Horse-poker is an anagram representing five different types of poker. It consists of a combination of five different games, the initials of which form the word H.O.R.S.E.
- H – Limit Hold’em
- O – Limit Omaha Eight or Better (Hi/Lo)
- R – Razz Poker
- S – Limit Seven Card Stud
- E – Limit Stud Eight or Better (Hi/Lo)
This form of poker is played for high stakes at casinos, dealing in rounds of play rotating among the five different versions listed above. Although these games are played in fixed limit formats and Hold’em is no exception, in some situations it can be a no-limit hold’em. For e.g., in the 2006 World Series of poker event, the final table had a no-limit hold’em.
The beauty of this game though is the liberty it allows a player to choose a combination of 14 mixed poker games. One can have many preferences to play a NL or a PL game mix. Newer variants are on offer to help you make the best of choices.
No wonder, horse poker is gaining in popularity. As more and more players get adept at Texas Hold’em, Razz, Omaha eight, etc. It’s natural that ennui sets in and hence the need to add variety to spice up their game. The mixed game format of horse poker provides that perfect solution and is thriving to live up to the player’s aspirations.
As a fresher to this game, one needs to understand from the onset that variety is indeed the steed (pun intended) on which the game gallops .If you are one of those who enjoys a steady game where the rules and stakes don’t change too often, it’s best you stick to playing something safer like hand rummy. For in horse poker, a player needs to learn all the five games outlined above. Safe to start with lower bets initially. For as soon as one round of the first game is over – say Hold’em and the dealer button has completed its first rotation, the next round will be the Omaha Eight or better and so on. This of course would be the case at a normal cash ring game. If you don’t know all the games sufficiently well, it’s likely your fortunes will swing at each rotation.
Once you’ve become adept at the game and start playing horse poker at tournaments, then the switching of games would not be limited only at the end of each rotations. Switches could take place as soon and as often as the blind levels are up. So, consistency in all of the games plus the ability to change gears at each switch is a must for a mean game at the tournament. Or else you are going to be sitting duck ..er horse. For those well versed, each new variety added is a new thrill and the chase begins amongst the accomplished to master this new variant. And the stakes, that’s horse power for you unleashed by the spice of variety!
I’m Jason Rockwell. When I’m not winning playing online poker, I enjoy writing about my love of the game. Thanks for visiting!