OBJECTIVE OF HORSE POKER: Win hands in all the separate poker variations in order to win their corresponding pots.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-7 players
MATERIALS OF HORSE POKER: 52-card deck
TYPE OF GAME: Casino
OVERVIEW OF HORSE POKER RULES
When you play Horse Poker, you are playing five games at once! Horse Poker is a variation of standard poker where players play each hand as a different poker game. You can play Horse Poker with 2 to 7 players. All the players will need to be familiar with the various games. Below, we will go over the rules and basics of Horse Poker, and we will be linking to all the other games so that you can read a more in-depth description of each one.
WHAT GAMES ARE IN HORSE POKER
HORSE is a mixed poker game combining five different variations of poker:
- Texas Hold ‘Em: A game where players make the best hand possible using two-hole cards and five community cards.
- Omaha Hi/Lo: A variation of Texas Hold’em where players recieve four-hole cards and five community cards. The highest and lowest hands split the pot.
- Razz: This is a variation of Stud Poker. Players will try to make the lowest hand possible to win this round.
- Seven Card Stud: The dealer deals two hole cards and four face-up cards in Seven Card Stud. However, they deal the River face-down before the final betting round.
- Eight or Better (Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo): This variation of Seven Card Stud allows both the highest and lowest hands to split the pot.
The setup for Horse poker changes each hand. You should choose the first dealer randomly and then allow the role to move to the player to the left each new round.
Each game uses a standard deck of 52 cards. In Texas Hold’em and Omaha, Hi/Lo are flop games. This means the hole cards are hidden from other players, and you all have the same community cards. Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better are board games. Board games are where a player’s faceup cards determine the starting player’s bet of a round.
HOW TO DEAL IN HORSE POKER
The dealer starts by dealing players hole cards in the flop games of Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hi/Locards. In Hold’em, the dealer deals two cards to each player; in Omaha, they deal four hole cards. This is followed by the flop, turn, and River cards, all dealt face-up as community cards for every player to use.
In board games, each player recieves an individual set of cards. The dealer deals the initial two hole cards face down to each player. Following this is a Third, Fourth, and Fifth street, all dealt face up to each player. Finally, the River card is dealt face-down to each player.
HOW TO PLAY HORSE POKER
As mentioned above, HORSE is a mixed poker game combining five of the most popular variations of poker.
You usually play Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha with blinds, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better with bring-in bets and antes.
These games are cycled through, changing with each hand, in the order of the abbreviation. If there are more than seven players, the players to the dealer’s right (the last player) sit out on Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better so that the deck doesn’t run out. Each player should sit out an equal number of hands during those rounds.
The game is switched in casinos every 30 minutes when a new house dealer arrives.
H (TEXAS HOLD’EM)
The first round of Horse poker is Texas Hold’em. In Hold’em, players will use their hole cards and the community cards to create the best possible hand they can. After the dealer deals the hole cards to each player, there will be a betting round. The dealer deals five more cards through the Flop, Turn, and River cards, with a betting round between each. Finally, The showdown begins! Any remaining player will show their hands, and the highest-ranked hand wins the pot.
Omaha Hi/Lo is played very similarly to Texas Hold’em. The dealer deals Four hole cards to each player, and following this are the Flop, Turn, and River. Each new set of cards dealt is followed by a betting round. The main difference happens in the showdown. The highest and lowest-ranked hands split the pot, but a player can win both!
Razz is a variation of Seven Card Stud poker, and you can find it on the same page under the subtitle “Variations.” To play Razz, you are fighting to make the lowest-ranked hand. The dealer deals two hole cards to each plaayer, and a round of betting begins. Each player is then dealt Third Street, Fourth Street, and Fifth Street cards, with betting occurring after each round. After this, the River card is dealt face-down to each player! Players will make the lowest hand possible in the showdown with their cards in their pool.
S (SEVEN CARD STUD)
Seven Card Stud is a poker game where players are privy to other player’s cards. The initial hole cards are hidden, and the River is dealt face down. However, the dealer deals the Third Street, Fourth Street, and Fifth Street to each player face-up, and the player with the lowest ranked card shown starts the betting for each round. Players will be battling to make the highest-ranked hands during the showdown from the cards dealt to them.
E (EIGHT FOR BETTER)
Eight or Better is a variation of Seven Card Stud poker, and you can find it on the same page under the subtitle “Variations.” In this version of poker, players will receive cards and bet just like in Seven Card Stud. During the showdown, the player(s) with the highest-ranked and lowest-ranked hands will split the pot.
HORSE POKER HAND RANKINGS
The hand ranking follows the same for Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better. The high is a royal flush, made of 5 cards of the same suit in ranking order, containing the Ace through 10 cards. The lowest-ranking hand is just a High Card.
In Razz, However, the ranking is different, with High Card being the best-ranked hand. The Ace is also the lowest ranking card, and the King the highest. Also, straights and flushes are not considered when ranking a hand. People call the highest possible ranking hand a bicycle and consists of Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
HORSE POKER STRATEGY
If you are looking to improve your game, we have the poker tips and strategies for you. Horse Poker can be a very complex game, but following our suggestions below can help you become a pro in no time.
KNOW THE GAMES
Horse Poker is a mix of 5 different games. Knowing how to play each game is crucial. The five games are similar, but some have wildly different betting needs and antes. Being unsure of how a round plays out is a sure way to have the other players not take you seriously.
BE AWARE OF GAME CHANGES
Some of the games are obvious to tell the difference of, but some especially the last three games are have very similar starting hands. Being aware of which round you are on will make a major difference on how you should bet.
WATCH THE OTHER PLAYERS
Watching how the other players react to the different games can give you a lot of information. If you can tell which games a player is weaker at you can use that to your advantage in many ways.
Practice is super important with Horse Poker. You will want to practice not just the Horse poker games, but each individual game included in Horse. Seeing how hands play out and when you feel comfortable betting in each individual game will improve your overall performance in Horse Poker as a whole.
C.H.O.R.S.E & C.H.O.R.S.E.L
These games play similarly to HORSE with the addition of Crazy Pineapple and Low-Ball poker (either California or Ace-to-Five).
R.O.E, H.O.E, H.O.S.E, S.H.O.E
It plays exactly like HORSE with fewer rounds. These variations move faster than HORSE.
This recent version, invented around 2008, mixes eight poker games. People also call the game “Eight-Game Mix.”
- Limit 2-7 Triple Draw
- Limit Hold ‘Em
- Limit Omaha/8
- Limit Razz
- Limit Seven Card Stud
- Limit Eight or Better
- No Limit Hold ‘Em
- Pot Limit Omaha High or PLO
OTHER POKER VARIATIONS
If you are unfamiliar with it, the best place to start is with the standard Poker rules. We have a great resource for beginners! Here is a list of some more Poker variations: