Horse and Hose are acronyms for a mix of poker games that are played together at the same table. The purpose of the same players engaging in different variations of poker is to determine who is the overall best poker player as opposed to being a specialist in just one variety.
H.O.R.S.E. stands for (Texas) Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Stud (7 card), and Eights or better (7 Card stud High Low). H.O.S.E. is the same list of games without Razz. When playing Horse in a casino each game is played in turn starting with Texas Hold’Em through to Eights or Better. After a rotation of games is completed the style switches back to Texas Hold’Em and the cycle starts again. Usually one round of each game is played before advancing to the next game although this can vary between casinos. For instance, some casinos place a time limit for each game.
When switching from Omaha High Low to Razz the dealer button is frozen in place. This is to prevent players either missing their turn to play the blind bets or playing blinds twice. This is necessary because in Razz the betting order in each round, and therefore the bring-in position, is decided by card values and not the position of the dealer button. All of Horse games are played fixed limit, that is to say none of the component games are played either pot limit or no limit. This is done to prevent a player with one style having an unfair advantage when that style is being played.
Horse and Hose have gained a lot of popularity among professional and experienced poker players in response to the increased interest in poker in general. Over the past few years there has been a surge of interest in poker due to the televising of many tournaments and the wide internet access to online gambling sites. This has brought many amateurs to the game that rely more on luck than on good poker skills. Although this might make them easy prey, seasoned poker players would rather test their skills against serious opposition and have therefore been draw to Horse and Hose. To play these games requires a thorough knowledge of each of the games played so newcomers to poker tend to stay away.
In addition, playing Horse and Hose can make a welcome break from the monotony of playing the same game of poker during a long session. The constantly changing poker variations require different skills and strategies that help to maintain interest and prevent boredom.
Horse and Hose have also enjoyed a boost of attention recently when these styles of play were added to some major world tournaments both in brick and mortar casinos and online contests. For poker players looking for a real challenge to their skills Horse and Hose are now more than just fun they can be very profitable too.
Before attempting these ultimate poker games it is best to first get a thorough knowledge and gain experience of each of the component games.