H.O.R.S.E. Poker

H.O.R.S.E. is not really a form or variant of poker, its simply a mixed game often played at the high stakes tables of casinos and online tournaments. H.O.R.S.E. essentially is rounds of play cycling between the following popular poker games:-

  •  H : Hold'em (Texas Holdem is a shared card or community card poker game. Each player is dealt two private cards (hole cards) and there are five face up cards shared on the table that can be used by everyone. The winner is the player who can make the best five card poker hand from the seven cards available in total.)
  • O: Omaha (each player gets four private cards "hole cards" and there are five shared cards on the table. Exactly two hole cards together with three shared cards must be used to make the player's best 5 card hand)
  • R: Razz (seven card stud played for lowball, using ace-to-five "5 High" ranking)
  • S: Seven-card Stud high (seven-card hand, where some of the cards are dealt face up, players use any five of their seven cards to make the best 5 card poker hand)
  • E: Seven-card stud high-low Eight or better, or hi-lo (like seven card stud but each player selects a five card high hand and five card low hand – pot is split equally between the highest and lowest hands)

H.O.R.S.E. made its main debut during the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 2002 with a $2,000 buy-in tournament on by John Hennigan earning him a sweet $117,320 prize! Since then H.O.R.S.E. has been a regular World Series tournament fixture. In the 2006 and 2007 World Series of Poker events there were record breaking $50,000 buy-ins for the H.O.R.S.E. tournaments. Chip Reese won the event in 2006  earning him a cool $1,716,000. When Chip Reese died in 2007 the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy was created in his honour from the 2008 the World Series of Poker event onwards for the winners of the $50,000 championship event. H.O.R.S.E. is a limit game, including the Texas hold 'em. However, in some tournaments the final table is no-limit hold 'em finale. This event has spawned several prize pots of over $1million and in 2007 over $2million awarded to the lucky (and skilled) winner Freddy Deeb.

There are a couple of variations on the H.O.R.S.E. theme that are becoming popular; C.H.O.R.S.E and T.H.O.R.S.E.H.A.

  • C.H.O.R.S.E basically adds Chowaha or Crazy Pineapple (like Texas Hold'em except that each player is initially dealt three hole cards and one is discarded after second betting round) into the existing H.O.R.S.E. mix.
  • T.H.O.R.S.E.H.A. is an 8-Game Mix  – Limit 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Texas Holdem, Limit Omaha High-Low 8 or better, Limit Razz, Limit Seven-card Stud, Limit Seven card Stud Hi-Lo Eight or better, No limit Texas Holdem and Pot limit Omaha High .

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