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Learn to Play Horse Poker Online

Learn to Play Horse Poker Online

Introduction To Horse Poker

Have you ever heard about this amazing and complex card game? It’s a type of Poker variant- HORSE Poker is a mixed-game variant of poker that combines five different games into one format. The name "HORSE" is an abbreviation that represents the five constituent poker games in the order they are played:

1. H - Texas Hold'em
2. O - Omaha Hi/Lo 
3. R - Razz 
4. S - Seven Card Stud
5. E - Eight or Better

In a HORSE Poker game, the format changes after a set number of hands, usually rotating either every orbit (one full rotation of the table) or after a specified period. This rotation of games ensures that players must be proficient in a variety of poker formats, testing their skills in different ways. It's considered an actual test of a player's overall poker ability, as each game requires a unique strategy and skill set.

The game changes from one variant to another according to the order of the acronym. For example, if you're playing a HORSE tournament or cash game, you would start with a round of Texas Hold'em, followed by Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and finally Stud Hi/Lo. The cycle then repeats.

Play Horse Poker & Earn Real Money

In HORSE Poker, which is a mixed-game variant that includes five different poker games (Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better). Each game has its own unique hand ranking so, in Horse Poker we follow all the hand ranks. Here's a breakdown of the hand rankings for each of these games:

1. Texas Hold'em:

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Full House
  5. Flush
  6. Straight
  7. Three-of-a-Kind
  8. Two Pair
  9. One Pair
  10. High Card

2. Omaha Hi/Lo:

  1. Omaha Hi/Lo is played with both a high hand and a low hand. The pot is usually split between the best high hand and the best qualifying low hand (if one exists).
  2. High Hand Rankings are the same as in Texas Hold'em.
  3. Low Hand Rankings are based on the lowest five-card combination, with the restriction that all cards must be 8 or lower and not form a pair. The best low hand is A-2-3-4-5, also known as the "wheel."

3. Razz:

  1. Razz is a lowball variant of Seven Card Stud, where the lowest hand wins.
  2. The best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5, also known as the "wheel."
  3. Hand rankings are based on the lowest unpaired cards, with Aces being low. Pairs, straights, and flushes do not count against the hand.

4. Seven Card Stud:

It also follows the same hand rank as Texas Holdem-

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Full House
  5. Flush
  6. Straight
  7. Three-of-a-Kind
  8. Two Pair
  9. One Pair
  10. High Card

5. Eight or Better (Stud Hi/Lo):

  1. Like Omaha Hi/Lo, Eight or Better is played for both high and low hands, and the pot can be split.
  2. High Hand Rankings are the same as in Seven Card Stud.
  3. Low-hand rankings follow the same rules as in Omaha Hi/Lo, aiming for the best qualifying low hand.

Players need to be well-versed in the rules and strategies of each game to succeed in the overall HORSE format. Be aware of specific rules and house rules before playing in any HORSE Poker game.

1. Choosing an Online Poker Site:

Select a reputable online poker platform that offers a variety of poker games, including mixed-game formats like HORSE. Make sure the site is secure, licensed, and has good player traffic.

2. Download Software or Use the Web Client:

Some online poker sites require you to download their poker software, while others offer amazing gameplay applications. 

3. Now navigate to the Poker Lobby:

Once you're logged in, navigate to the poker lobby where you can find available cash games, tournaments, and formats.

4. Search for HORSE Games:

Look for cash games or tournaments labelled as "HORSE" or mixed-game formats. Depending on the site, you might find HORSE games at different stakes and formats.

5. Join a HORSE Game:

If you find a HORSE game that suits your preferences, join the table or register for the tournament. Some sites might require you to wait until the next game table is free if the game is already in progress.

6. Understand the Game Table:

In a mixed game like HORSE, the games rotate in the order of the acronym (Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Eight or Better). Be prepared to switch between games as the rotation progresses.

7. Follow the Rules of Each Game:

As the game rotates, make sure you're familiar with the rules and hand rankings of each individual game. The strategy and tactics for each game can vary significantly.

8. Interact with Other Players:

Many online poker platforms offer chat features, allowing you to interact with other players at the table. Be respectful and courteous in your interactions.

