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Horse Poker

Poker was developed in the early 19th century in the United States, and since then, the game has evolved into many variations. It is a game that is played in various formats and best enjoyed among 8 to 9 players. Among these, HORSE Poker is one of the mixed poker variants which is played at the high-stake tables in large casinos and on various online poker sites today.

Many players drift towards playing mixed variants of Poker as this gives a fair chance to all opponents. Players believe that mixed poker tournament variants are the ones to test a poker player's ability, and HORSE Poker online is considered the best among them.

It is also thought that these diverse variants tend to break the monotony of a single game and do not let the players get bored. Now the obvious question that buzzes in our mind is, 'What does HORSE mean in poker?' HORSE in HORSE Poker means being supported or someone is there to help with cash fully or partially in poker tournaments and cash games.

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What is HORSE Poker?

HORSE Poker is not a poker variant in itself, but rather a combination of six different variants of poker played consecutively at the same table. Now, let’s quickly jump into the details.

HORSE is an Acronym Used for the Following Variants:





E=Eight or Better (Stud Hi/Low Split)

Now you might be wondering which is the most challenging poker variant in HORSE Poker. The answer to this question needs you to be familiar with all the poker variants.

What are the Games in HORSE Poker?

HORSE Poker games are played with a fixed-limit betting structure. The amount is fixed according to the HORSE Poker rules, and a player has to decide whether to bet or not. The betting structure for each game is typically fixed limit, where there are predetermined bet sizes for each round.

Sometimes, this amount is doubled in the game and is referred to as Big Bet. Some of the poker rules for the HORSE Poker variants are discussed below. One can get an idea of what these variants might bring to your plate if you decide to play this variation.


This variant is also known as Texas Hold'em Poker. It is the world's most popular format among poker games. Each player has to make the best hand using five cards out of the seven cards, of which two are Hole Cards, and five are Community Cards.


Omaha poker is also called Pot Limit Omaha poker. It is the second most popular poker game format, after Hold’em. Each player gets four cards and has to make the best five card hand possible from those cards. This has to be done using exactly two of the four hole cards and the community cards on the board.


It is the oldest form of poker, developed in the 20th century when people began using 52-card decks for poker instead of 20. The game calls for the lowest five-card hand from the seven cards you are dealt.

It is a Lowball version of the Seven-card Stud Poker game. Players are given a combination of Up Cards (visible to the entire table in the game) and Low Cards (hidden). The lowest card hand is the winner of the game.


It is also called Down-the-River or Seven-Toed Pete. These games are just the same as Razz, but here the high hand ranking applies. In the first betting round, players are given two Down Cards and one Up Card.

Eight or Better

It has the same rules as Seven Card Stud, but the pot is split into two and awarded to the best low hand and the best high hand at the showdown. A soft hand must qualify the Eight high or better rule; otherwise, the entire pot is given to the best high hand. The players who know the drill of winning both the pots simultaneously (also known as scooping) are good split-pot players.

After the Eight-or-Better round, the game returns to Hold'em, and the cycle continues. The betting structure for each game is typically fixed limit, where there are predetermined bet sizes for each round.

Most players come to a HORSE Poker table with their experience in playing Hold’em. And, you need to consider the fact that this game would be a strong point for everyone else too. You need to get your hands ready for each of these games as there are many outstanding players who are showing their expertise and skills in HORSE Poker tournaments.

How do you play HORSE Poker?

HORSE is played as hand of each poker variation. It always begins with a Fixed Bet Limit Hold'em type game. Then, the game switches across Razz (Seven Card Stud Low), Fixed Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud (High Only), and finally Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo. When the Seven Card Stud High Low round is complete, the game follows the trend of the Fixed Limit Hold'em, and so on.

If you are playing a HORSE Poker game online, then you can know which the current game variant is when you look at the table window's top border.

HORSE Poker Basic Strategy

When playing a game of HORSE Poker, you have to stick to a policy that accounts for knowing which starting hand you need to start. And then, you have to play aggressively with that poker hand.

For every card game, a strong knowledge of the best hands to start with is essential. You need to play the game a couple of times to get your grip on the basic HORSE Poker strategy. Below are a couple of other low-stake pointers:

  • Search for low-stake games where players who are good at certain games and bad at others are most common. Also, look for opponents who are weak at playing Razz or Omaha; your chances of winning increase incredibly.
  • In a mixed-game format like H.O.R.S.E.; like we just said, opponents will have different levels of expertise in each variant. Take advantage of this by varying your playstyle and keeping opponents off balance. Mix up your strategies, bet sizes, and bluffing frequency to keep your opponents guessing.
  • When you play HORSE poker, you need to be mindful of the Split Pot. In games like Omaha Hi/Lo and Seven-Card Stud Eight-or-Better, where the pot is split between the best high and low hands, it's important to consider both components. Aim to have a strong chance of winning either the high or low half of the pot, or potentially both if you have a strong hand.
  • You need to bet frequently and raise the bet, especially in the case of blind games. It would be best if you eliminated your opponents who are eager to call you down at any moment. The easiest way to take the edge off this is to bet and raise if you have hands that complement it.
  • Horse Poker FAQs

Q. How to Play HORSE Poker for Free?

After going through all the variants and HORSE Poker strategy you might be ready to jump into the world of poker. But first, we would like to suggest you brush up your poker skills at various portals available online, or get your hands on cards.

Play with your friends and family before playing a real money game of poker or any HORSE Poker tournament. Playing these mixed variant games is a fast pace and mixed version of the most popular game of Texas Hold’em. There are many variations of HORSE Poker itself.

Q. Is HORSE Poker Popular?

Yes, indeed! It is a popular choice among the poker players who want to explore new variants. A record-setting $50,000 buy-in for HORSE Poker tournament made its debut at the 2006 World’s Series of Poker and poker chip Rese won the event.

Q. What does HORSE mean in poker?

HORSE, in the game Horse Poker, stands for Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Stud, Eight or Better. Therefore, its a mixed game format typically played with a fixed betting structure.

Q. What are the 5 poker games in HORSE?

The five poker games included in the list of mixed games of Horse Poker include- Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Razz poker, Stud poker and Eight or Better. The format of HORSE poker is a game rotation between all these five variations in tournaments.

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