HORSE is a combination of 5 different forms of poker, to form one ultimate game. From the mouths of the top professional poker players in the world, the best HORSE player is typically thought of as the best all around poker player. Every year at the World Series of Poker, the most expensive, exclusive buy in event is the World Championship of HORSE event, with a $50,000 buy in, which is five times more than the buy in to the No Limit Hold Em World Championship event. HORSE is a limit poker game and requires players to have a wide range of poker skills in order to succeed.
Although HORSE is considered the ultimate form of poker, it has remained relatively unpopular ever sine the poker boom of 2003. With No Limit Hold Em and Pot Limit Omaha action, many players do not have the desire to begin playing a limit game. Because of this fact, HORSE can be a very profitable game and players can find very juicy HORSE games on most of the big online poker sites.
As mentioned, HORSE consists of 5 different forms of poker, each of which requires a poker player to play and think differently:
H stands for Hold Em. Although players might get excited seeing Hold Em, it is only Limit Hold Em in HORSE. This game is the game with the most variance in HORSE.
O stands for Omaha Hi/Lo. This game is a split pot poker game, where there is a best high hand every hand. Most hands have a qualifying low hand, although there does not have to be a low hand. This game generally has less variance.
R stands for Razz. Razz is a stud poker game, where a player starts with 2 down cards and one up card. A player goes through 4 streets and tries to make the best 5 card low hand, with a wheel being the best possible hand.
The S in HORSE stands for Seven Card Stud, which plays the same as Razz, except the best 5 card high hand wins the pot.
The E in HORSE stands for Stud hi/lo. This is also a split pot poker game. It is basically a combination of Seven Card Stud and Razz. There is a best high hand each hand, and although there can be a best low hand, there does not have to be a qualifying low hand.