9. Cash Out and Withdraw Winnings:

When you're done playing, you can cash out your winnings or leave the table. Follow the site's instructions for withdrawing funds. 

In HORSE Poker, "Hold'em" refers to Texas Hold'em, which is the first game in the rotation. Here's how to play Texas Hold'em in the context of a HORSE Poker game:

1. Game Rotation:

HORSE Poker is a mixed-game format that includes five different poker games: Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better. The games are played in that order, and the format rotates either after a set number of hands or at specific time intervals.

2. Starting the Texas Hold'em Round:

At the beginning of the Texas Hold'em round, each player receives two private hole cards dealt face down. Additionally, five community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table in stages: a set of three cards (the "flop"), a fourth card (the "turn"), and a fifth card (the "river").

3. Betting Rounds:

There are four betting rounds in Texas Hold'em: pre-flop, post-flop, post-turn, and post-river. Players have the option to check, bet, call, raise, or fold based on the strength of their hole cards and the community cards on the board.

4. Community Cards and Hand Rankings:

Players use their two-hole cards in combination with the five community cards to form the best possible five-card poker hand. The hand rankings are the same as in traditional Texas Hold'em:

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Full House
  5. Flush
  6. Straight
  7. Three-of-a-Kind
  8. Two Pair
  9. One Pair
  10. High Card

5. Showdown:

If multiple players remain in the hand after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. Players reveal their hole cards, and the player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. If there is a tie, the pot is split between the tied players.

6. Awarding the Pot:

The player with the best hand wins the pot. In the case of a split pot (when multiple players have equally strong hands), the pot is divided equally among the winning players.

7. Next Game:

After the Texas Hold'em round is complete, the game rotates to the next variant in the HORSE rotation, which is typically Omaha Hi/Lo.

In HORSE Poker, "O" refers to OMAHA HI/LO, which is the second game in the rotation. Here's how to play Omaha in the context of a HORSE Poker game:

1. Game Rotation:

In HORSE Poker, Omaha Hi/Lo is the second game in the rotation. The games are played in the order of the acronym: Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better.

2. Starting the Omaha Hi/Lo Round:

At the beginning of the Omaha Hi/Lo round, each player is dealt four private hole cards face down. Additionally, five community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table in stages: a set of three cards (the "flop"), a fourth card (the "turn"), and a fifth card (the "river").

3. Betting Rounds:

Similar to Texas Hold'em, there are four betting rounds in Omaha Hi/Lo: pre-flop, post-flop, post-turn, and post-river. Players use their hole cards and community cards to evaluate their hand strength and make betting decisions.

4. Omaha Hi/Lo Split Pot:

Omaha Hi/Lo is a split-pot game where the pot is divided between the best "high" hand and the best "low" hand. The "high" hand follows the traditional hand rankings of poker, but the "low" hand must qualify with specific criteria: all cards in the low hand must be 8 or lower, and no pairs or higher-ranking cards are allowed in the low hand.

5. Qualifying for the Low Hand:

To qualify for the low hand, a player's five-card hand must contain five unpaired cards, all 8 or lower. The best possible low hand is A-2-3-4-5, also known as the "wheel." Suits are not important for the lower hand.

6. Choosing High and Low Hands:

Players aim to create the best possible high hand using two of their hole cards and three community cards, as well as the best possible low hand using two of their hole cards and three community cards.

7. Showdown and Awarding the Pot:

At the showdown, the pot is split between the best qualifying high hand and the best qualifying low hand. If a player has the best high and the best low hand, they can win the entire pot.

8. Next Game:

After the Omaha Hi/Lo round is complete, the game rotates to the next variant in the HORSE rotation, which is typically Razz.

In HORSE Poker, "R" refers to RAZZ Poker, which is the third game in the rotation. 

1. Starting the Razz Round:

At the beginning of the Razz round, each player is dealt two private hole cards and one face-up card (known as the "door card"). The player with the highest-value door card is usually required to make the "bring-in" bet, which starts the betting action.

2. Betting Rounds:

Razz is a lowball variant of Seven Card Stud, where the goal is to make the lowest possible hand. There are four betting rounds in Razz: Third Street (two face-down cards and one face-up), Fourth Street (one face-up card), Fifth Street (one face-up card), and Sixth Street (one face-up card). Betting begins with the player showing the lowest-value face-up cards.

