HORSE Poker is the most popular form of mixed online poker games and is an acronym of the order in which the games are played – Hold´em/Omaha/Razz/Stud/Eight (The “Eight” being 7 Card Stud Hi Lo – Eights or better). The most common way of playing the game is in a tournament format, where the blinds and antes increase with every change of game – normally with every rotation of the button – but cash games exist on a number of online poker sites where players can join and leave a table whenever they like.
Fixed Limit Hold´em Poker
The game is started by a circuit of fixed limit Texas Hold´em, and the key to success in this round would be trying to get to the flop as cheaply as possible. Limping in from late position enables players to get a cheap look at the cards and even if you have a prime hand, you might be happy to see more players involved post-flop in order to increase the value of the pot.
Fixed Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
Again players – particularly those holding the lowest value cards – will try to get to the flop as cheaply as possible. Many new players focus on the lower hands too much, and there is the opportunity for a player hitting a nut high hand to win both pots when there is no qualifying Lo hand. Many players waste chips on this game – especially in the later rounds of a tournament in which the blinds have increased. More info on Omaha Hi/Lo Poker.
The first of the Stud-based games is often the quietest of the rounds of online HORSE poker. In some tournaments you may even see players sitting out the whole round and forfeiting their antes. Be aware that the value of the minimum bet doubles for the fifth street of betting – by which time, if you have not got a made hand, it is often better to fold. If you want to learn more about Razz, check our Razz Poker page here.
7 Card Stud
The transition from Razz Poker to 7 Card Stud Poker often fools those who have not been paying attention during the Razz Poker stages, and you may find one or more players still chasing low cards rather than trying to make high hands. Again players should avoid committing themselves to the pot prior to the fifth street of betting to enable to fold their cards cheaply if failing to make a hand.
7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
The transition to 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo is often frequently missed by the unobservant – although in these circumstances, not with such dire consequences. If playing in a tournament, this game comes at the fifth blind level, and it is often expensive to chase unmade hands in the later rounds of betting – although potentially lucrative if you have a made hand and are playing against poker players who do not know how to fold.
Online Poker Sites offering HORSE Poker
Most online poker sites offer some form of mixed poker games. HOSE is HORSE without the Razz, and HEROS just a rearrangement of the order in which the games are played. The WSOP Player´s Championship was once decided by playing HORSE until the introduction in 2011 of the 8-Game Mix, but many online poker sites still regard HORSE as the primary mixed poker game. It is difficult to find both cash game and tournament formats on online poker sites.