How to Play Horse Poker Online

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Updated on: March 6th, 2023

Horse poker is a hybrid variant of the classic casino card game. It merges a variety of poker variations to make this one ultimate poker game. In fact, each of the letters of horse poker actually an acronym. H is for Hold’em is for Omaha any of the Omaha variants, R stands for razz while S for seven card stud and E is for eights or better Seven cards stud.

At regular land-based casinos horse poker is usually a high-stakes game for high roller tables. Fortunately, online casinos have made this exciting hybrid variant of online poker more accessible for everyone. If you’d like to know more about how to play horse poker follow along as we explore this fascinating game.

Find out here why the horse card game is one of the most popular online poker games.

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What Are the Five Games In Horse Poker?

HORSE poker is a mixed game of poker that is played by rotating different game variants of poker. On the other hand, the term HORSE is used to refer to a player that is funded by the banker. The term Horse is an anagram of the different poker games that make up this hybrid game.

H – Holdem

O- Omaha

R- Razz

S- Seven Card Stud

E – Eights or Better

Horse poker is usually a game at high-stakes tables as it requires lots of capital and has great potential for wins. It is also a popular game at the World Series of Poker tournaments. In fact, one poker pro, Chip Reese won $50,000 from the HORSE Championship.

Horse Poker Basics

Since horse poker is a mix of five different poker variations it goes without saying that to play it well you need to understand the different variants. As with all poker games the foundation is Texas holdem. Once you understand the Texas holdem rules and how to play you will be well on your way to understanding all the other variations. All poker games follow the basic principle of individual player cards and separate shared community cards. The game of horse poker is usually played as a limit game. What that means is bets can only be made in fixed increments. These increments are predetermined before a game and each table clearly state what’s the limit for the game is.

How to Play Horse Poker

Horse poker is a long game since each of the variations is played in a full round before moving to the next. Therefore, players always need to be quick to adapt to a new strategy and new betting format.

The first game in horse is always holdem and follows the order of the letters so it’s Hold’em Omaha was seven card studs high and then 8s or better stud high or low.

As each round finishes and you’re going to the next round the dealer will notify you that the round and game has changed. Alternatively, a card signalling which game is now being played will be placed on the table. When you play online it will be displayed on the screen which game you are now playing. However, if you are a sharp clear you will quickly notice when the round changes as different poker games may have different numbers of whole cards. Therefore, when you suddenly get more hole stand before you know that the game has changed.


HORSE Poker Rules

Horse poker follows the order of the letters. So the game starts of with Holdem then Omaha and so forth. Each game is played and completed in a one round before moving to the next. When you play at a casino the dealer will signal or place another card that indicates that the current game is changing to the next one.

Online horse poker will display on the screen that the game has changed. If you are very familiar with your poker games it will be clear when the number of hole cards you have changes that the game has changed.

The horse card game is also a fixed limit game. Limit games have set amounts for the blinds and by which you can raise by.

Best Horse Poker Strategy

A standard game of horse poker is usually played over 8 hands.

It is also a fixed limit game therefore your strategy of how to get ahead and outplay others on the table may have to change. Especially if your strategy is to raise and push players out. Since the game is a fixed limit there’s only so much you can do to increase the pace of the game by raising and re-raising.

In a game of horse, the best strategy is usually to f0rm the best hand possible through focused on your hand and not on pushing other players out since they are different games in each round to be played. Therefore what could be a good hands in one poker variation may not be such a great hand in the next game you’re playing in the next round. Therefore, it all times focus on the hand that you have and try to improve that one.

The Five Games in Horse Poker

The best way to play horse focus to understand each of the variations. For that reason, we have briefly outlined each of the games in horse. There are links to full guides for each of the games.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold em is the main principal foundation of all popular poker games. Game starts off with two hidden cards for each player and three community cards for the table. As each round goes a new community college is added until they are a total off 5 community cards on the table.


This variation of poker consists of four hole cards. In Omaha poker you are obliged to use two of your hole hole cards in making you best hand.


This is a study variation off lowball poker games. What means razz poker unique is it’s hierarchy of winning hands.

Seven Card Stud

A poker variation that was once more popular in Texas holding itself. In 7 card stud each player is dealt three initial hole cards and then follows the same steps as standard poker games.

Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Split 8 Or Better

A variation of seven card stud where’s the wind is split equally between a high hand and an 8-high low hand.

 Tips for Playing Horse Poker

  1. Study the game – Learning the game of HORSE poker is very important if you want to win real money on these games. Professional HORSE poker players online never stop learning even though they know all the rules of poker like the back of their hands.
  2. Start small – It is important to remember that playing poker for real money is different from playing free online HORSE poker. Place small bets if you are starting out as a real money HORSE poker player.
  3. Be realistic – You need to determine how many hands and tournaments you have to be able to earn a sizeable amount of money. You need to remember that you cannot win a large amount of money by playing one game.
  4. Manage your time – there have been poker players who have made poker the sole focus of their lives which may not be a good thing for other aspects of life. Practicing responsible gambling is essential. It is also imperative to make sure that you take a break from playing the game so that you can come back with a clear mind and different game tactics.
  5. Never Play Tired – You will know that if you want to succeed in anything you have to perform at your optimum best. You need to have enough energy to play at your best.


Top 10 HORSE Poker Mistakes

  1. Most players will play the game too tightly. This means that you have to play the board aggressively to ensure that you take the pot away from them.
  2. You are overvaluing starting hands with three cards which are valued at eight and under.
  3. Players will wait for the hold’em and Omaha hi-low to make their money.
  4. Some players don’t have a clear understanding of the rules, nor do they have a strategy.
  5. Players usually don’t know how to determine whether they are playing an intense game or a weak game.
  6. Not reading your opponent well or the strategies used is a mistake that most players make.
  7. Some players don’t know that some low cards are out and should not be played.
  8. Not knowing when to fold is another mistake that players make.
  9. In some moments, when players are playing against the strongest players tend to fold even then they are not losing.
  10. Players who don’t devise strategies when they are playing tend to lose pretty quickly.

FAQs about HORSE Poker

How do you play HORSE poker?

HORSE poker is made up of various variations of poker, such as Limit Hold’em. So, the first round starts with the Limit Hold’em game then the next round follows with Omaha Hi/Lo and etc.

What does HORSE stand for in poker?

HORSE Is actually an acronym which is made out of the first letter of the different poker variants. So, H.O.R.S.E which is: Hold’em, Omaha Hi, Razz, Stud, Eight-or Better (Stud Hi-Lo)

What games are in horse poker?

As we have mentioned before the poker variations that are includes in HORSE poker are: Hold’em, Omaha/Hi, Razz, Stud, Eight-or-better.

What is stud horse poker?

Stud in HORSE just refers to the poker variation game that is included in HORSE poker. Stud stands for Stud poker.

Who are the best horse poker player?

In 2014 WSOP started a championship that was valued at $50,000. Here is a list of players that were the best in poker:

  1. Chip Reese
  2. George Danzer
  3. Calvin Anderson
  4. Benjamin Yu
  5. Alexandre Luneau
  6. Marco Johnson
  7. Paul Volpe

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