3. Lowest Hand Rankings:

In Razz, traditional poker hand rankings are flipped. The lowest hand is the best hand. The best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5, also known as the "wheel." Straights and flushes do not count against the hand, and Aces are always low.

4. Showdown and Awarding the Pot:

At the showdown, the player with the lowest five-card hand wins the pot. If multiple players have equally low hands, the pot is split evenly among them.

5. Next Game:

After the Razz round is complete, the game rotates to the next variant in the HORSE rotation, which is typically Seven Card Stud.

In HORSE Poker, "S" refers to SEVEN CARD STUD Poker, which is the fourth game in the rotation.

1. Starting the Seven Card Stud Round:

At the beginning of the Seven Card Stud round, each player is dealt three private hole cards: two face-down cards (hole cards) and one face-up card (the "door card"). The player with the lowest-value door card is required to make the "bring-in" bet, which starts the betting action.

2. Betting Rounds:

Seven Card Stud features five betting rounds: Third Street (two hole cards and one door card), Fourth Street (one face-up card), Fifth Street (one face-up card), Sixth Street (one face-up card), and Seventh Street (one face-down card). Betting begins with the player showing the highest-value face-up cards.

3. Hand Rankings:

Seven Card Stud uses traditional poker hand rankings. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot. The best possible hand is a Royal Flush, and the hand rankings are the same as in Texas Hold'em.

4. Showdown and Awarding the Pot:

At the showdown (Seventh Street), the player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. If multiple players have equally strong hands, the pot is split evenly among them.

5. Next Game:

After the Seven Card Stud round is complete, the game rotates to the last variant in the HORSE rotation, which is typically Eight or Better (Stud Hi/Lo).

In HORSE Poker, "E" refers to EIGHT OR BETTER Poker, which is the fifth and final game in the rotation.

1. Starting the Eight or Better (Stud Hi/Lo) Round:

At the beginning of the Eight or Better round, each player is dealt three private hole cards: two face-down cards (hole cards) and one face-up card (the "door card"). The player with the lowest-value door card is required to make the "bring-in" bet, which starts the betting action.

2. Betting Rounds:

Eight or Better (Stud Hi/Lo) features five betting rounds: Third Street (two hole cards and one door card), Fourth Street (one face-up card), Fifth Street (one face-up card), Sixth Street (one face-up card), and Seventh Street (one face-down card). Betting begins with the player showing the highest-value face-up cards.

3. Split Pot:

Eight or Better (Stud Hi/Lo) is a split-pot game, meaning the pot can be divided between the best "high" hand and the best "low" hand. The "high" hand uses traditional poker hand rankings, while the "low" hand must qualify with specific criteria.

4. Low Hand Qualification:

To qualify for the low hand, a player's five-card hand must contain five unpaired cards, all 8 or lower. The best possible low hand is A-2-3-4-5, also known as the "wheel." Straights and flushes do not count against the low hand, and Aces are always low.

5. High Hand Rankings:

The high hand rankings follow traditional poker hand rankings, with Royal Flush being the best hand. High hands compete for half of the pot, while qualifying low hands compete for the other half.

6. Showdown and Awarding the Pot:

At the showdown (Seventh Street), the pot is split between the best qualifying high hand and the best qualifying low hand. If a player has the best high and the best low hand, they win the entire pot (scoop).

7. Next Game:

After the Eight or Better round is complete, the game rotation concludes. You would then start over with Texas Hold'em as the first game.

Let’s make a quick differentiation between the games of Horse Poker - 

1. Game Format:

  • Hold'em: Two private hole cards and five community cards.
  • Omaha Hi/Lo: Four private hole cards and five community cards; split pot between high and low hands.
  • Razz: Seven private cards (three down, four up); the lowest hand wins.
  • Seven Card Stud: Seven private cards (three down, four up); the highest hand wins.
  • Eight or Better: Seven private cards (three down, four up); split pot between high and qualifying low hands.

2. Hand Rankings:

  • All games use traditional poker hand rankings except for Razz (lowest hand) and Eight or Better (split between high and low hands).

