H.O.R.S.E poker

H.O.R.S.E. Poker is actually a mix of five poker games. H.O.R.S.E. is an acronym of poker games combined: Hold ‘em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, 7 Stud and Stud Eight or better. In playing H.O.R.S.E. poker, the house rules will identify how the games will be rotated. Some will determine the rotation based on how many hands was played. To be specific with the dynamics of H.O.R.S.E. poker, the players could start with Texas Hold ‘em and play eight hands before transferring to Omaha and so on. Others set a time frame such as 30 minutes and then the game rotates to another poker variation. But instead of taking their time, each game that is time based to ensure that each game is enjoyed and played well.

Since H.O.R.S.E poker isn't an actual poker game, just a format, the most important strategies are specific to the various poker games that make up H.O.R.S.E. There are however some non-game strategies you can use that come into play when playing H.O.R.S.E. poker. For example, as in most games but even more crucial in H.O.R.S.E. is studying your opponents and taking notes. Learning to recognize how each player plays each of the five games is an important part of a successful H.O.R.S.E. poker strategy. Finding their weaknesses and exploiting them is what H.O.R.S.E. poker is all about. You are pitting your combined skill at all five games against that of your opponents.

When it comes to H.O.R.S.E., there are two categories of games. The first are community card games like Texas hold-em and Omaha. In these games, all players share five cards. The other types are stud games, in which each player has certain cards exposed for all to see.

These games require some different strategies, and experts in one type of game may have to adjust quickly to the other during a session of H.O.R.S.E.

A common strategy for H.O.R.S.E. poker tournaments is for players to stay tight during the games that they are less familiar with and loosen up (pick up the aggression) in those games where they have more experience. While this is a viable strategy it may involve passing up edges – and there is no guarantee that you will find truly positive expectation situations in your ‘best games' later in the tournament. Ensuring that you are familiar with the basic strategy for all games will enable you to strike a balance between being more aggressive in your best games and taking positive expectation situations where you are less familiar.

Aggression and positive play are key elements of all poker tournament play, and H.O.R.S.E. is no exception. As the blinds rise you will need some ‘ammunition' in order to put pressure on your opponents. Taking some (positive expectation) risks earlier in the game can put you in an excellent position to do this.