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  • Small Stakes H.O.R.S.E Poker Strategy

    Mixed game poker formats are quickly becoming popular at many of today’s largest online poker sites. Players are looking to add variety to their game and increase their skills at more than just one game. With that in mind, the most popular of the current mixed games formats is HORSE poker. This format combines the five most popular poker games in the world into one action packed game that cycles through each game. This article will introduce some beginning strategic concepts that will help new players as they learn this fun and exciting mixed game variant.

    Game proficiency In H.O.R.S.E Poker

    Before you sit down and dive into the HORSE format, it is very important that you clearly understand all the games involved in the format. While Texas Hold’em is clearly the most popular poker game in the world, have you ever sat down for a hand or two of Razz poker? Probably not, with that in mind, let’s look at some quick pointers for HORSE’s more confusing games:

    Razz is seven card stud played only for the low hand. It can be quite confusing at first so this is definitely not a game you want to screw around with when you first play HORSE. Do yourself a favor and buy into a low limit table of razz and learn the ins and outs of this game before trying to take it on in HORSE

    Omaha hi lo and seven card stud hi lo are both games where players are looking to take a high half of the pot and a low half of the pot. If you are not familiar with low hands or how to figure them out, then you definitely will need some practice at these two games before you jump into HORSE. Just as in razz, find a cheap low limit table, buy in and get your feet wet.

    While most players will probably come to a HORSE table from their Hold’em experience, you need to consider the fact that it will probably be everyone else’s strong game as well. Make sure before you enter a middle or high stakes HORSE game that you could handle the same limits on your own in a regular Hold’em game. There are some really good players out there who have excellent poker skills at a wide variety of games.

    So the first strategic consideration you have to make when playing HORSE is whether or not you can hold your own in each of the games. If you cannot, a good player will be able to exploit your weakness right away and will severely hinder your overall profit potential. Being bad at even one of the games is enough to run your bankroll dry.

    Specific low stakes HORSE strategies

    Like most other low stakes poker games, you will want to stick to a strategy of selective aggression when playing HORSE. What we mean by this is that you need to be selective with which starting hands you play and then you need to be aggressive when you decide to enter the pot with a given hand. A good knowledge of the best starting hands for each game is absolutely critical. Here are a few other pointers for low stakes games:

    Low stakes games are where it is most common to find players who are okay at some games and horrible at others. Watch in particular for players who simply can’t grasp games like razz or Omaha hi lo, sometimes winning here is horribly easy.

    Bet and raise often, especially pre flop in the blind games. You need to eliminate players who all to often are tempted to call you down to the river and suck out long shot draws. The best way to minimize this is to always be betting and raising when you have hands that warrant it.