The Stable – Types Of H.O.R.S.E. Players
When you’re playing HORSE poker, you’re going to run into the same types of players over and over again. It’s the same as in any other form of poker. Most players can be easily grouped and classified by common strategies. Everyone is predictable. Even in HORSE.
If you learn the main types of players you’re going to run into, you can learn exactly how to play against them. Your main edge in a HORSE poker game comes from knowing how to exploit your opponents. Luckily, your opponents make it really easy for you to exploit them.
Here are the main types of HORSE players, and some tips to help you exploit their weaknesses.
The stallion plays a loose, aggressive game. He knows his stuff. He also knows the player types, and makes most of his money exploiting the weaknesses of other players. He cares less about the cards he holds than he cares about punishing bad players. The stallion doesn’t have a favorite sub-game in HORSE. He can play all of them equally well. Remember, he doesn’t care about his own hand- he cares about his opponent’s hands. A weak opponent in Holdem is the same as a weak one in Omaha- they’re both bad and exploitable. The stallion will punish them in either game.
The stallion’s main weakness is his preference for constant aggression. Sometimes he will get carried away- often, the stallion will try to steal blinds on the button way too much. You can combat this by 3betting preflop when you feel like he’s trying to steal. Also try playing back at him postflop when you think he missed the board entirely.
The workhorse plays it safe. He’s been trained to do his job- which is to play his cards at face value. He’s tight, but aggressive when he’s got the goods. His main edge comes from playing good starting hands. You’ll see the workhorse folding the vast majority of the time.
The workhorse doesn’t like aggression. He likes minimizing his risk. That’s why he only plays very strong starting hands, and plays them fast. If he’s got the goods, you’ll know it, because he’ll try and get his money in preflop. If he isn’t in love with his hand, youll know it, because he’ll fold to any raise.
The trick to exploiting the workhorse is to play off of his fear of aggression. Although he runs a tight ship, he’s been trained to try and steal the blinds from the button. He has been taught to automatically raise the button any time the players before him have folded. If you see the workhorse raising the button in this situation, a 3-bet will show him who’s boss, and win you a nice pot.
The workhorse also hates playing postflop. His instruction manual never taught him how to make decisions past preflop, so he’s basically lost after the initial round of betting. Take advantage of this. Since you know that the workhorse has a good hand if you’re in a pot with him, steal flops that you know he missed. He’s averse to making moves on ragged, ugly boards, so take them down yourself.
“Ee-aaauwh… Ee-aaauwh…” Everyone loves a donkey. This guy simply has no idea how to play poker. He usually equates a game of HORSE with playing the lottery, so he’s just as reckless at the table as he is with a scratch-and-win ticket. To him, every hand preflop could be a winner, and you bet your socks he’s going to play any cards he gets.
The donkey has a horrible sense of what makes a winning hand. In his mind, any pair is good… Even if it’s lowest one pair in a game of Omaha… “Ee-aaauwh… Ee-aaauwh.”
To beat the donkey, you’ve just got to play smart. When you’ve got a hand, raise it up into him- he’ll call. If you don’t, chill out. It’s a bad move to try and steal a pot from a donkey. You can lower your winning hand standards a bit when playing against this guy. Top pair usually crushes whatever he’s calling with, so go crazy with the betting.