How to Play HORSE poker

Even though Horse is sort of a bucolic name for a poker game, it just ain't a game for country bumpkins. It takes extra good all-around poker players to be consistent winners. All-around because Horse is a multi-game contest with five different poker games played in equal segments or sessions. Many agree that Horse easily separates the real poker experts from all the one-trick Hold'em players.

The best all-around poker player in the world is considered by the great Doyle Brunson and other top poker pros to have been the late "Chip" Reese. Along with quite a few world championships in seven card stud and other different poker games, in the 2006 World Series of Poker, Reese won the inaugural H.O.R.S.E. event. As a tribute to Chip, the winners now receive a trophy named the "David 'Chip' Reese Award".

The Five Poker Games Used In Horse

  • Hold'em
  • Omaha High Low Split / 8
  • Razz
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Seven Card High Low Split - Qualify Eight

Limit HORSE Rules - 2 to 8 Players

Generally, the rules of each of the individual games apply. Beyond that, Horse has its own rules that regulate the rotation order and the frequency of the games. Although tournaments might have special rules, most limit games are played like this.

The sequence order of the games is the same as they appear in the acronym HORSE. In other words, the rotation begins with "H" for Holdem then through all the variants to "E" for Seven Hi/Lo Qualify Eight. Each game is played just once, following the sequence and the dealer button around the table thru the five games. When the sequence is completed, it is then repeated from that point on the table.

Strategy Tips for HORSE

There's not much to say about a mixed-game contest like this. However, here's a suggestion or two.

Just before you enter into a Horse contest, connect to each of the game pages in the above chart and review the short passages named "General Strategy" and "Starting Hands". . . . or, check out the additional resources below.

Crib Sheet

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