Have you ever thought about playing a game of HORSE but felt too intimidated to take a seat? While some good players can be found at the HORSE tables, most players have a wide variety of skill levels at different HORSE games. This HORSE strategy article will help beginners learn the game and gain the confidence to give it a try. Full tilt poker is a great place to try the game, as they have plenty of HORSE players and action at all limits. Use a full tilt bonus code to get a cool bonus.
HORSE is an acronym for a combination of poker games. To put it in order, H is for Hold’em, O for Omaha High/Low, R for Razz, S for Seven Card Stud and E is for Seven Card Stud Eight or Better. Most beginners think the mixed limit games at Full Tilt are tough, but some of the wealthiest players have made their fortunes playing HORSE. Players who excel in each of the HORSE games have the ability to make a lot of money playing this game.
At Full Tilt Poker, the HORSE game starts with Hold’em, then Omaha High/Low and so on. As the last round completes, the game continues again with Hold’em. HORSE at Full tilt is a limit game, which means that all five games are played with a fixed limit. None of the games can be played in pot-limit or no-limit versions. Whatever the limit is, it’s the same for every game. If you sit down at a $5/$10 table, the limit is $5/$10 for Hold’em, Omaha High/Low and all of the rest. Here is a brief explanation of how the games are played.
If you’re new to poker, Texas Hold’em is the game to be most careful of. As you probably know, this is the most popular game and most players are very familiar with it. If you aren’t familiar with the game, learn it before trying to play HORSE. In Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two cards face down. There’s a round of betting and once all players have acted, three community cards called ‘the flop’ are placed on the table face up. All players can use the community cards to make their hand. There is another round of betting, then one more community card called ‘the turn’ is placed on the table. After the turn, there is another round of betting. The final community card is called ‘the river’ and there’s another round of betting. There is no such thing as a ‘low’ hand in Hold’em, only the highest hand wins.
The Omaha High/Low split game strategy is similar to Hold’em. The community cards are dealt the same way as in Hold’em, but instead of two cards, each player is dealt four cards. All four cards are dealt face down. In this game players can make a high hand and/or a low hand. To make any high hand, players can only use 2 of their hole cards. The same is true for any low hand. The cards used to make a high hand do not have to be the same as the low hand, but any two can and should be used to make either hand. Aces are the highest card used for high hands, and the lowest card for low hands.
The best low hand is A, 2, 3, 4, 5. A qualifying low hand consists of 2 cards in the hole (your cards), and three community cards that are each 8 or lower. If 2 of the five cards match, you do not have a qualifying low hand. For example, if the community cards are Q, J, 8, 6, 3, while you hold A, 10, 3, 9, you do not have a qualifying low hand because you only have 4 cards that are 8 or lower. You hold A, 3, 6, 8, one card short of a qualifying low hand.
However if you held A, 10, 2, 9 you would not only have a qualifying low hand, you would have the nut low hand (the best low hand that could be made). Your low hand would be A, 2, 3, 6, 8. Since you hold the ace and the deuce, there is no better low hand that can be made in this situation. The only problem is that often times the low hand will be split with an opponent who also holds A, 2. When this happens, the player with the high hand wins 1/2 of the pot. The low hands would then split the other half. So, you can have the very best low hand possible, yet still lose chips.
While it’s possible to win both the high and the low hand, for reasons we just explained, the best strategy is to try and make the best high hand. A good starting hand in Omaha High/Low would be A, K, 2, 3 which would have chances of winning the high hand as well as the low hand. Another good starting hand would be something like K, Q, J, T double suited. This hand offers a lot of ways to win the high hand. First, each of those cards can help to make a straight, and they’re also ‘double suited’. When you have 2 cards of one suit and 2 cards of another suit, you have a better chance at making a flush. In fact this is the optimal type of hand to make a flush.
Razz is very tricky for amateurs. Professionals have nicknamed it ‘The Hated Game’ because it can be so frustrating. Razz is essentially a 7 Card Stud game in which the lowest (worst) hand wins. Players are dealt 3 cards face down and four cards face up. The best hand that can be made is A, 2, 3, 4, 5. Straights and flushes don’t count in Razz, so don’t worry when you make one. Aces are low in Razz. Ignorant amateurs in HORSE who don’t know the rules may have the best hand and be completely unaware. Because a lot of players dislike Razz, it is sometimes excluded from HORSE to make it the HOSE or SHOE variant.
7 Card Stud is a classic high-hand card game. The hand starts with all players being dealt 2 cards face down and one card face up. Then there is a betting round. Then each player is dealt a fourth card face up. There is another betting round, then the fifth card is dealt face up as well. After another round of betting, the sixth card is dealt, again face up. There is another round of betting, then the final card is dealt face down. There is a final round of betting and the highest 5 card hand wins.
7 Card Stud Eight or Better (High/Low) is the third game in HORSE which involves the low hand. The game is played just like regular 7 Card Stud, with the addition of the low hand as described in the Omaha High/Low part of this article.
If you want to make more money playing poker, learn to play each of these HORSE games. Most players have exploitable weaknesses in one or more of these games, which gives you an open door into taking their money.