What is H.O.R.S.E., and why do I want to play it? If you have asked this question of yourself or a friend, fear not, the answer lies below.
H.O.R.S.E. is a poker game, or actually five poker games played as one. Sometimes called a “half and half” game, H.O.R.S.E. and similar games are played in rounds. The rounds are predetermined and consist of either a time limit, such as a half hour, or a number of hands, even as few as one hand per game type. With the inclusion of the H.O.R.S.E. event in the 2014 World Series of Poker, more and more people are going to want to play it, and you get to teach them how.
Of course, that would reaquire learning all five of the different game types. For H.O.R.S.E. they are as follows: H is for Hold'em, O is for Omaha High Low (8 or better), R is for Razz, S is for Seven Stud High and the E is for the “eight” in Seven Stud High Low (8 or better). Hey, there had to be someway to make it a cool acronym. Note that the Hold’em game is traditionally limit Hold’em.
There are variants of the half and half games, of course, such as H.O.R.S.E.L, which is naturally six games, the above plus lowball. Take away the lowball and the Razz and you have H.O.S.E; then take away Seven Stud High and you have H.O.E. There is even R.O.E., which will left for you to figure out.
The H.O.R.S.E WSOP game has a record setting $50,000 buy in, so it is certain to draw out the pros, mostly, who have called for this event as being a truer indicator of who is the best all-around poker player, rather than the best No Limit Texas Hold’em player.