand. This is similar to Razz. However, the hand must be qualified by not having a card higher than 8. The winning pot will be split half between the player with the lowest qualifying hand and the one who has the highest ranking. The entire pot will be awarded to the highest hand player if no one has a qualifying low-hand.
Learn how to play 7 card Stud Eight or Better by reviewing our comprehensive guide to 7 Card Stud Rules.