If you’ve ever though that playing just one variety of poker in a sitting was far too restrictive and not entertaining enough then perhaps H.O.R.S.E. may be worth investigating.
As well as having a cool acronym, H.O.R.S.E. describes five poker variants which are played in rotation to test the skills of advanced players. It’s a relatively recent construct which made it’s first appearance at the World Series Of Poker in 2002 but which was replaced by an eight game version in 2010 and renamed as The Player’s Championship.
H.O.R.S.E. comprises the following five poker games and is played in the order listed:
- H – Texas Hold’em
- O – Omaha Hi/Lo
- R – Razz
- S – Seven Card Stud
- E – Eights Or Better (Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo)
The challenges of mastering H.O.R.S.E. are pretty obvious in that the selection of games is designed to test your community card and stud poker skills, as well as your ability to switch between games with different poker rankings; for example the standard high rankings of Texas Hold’em then give way to the Hi’Lo rankings of Omaha Hi/Lo.
H.O.R.S.E. is generally reserved for high stakes players and is usually a limit game which means that betting amounts are tied to the blinds. However some larger tournaments do use no-limit betting.
If you’d like to start playing H.O.R.S.E. then the first step is to make sure you are familiar with each of the separate games. In particular play close attention to the hand rankings and make sure you’re concentrating when switching from Lowball to standard.
Chip Reese is the name most associated with H.O.R.S.E. and this poker professional won the inaugural competition at the World Series Of Poker in 2006; the player who wins the event each year is also awarded the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy following his death in 2007.