Until now we have seen only individual poker games and their categories. Anyone can play them, whether pro, amateur or casual. Enter the new game called HORSE. This variant adds a challenging twist to the standard poker rules: It is not just a game; it is a medley of several different games!
HORSE Poker Rules and Acronym
In HORSE, the game switches from one poker game to another at regular intervals. HORSE is an acronym for the five variants included namely:
H – (Texas) Holdem O – Omaha Hi/Lo R – Razz (7 Card Stud Lo) S – Stud (7 Card Stud Hi) E – Eight or Better (7 Card Stud Hi/Lo)
The games are always played in that order; that is, HORSE always begins with Texas Holdem, followed by Omaha Hi/Lo and so on. The shift may take place after a fixed amount of time – say, 10 minutes – or at certain stages like when the dealer’s button rotates. When a cycle is completed, the game returns to Holdem.
HORSE Games Overview
Holdem – The best known of all poker games. It is a community card game with each player receiving two pocket cards plus five cards shared with other players.
Omaha Hi/Lo – Omaha is a community card game very similar to Texas Holdem, but the number of pocket cards and how hands are made differ. Omaha Hi/Lo divides the pot between the best and worst hands.
Razz – Also known as the game all players love to hate, Razz is the low version of 7 Card Stud.
Stud – This stud game is the standard 7 Card Stud. Players are dealt a mix of hidden and revealed cards and betting is determined by the visible cards.
Eight or Better – Like other poker games, 7 Card Stud has a split pot version. Stud Hi/Lo is the fifth and last game played in HORSE. Low hands must have no cards higher than 8, thus “Eight or Better.”
Combo games like HORSE are popular among professionals and serious players. They let you get away from the monotony of playing by the same poker rules over and over. Moreover the challenge of having to play multiple poker variants weeds out amateur and casual players. So if you are an experienced player looking for a serious new challenge, give a HORSE try. Of course, you will have to be a very knowledgeable and versatile player to win in a mixed game.
The prestigious World Series of Poker now includes HORSE tournaments. With the recent surge in popularity of online poker with its amateur players, HORSE offers pros some exclusivity that they are otherwise losing.