Horse is a mixed poker game. And by mixed, I mean that it’s a game consisting of a “mix” of other poker games. The name “HORSE” is an acronym for Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Stud and Stud Eight or Better (Hi/Lo) poker. These are all the games played in Horse, in the order in which they’re played.
Horse is a fun game to play. It gives you variety if you’re looking for something new. I like it because it’s challenging. You not only need to be familiar with the rules of each game, but the basic to intermediate strategies of each in order to be any good at it. This forces you to become a rounded poker player.
If you don’t know how to play any of the games in Horse, then it might not be a good idea to play it just yet. It’s difficult enough trying to play Horse only having an understanding of 3 or 4 of the 5 games, much less not knowing how to play any of them. You’d be totally lost trying to learn all the games at once as they rotate. However, if you do know how to play a game or two in Horse, that’ll make picking up the rest of the game that much easier.
Either way, I’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about getting started in Horse poker. Instead of posting the rules for each individual game, I’ve posted links to the pages where we have already written them. Once you’ve learned about each individual game, be sure to come back and learn the rest of the rules specifically pertaining to Horse.
Horse Poker Rules
Each of the following pages has the rules for each game in Horse. They cover everything from the general rules to the common betting formats used to the different variations of that game you might find.
The rules for Stud 8 or Better will be towards the bottom of the Stud Poker page.
Horse Poker Game Rotation
How often the games rotate will depend on what poker site you’re playing on and the game you’re playing.
In tournaments and SNGs, the games in Horse will generally rotate as the blinds go up. This could be 3, 5 or 10 minutes — it could even be an hour. It just depends. The bigger the tournament, generally the longer each round will last.
For cash games, games tend to rotate after so many hands of each game. They might rotate after each hand is finished. They could also rotate every 8 hands or so, which is about an orbit at a full Horse table.
Since the rotations can vary so much, be sure to read about the structure beforehand so you know what’s going on.
Horse Poker Betting Structure
All the games in Horse are played using the fixed limit betting structure. This form of betting is confusing at first. So I’ll explain it using an example.
In a $4/$8 limit game, the first two rounds will be using the small bet or in this case, $4. All bets and raises are in this increment. The last three rounds use the big bet or $8. So all bets and raises are in increments of $8.
Another aspect of fixed limit betting that’s different from other forms is that there is a cap to how much can be bet. On any round, there can be only one bet and 3 raises. After that, the betting is capped and the only options are to call or fold.
Other Mixed Game Variations
Horse is only one of many different mixed game variations. Other variations include:
- HOSE: Holdem, Omaha, Stud and Stud Hi/Lo
- HOE: Holdem, Omaha and Stud Hi/Lo
- HO: Holdem and Omaha
- OE: Omaha and Stud Hi/Lo
Many of the sites that host Horse will host these mixed games as well.
Get Started Playing Real Money Horse Poker
If you have yet to play Horse, I encourage you to check it out. Once again, it’s a fun game to play due to the variety of games and the challenge of always having to switch gears. I enjoy playing it and I’m sure you will too. Use our list of best Horse poker sites above to find the best site for you.