As you learn the basics of HORSE poker and are able to successfully navigate through the micro and low limit games, you will most likely feel the urge to try out the medium stakes games. Medium stakes games can be much more profitable and in general they make the time investment easier to handle since the payoff can be that much better. When you move to medium stakes HORSE poker there are some strategic changes you will need to be aware of. If you are interested in playing strategies for high limit HORSE poker or low limit HORSE poker check out our other HORSE poker articles below.
People who play medium stakes HORSE games are not just the casual players you might see at low and micro limit games. While a small percentage of them might be thrill seekers who have more money to blow on poker and get bored with low limits, a larger number of them are simply just better players and have the skills and the money necessary to play at a higher level. Here are some initial considerations:
Play should be even more aggressive at the medium stakes then it is at the low and micro limit tables. You will find some incredibly massive swings and some really big pots at the middle steaks. If you are unable to adapt to this more aggressive environment then your profit will be severely affected. Your best bet is to come out of the gates betting and raising hard so that you make a quick impression on your new opponents. Betting scared in medium stakes HORSE is a great way to lose lots of money.
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Weaknesses in individual games become even more apparent at the medium stakes levels. Good players are able to hone in on the weaknesses other players have and extract more money. This can be good or bad for you. If you are one of the players who are still not proficient in each type of game, you will suffer. On the other hand if you can learn to exploit the weaknesses of poor players, you will benefit greatly. For more on catching weaknesses in HORSE poker check out this article.
It will be critical that you start to take note of your opponents and learn their playing styles at the medium stakes levels. As skill levels increase and the disparity between players lessens you need to find more thoughtful and strategic ways to extract money from good players. It wont be as easy as outplaying the horrible players at the micro and low limits, you have to find ways to extract money when your opponents are showing weakness.
Picking the right medium stakes table
One of the most important considerations when you start playing medium stakes HORSE is table selection. Before you sit down at a table, make sure you observe and watch the lobby statistics. You are going to want to look for games where players have noticeable weaknesses in a particular game. Again, specifically watch Razz poker, Seven Card Stud hi lo and Omaha hi lo as it is these three games where the mistakes will be the easiest to notice. If you can peg one or two players who are clearly not as skilled in one of the games, move in and quietly start extracting their money!
A note on Seven Card Stud
Seven Card Stud can be particularly difficult to adapt to when making the transition to medium stakes. You may have to considerably loosen your starting hand requirements and play more aggressively to stay profitable. Just make sure you pay special attention to the characteristics of the Seven Card Stud game when it comes around and make the adjustments necessary to stay in the game.