H.O.R.S.E. is a relatively new poker game that is becoming very popular. The word H.O.R.S.E. is an acronym describing a combination of poker games: H for Hold’em, O for Omaha Hi/Lo, R for Razz, S for Seven Card Stud and E for the Eight in Seven Card Stud Eight or Better. The World Series of Poker recently added H.O.R.S.E. events, including the Chip Reese Memorial $50,000 buy-in tournament (the largest buy-in event at the WSOP.)
This game is attractive to many people because it emphasizes a player’s ability across multiple poker variants; many experts feel that mixed games such as H.O.R.S.E. determine a player’s true poker ability. This poker game is played as one round of each of its component games; it begins with a round of Texas Hold’em and proceeds in turn to the rest of the games. The time to switch over to the next poker game is predetermined; it can take place after the dealer button makes a complete rotation around the table or every time the blinds go up.
When the final round is complete (the Eight or Better round) the game goes back to Hold’em, and the rotation starts again.
At the 2006 World Series of Poker the games in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event rotated every hour until the final table, where No Limit Hold’em was played until the end. Minimizing your weaknesses, while maximizing your strengths, is an excellent strategy for H.O.R.S.E.; for example, if you are good at Omaha Hi/Lo, but not as good at Razz, use that to your advantage against the weaker Omaha Hi/Lo players, while being more careful during the rounds of Razz.
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