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HORSE and HOSE Poker Games

HORSE Rules

HORSE tests players’ all around poker skill more than any other game. Usually played in a limit tournament format, but also played occasionally in ring games HORSE combines five versions of poker. It is a complicated and challenging structure, which requires a high level of concentration and skill, but HORSE can be a great deal of fun to play, especially if you want to alter your normal routine.

Each of the letters in HORSE stands for a different game.

H Holdem
O Omaha Hi/Lo
R Razz
S Seven Card Stud
E Seven Card Stud Eight or Better

Each game is played using its own traditional rule set. HORSE is similar to a dealer's choice game, but is a structured format without options.

HORSE Tournament Structure

In HORSE tournaments, the first game played is Texas holdem, followed by Omaha and so on, with each game being played a set and equal amount of time. You can check which game is currently being played by looking at the top of the table window at any time. The limits, and antes in the Seven Card Stud variations advance on a schedule just like any other tournament. The most well known HORSE game is the World Series of Poker* tournament every year. The 2006 tournament had a €50,000 buy in and attracted many of the best poker players in the world.

Many newer players shy away from HORSE, as it requires a very high level of all around poker skill to do well, and many players don't play some of the variations, like Razz and Seven Card Stud high low split, at all.

HORSE Ring Game Structure

HORSE ring games are just like other ring games in one respect: the blinds and antes stay the same. But the game changes on a set schedule, usually every round. For example, at an eight-handed table, Texas holdem is played for eight hands, followed by Omaha for eight hands, Razz for eight hands, and so on.

HORSE Strategy

It is important to work on maximizing your wins while playing your strongest games and minimizing your losses in your weaker games. Try to recognize which players excel at each game to learn which players to be careful of and which players to attack. The best way to prepare for a HORSE ring game or tournament is to shore up your weak areas by playing the variations that you don't play often. Once you are in a HORSE game, only play your strongest hands in your weakest games. The key is to push your advantage in your best games and cover up any weaknesses by only playing above average hands in the other games.

HOSE

A variation of HORSE, HOSE follows the same rules and structures listed above, but you don't play Razz. As Razz is by far the least often played game of the ones in HORSE, HOSE eliminates it and makes this type of structure playable by more players.

H Holdem
O Omaha Hi/Lo
S Seven Card Stud
E Seven Card Stud Eight or Better

HOSE Tournament Structure

In HOSE tournaments, the first game played is Texas holdem, followed by Omaha and so on, with each game being played a set and equal amount of time. You can check which game is currently being played by looking at the top of the table window at any time. The limits, and antes in the Seven Card Stud variations advance on a schedule just like any other tournament.

HOSE Ring Game Structure

HOSE ring games are just like other ring games in one respect: the blinds and antes stay the same. But the game changes on a set schedule, usually every round. For example, at an eight-handed table, Texas holdem is played for eight hands, followed by Omaha for eight hands, and so on.

Notice that both of these games favor strong Seven Card Stud players, and minimize the advantage of the best Texas holdem players. Also be wary of playing these structures with "old time" players unless you have experience in each game. They are much more likely to play many games well than younger players.

* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Caesars License Company, LLC ("Caesars"). Caesars does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with, PokerStars or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.