HORSE can be defined as one of the mixed game variants of poker.  This format is quite popular in WSOP and is generally played by players in land based casinos.  The reason behind playing this combination of the card games can be attributed to the fact that it reduces the edge of single game specialist.  In order to be successful in HORSE Poker, a player must be proficient in all the games included in this combination.

HORSE is an acronym used for a combined tournament of different variants of Poker which include  

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Omaha Hi/Lo   
  • Razz 
  • Stud
  • Eight or Better

It is a common belief that playing HORSE reveals the actual ability of a poker player.  The rising popularity of this version can be also ascribed for being a popular contest in the World Championship of Online Poker.

Game Play of the HORSE

The game play of the HORSE requires that one round of each game ascribed to this combination must be played among the players.  It usually begins with Texas Hold’em, its fixed limit version, and then rotates through all the above mentioned variants.   It should be noted that Razz, Stud and Eight or Better are generally played as seven card stud low, seven card stud high and seven card stud high-low variant respectively.

When players reach the end of the Seven Card Stud, then the game is restarted again from Texas Hold’em.

A Short Introduction of Constituents of HORSE

Texas Hold’em:  Texas Hold’em is one of the most common variations of standard poker.  This game is played with a standard deck of cards.  It deals with two hole cards and five community cards with face sides up in three rounds known as “The Flop”, “The Turn” and the “The River”.  Community and hole cards form the best five card hand. One should keep in mind that Aces have the highest value in this game.

Omaha Hi: Omaha poker can be classified as one of the derivatives of the Texas Hold’em.   In this game all the players are provided with four “hole cards”.  These cards should be used along with five community cards, dealt by the dealer, to form a best hand.  Players need to use any three community cards along with two of their hole cards to create the best poker hand.

Razz:  Razz Poker is classified as a “Low” variant of Seven Card Stud Poker.  Some players call it Seven Card Razz.  The game play involves creating the lowest possible combination by using five cards from the hand of seven cards dealt to the player.  Razz Poker is a form of lowball poker which considers ace to five as the lowest denomination cards.  This game is played with a normal 52 card deck by two to eight players.

Stud: The Seven Card Stud requires a normal deck of cards for its game play. Two to eight players can play this game. When playing for a single pot at a time, a player should try to win maximum number of chips.  The player with the highest number of chips wins this game. The whole game play of the game comprises of four sections which are Set Up, The Bring. Betting Rounds and Showdown.

Eight or Better:   In this variant of Seven Card Stud, player with a traditional high poker hand and the player with the best Ace to Five lowball hand share the pot. In this game all players receive seven cards from the dealer.  A player may form a best five card hand or a low hand with an eight or a better qualifier to win the pot.  Some players call this game “Seven Card Stud Hi Lo”.