You may or may not have heard about HORSE, poker online sites in 2023 that host it can be few and far between. It is a mixed game type of event that includes the games of:
With such disparate games offered for real money play at these top online poker rooms and websites, this will require a strong skill set. In order to excel at the type of HORSE games poker sites are offering, it is probably more important to be good players in more of these individual games, rather than being the BEST player at one of the games.
This online game guide to HORSE will really be a starting point, or a stepping off place, for US players. In order to be a good HORSE player, you really need to practice and study each of the different games. Having said that, there are a lot of skills that do transfer over from one game to another. Having strong basic online poker playing skills is also very important. As is a knowledge of the basic odds of poker and how they can be applied to different games in online poker rooms. Knowing how to calculate pot odds and outs and also how to read other players.
More than likely, you are already probably at least somewhat familiar with playing Texas Hold’em at online poker sites. This will be the first game played at an online poker HORSE event. If there are eight players sitting at your virtual poker room, than you will play eight hands of Hold’em before switching to Omaha Hi Lo. Eight hands later you would switch to Razz, and so on.
With this constantly switching game you really need to be aware of what is going on. This might sound basic, but simply knowing what game is being played will take you pretty far. Chances are good that at some point you might see other players in these poker rooms making really silly plays; perhaps they have lost track of what game is being played.
Since there are five different games, it would really be counter-productive to go into exactly how to effect each deal and the various betting rounds. If you are interested in playing HORSE at online poker sites, chances are you probably already have a basic familiarity with the general play. If not, check out our other game guides which do cover how to play these individual games at online poker sites for real cash.
While you can certainly find a lot of great top strategy tips at the individual game guides on our site, the ideas listed below will also help you to improve your game. Just remember that even general online poker tips can help out in more than one game because they tend to build your overall skill level. For example, remembering to only play strong hands. Of course, each different game will have different criteria, so this will always be in a state of flux.
On an even more general basis, think about which are your best or strongest games to play at online poker rooms. You might even want to seriously sit down and rank yourself in terms of these five online poker varieties from best to worst, and then give yourself at grade at each of them from 1 to 10 (or whatever scale you prefer). Then, if you know yourself to be a weaker Razz player (just for example) you should be extra cautious when playing through each of the Razz sets. At the same time, you might even want to be a bit more aggressive when playing a game you consider yourself to be more of a skilled player, especially if it is one of the lesser played options such as Razz or Stud Hi Lo Eights or Better.
Your general criteria for playing all of these games should be to play tight. Focus on your positional skills and the ability to read the other players. Don't play too many hands and always have your starting hand criteria for each game firmly in mind. Use your ability to calculate odds and especially think about whether the pot is giving you a good deal based on your possible outs and drawing options.
Starting out of the gate, Texas Hold’em will be the first game option offered at online poker sites HORSE events. However, remember this will be a limit game, instead of no limit, which is probably different from what most people play at their various poker rooms. In fact, this has the effect of making the first round of HORSE a very high action game. Many more hands will be going to the showdown and it will be much harder for a no-limit player to win at first. You need to play tighter, especially in early position.
When playing the Omaha Hi Lo round, you should be focusing on playing only those hands that have scooping potential, i.e. the ability to take both the high and the low halves of the online poker pot. If not, then you want to be able to hit a huge high hand while there is no low possible, in this case you would win the entire real money pot as well. Suited small cards plus an ace is probably the ideal starting hand. Just make sure to be very careful about your bluffing during this round.
The biggest tips and advice for playing Razz (a low only version of Stud online poker) is to play a very straight and solid game. Always remember every card you see, especially those in folded hands since they can help to figure outs and the odds (both drawing and pot odds). Many times, simply waiting patiently for a strong low and then betting aggressively when it comes can be the key to success in this round.
Be more careful when entering a 7-Card Stud game since there is an extra betting round than in Hold’em. This makes things a bit more risky. Once again, remember all of the folded cards as well as the ones you can see at the online poker rooms. On top of everything else, you will need situational awareness to be a winner in this round.
In the 7-Stud Hi Lo game watch for opponents who over value their high hands. Also, try to only play with high hands that have actual low potential, since your goal should be to scoop both halves of the pot. This really makes suited low cards the best position to be in when starting out the round.
One of the biggest mistakes beginning players make playing HORSE at the best or top ranked online poker websites is that they try to start at a level that is too high. These are all pretty much going to be limit games, which changes even some of the basic nuances of a game like Texas Hold’em, which is often played as a no limit real cash game. Instead, you really should consider starting at a low stakes level. In fact, start below where you think your average skill in the five games of HORSE would reasonably allow you to begin. From here, you can work your way up as you learn and become progressively better.
Many beginning players end up chasing bad lows or playing lower high hands in the split pot games. Split pot games are usually nut type games, where you really need to have the nut low hand or a very strong high hand (and in a number of cases having both is what you really want). If you don't have this, then get out of contention at your online poker sites and save yourself some real American cash.
In Razz, a big online poker mistake is to not be raising with a strong low card on third street. This is a game of aggression and you really want to jam the pot when you have a solid hand. Make the other players have the tough decision instead of yourself.
Not watching or paying attention to the other players is a huge beginner's mistake, no matter what games you are playing at your online poker sites. Watch how the other player's boards develop, especially in games like 7-Card Stud and split pot games. Then, you can make better decisions about how to react.
Our guide to poker online HORSE games should have cleared up and doubts you had in your mind about one of the lesser played online US games. Why not set about putting this new information into practice in one of our recommended US online poker rooms.