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Poker news | Oct 22, 2021

How To Play Horse Poker

By RTR Jamie


HORSE Poker is a mixed-game variant of poker, you can usually find it being played at high-stake tournaments. However, this is not always the case, it has become increasingly popular over time and can now be played online as well as for fun. In cases where there is no present dealer, the dealer button is passed around to each poker player once.

So, let’s learn how to play by going through 5 poker variants that make up the game.


Texas Holdem is the first game that is played although, on this account it would be a fixed limit game. Players will be dealt two cards and then five community cards are dealt face up over three stages.


The next game to be played is Omaha. Similar to Texas Holdem, after being dealt three cards, players will need the best combination in order to win, with two of their cards and three from the five community cards in order to win. Again, this game differentiates from the more familiar game of Omaha as it is played with a predetermined limit.


You would now move on to a game of Razz, which is the lowball version of Seven Card Stud. There is a starting hand of 3 cards dealt to the players then another card on each round of betting. Five cards will be used and the player with the lowest ranking hand wins. In this game the ace will count as 1, making the lowest possible hand A, 2, 3, 4, 5.


The game then switches to Seven Card Stud, this is the same format as Razz poker however, you would now need to get the highest ranking hand.

Eight or Better

Stud Hi/Lo, also known as Eight or Better is similar to Seven Card Stud. Again, the rules are almost identical to Stud and Razz, albeit the pot will be split at the end, half to the player with the highest rank and half to the player with the lowest rank. The low hand must be eight or better in order to qualify as the lower hand, if it is not then the player with the higher ranking will receive the whole pot.

What are The Best Possible Hands?

Now we have had a quick brief of how to play the games, we can now take a look at what the best hands are in order for you to win.

Needless to say, the rankings will depend on the game you are playing. For Texas Holdem and Omaha, the best possible hand would be a Royal Flush - this is five cards of the same suit, from 10 to ace high. This would also be the winning hand for the hi part in Stud.

In a game of Razz, the best hand is a hand known as ‘the wheel’ or ‘the bicycle’ - this is a low ace through five. This would also be the winning hand for the lo part in Stud.

For Seven card stud there are two possible hands, depending on the community cards.

If a wild card is present, such as the joker, five of a kind would be the highest rank - this is a hand that includes five cards from one rank.

If there is no wild card the best possible hand would be a straight flush - five cards of the same suit, ace high through 10.

Fun Facts

As I mentioned, HORSE Poker is played in major poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Championship of Online Poker.

At the 2006 World Series of Poker, the HORSE tournament saw a record-breaking buy-in at the WSOP with a huge $50,000, where Chip Reese took the title.

It first made its debut in 2002 at the World Series of Poker, with a lower buy-in at $2,000.

There are other variations of the game such as: HOSE, C.H.O.R.S.E and T.H.O.R.S.E.H.A.