horse-03HORSE poker is the ultimate test of your poker dexterity, so if you’re ready to ride into the sunset in search of millions, saddle up in and listen carefully. Unlike games such as Texas Hold’em or Omaha, HORSE poker is a mixture of many games. In fact, the name HORSE is actually an acronym for the following variants: Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud, and Eight-or-better (which is another name for Stud Hi/Lo).

When pieced together into a single game, the aforementioned variants become a heady mix of skill, timing and planning. Such is the diversity and skill required for games of HORSE that it’s been a variant for many of America’s richest cash games over the past 30 years. US poker players such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu will regularly play HORSE as well as a number of other mixed games inside the hallowed surroundings of Bobby’s Room, Las Vegas

History of HORSE Poker in the USA

HORSE USAWhen it comes to the history of poker, HORSE is a game that’s often overlooked by the masses in America. Due to its complexity and its lack of representation on many of the major poker tours, the average grinder isn’t familiar with the game’s intricacies. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why many established pros, especially those in the latter stages of their career, enjoy the game. Because new players aren’t as versed in HORSE poker strategy, it’s a lot easier for veterans to take advantage of them.

Another reason why HORSE poker is loved by those that play in the legendary Big Game in Las Vegas USA is its variety. Unlike a single variant games, HORSE and HORSE poker strategy requires constant adjustments. This makes the game a lot less robotic than many of the industry’s most popular options.

In general, HORSE has been one of the most popular games in the US for a number of years. However, in recent times, the game is starting to filter through to those from the modern generation. Although HORSE poker tournaments in the US have declined in recent years, cash games are very much on the up at many top US online poker sites.

In fact, today, online poker HORSE games are becoming increasingly popular amongst the top virtual grinders. While the likes of Viktor ‘Isildur1′ Blom and Phil Galfond used to stick to Hold’em and Omaha, they are now switching to mixed games in an effort to become complete poker players and enjoy new ways to make money.

Five Things You Need to Know About HORSE Poker

  1. HORSE is an acronym for five poker variants: Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud, and Eight-or-better (which is another name for Stud Hi/Lo).
  2. The game is played predominately in a fixed limit format.
  3. The stakes are fixed throughout each round of a HORSE cash game or tournament.
  4. Observation is crucial in a game HORSE.
  5. The highest stakes cash games in the world are played using a HORSE format.


How to Play HORSE Poker

Poker DudeIn online poker, HORSE is a game that’s played with a “round of each” format. This basically means that the variant switches after the dealer button has made a single revolution of the table.

Each session of HORSE poker online begins with Fixed Limit Hold’em, then rotates through Fixed Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz (Seven Card Stud Low), Seven Card Stud (High Only), and finally Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo. When the Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo round is complete, the game goes back to Fixed Limit Hold’em, and so on.

When switching from Omaha Hi/Lo to Razz, the button is frozen because the first person to act (the bring-in) is determined by the player with the highest card. Additionally, the button is frozen so that when the game switches back to Hold’em (after Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo), nobody misses there chance to be on the button or pays extra blinds.

All the component games in HORSE are played Fixed Limit – there are no Pot Limit or No Limit games. Moreover, the limits are kept the same throughout the entire game rotation, so if you play $5/$10 Fixed Limit Hold’em, then you’ll also play $5/$10 Fixed Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, and so on.

*Strategy tip: One of the best pieces of HORSE poker strategy we can offer you is to be observant. While it may seem simple, many amateurs will often lose track of the game they’re playing and make silly mistakes. Beyond this, we advise learning each individual game before you ante-up in a HORSE cash game or tournament.*

American players have fun mastering HORSE, which is one of the most diverse and challenging poker games you’ll find at competitive online US poker rooms.

Big HORSE Winners

Biggest WinnersSince HORSE poker tournaments were introduced to the WSOP in 2003 there have been a number of notable winners, including:

  • Doyle Brunson (2003 WSOP winner – $84,000)
  • Scott Fischman (2004 WSOP winner – $100,200)
  • Chip Reese (2006 WSOP winner – $1,716,000)
  • Freddy Deeb (2007 WSOP winner – $2,276,832)
  • Scotty Nguyen (2008 WSOP winner – $1,989,120)
  • David Bach (2009 WSOP winner – $1,276,806)
  • Ian Gordon (2010 WSOP winner – $611,666)
  • Fabrice Soulier (2011 WSOP winner – $609,130)
  • David Baker (2012 WSOP winner – $451,779)
  • Tom Schneider (2013 WSOP winner – $318,955)
  • Chris Wallace (2014 WSOP winner – $507,614)

In fact, HORSE is the format used for the prestigious Poker Player Championship. Used to determine the best all-round poker player in the game, the inaugural $50,000 event was won by Chip Reese. Following Reese’s death the event’s trophy was named after one of the best players of all-time.


If you’re looking for a new way to make some money at our top US poker sites, then give HORSE a try. As long as you approach the game with a healthy amount of caution, treat it gently and respect its power, you’ll find you can ride it towards a new level of prosperity.

Comments are closed.