3. Betting Structure:

  • Each game follows a specific betting structure with varying betting rounds (usually four) and forced bets like antes and bring-ins.

4. Community Cards:

  • Hold'em: Five community cards available to all players.
  • Omaha Hi/Lo: Five community cards are available to all players.
  • Razz: No community cards; players rely on their own cards.
  • Seven Card Stud: Some community cards, but players often use their own cards.
  • Eight or Better: Some community cards, but players often use their own cards.

5. Player Decision Points:

  • In Omaha and Hold'em, players decide how to use their hole cards with community cards.
  • In Razz and Seven Card Stud, players make decisions based on revealed cards and the potential of their own hands.
  • In Eight or Better, players aim for both high and low hands.

6. Split Pot Dynamics:

  • Omaha Hi/Lo and Eight or Better have split-pot dynamics, where the pot is divided between high and low hands.
  • Razz is a pure lowball game where the lowest hand wins.

Hold'em Strategy:

  1. Starting Hands: Play tight in early positions and gradually loosen up in later positions. Value strong hands like high pairs and suited connectors.
  2. Positional Advantage: Position is crucial. Use your position to gather information and control the betting.
  3. Bluffing: Bluff selectively, as players tend to give more credit to aggressive bets in Hold'em.

Omaha Hi/Lo Strategy:

  1. Starting Hands: Look for hands that can scoop (win both high and low pots). Play hands with strong high potential and cards that can make a low hand.
  2. Low Hand Strategy: Aim for the nuts (A-2-3-4-5) when going for the low hand. Avoid hands with little low potential.
  3. Nut Draws: Pursue draws to the best possible high or low hands. Avoid chasing marginal draws.

Razz Strategy:

  1. Starting Hands: Play hands with low door cards. Ideally, start with hands containing A-2 or A-3.
  2. Stealing Antes: In later streets, consider stealing pots with aggressive betting if opponents show weak cards.
  3. Hand Reading: Pay attention to exposed cards to determine the strength of opponents' hands.

Seven Card Stud Strategy:

  1. Starting Hands: Begin with strong starting hands. Avoid chasing hands that aren't likely to improve by the later streets.
  2. Third Street: Focus on starting with the best-exposed card. Fold if your exposed card is weaker than the opponents'.
  3. Observation: Pay attention to opponents' up cards to help make informed decisions.

Eight or Better (Stud Hi/Lo) Strategy:

  1. Starting Hands: Aim for hands that can win both high and low pots. Play hands with strong high potential and cards that can make a low hand.
  2. Low Hand Strategy: Similar to Omaha Hi/Lo, aim for the best possible low hand. Avoid hands with little low potential.
  3. High-Low Split: Balance your approach for both high and low hands to scoop the pot.

General HORSE Poker Strategy:

  1. Bankroll Management: Manage your bankroll carefully, as HORSE requires proficiency in multiple games.
  2. Adaptation: Be flexible in adjusting your strategy as the game changes. Recognize which game you're playing and adapt accordingly.
  3. Player Tendencies: Pay attention to opponents' tendencies and adjust your strategy based on their playing styles.
  4. Practice: Develop a solid understanding of each game's rules and strategies through practice and study.
  5. Positional Awareness: Utilize your position to gather information, control the action, and make better decisions.

1. How is the game rotation determined in HORSE Poker?

The games in HORSE Poker are played in the order of the acronym: Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better. The rotation can change every orbit (one full rotation of the table) or at specific intervals.

2. Is HORSE Poker popular in tournaments or cash games?

HORSE Poker is more commonly found in tournament formats, especially in prestigious events like the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Cash games that feature HORSE are less common due to the skill requirement in multiple variants.

3. Do I need to be proficient in all five games to play HORSE Poker?

Yes, to be successful in HORSE Poker, players need to be skilled in all five games. Each game has its own rules and strategies, so being well-versed in all of them is essential.

4. What is the key to winning in HORSE Poker?

Winning in HORSE Poker requires a deep understanding of the rules and strategies of each variant, adaptability to changing games, reading opponents, and effective bankroll management.

5. Is HORSE Poker suitable for beginners?

HORSE Poker can be challenging for beginners due to the requirement to master multiple poker variants. New players are advised to gain experience in each variant before attempting HORSE.