Beating Weak Players in HORSE

Observations for HORSE Poker That Will Make You Money

HORSE Poker is one of the few poker games that give players the ability improve their skills in a variety of games. That said, the game is also one of the few where you’ll find a good portion of the players either don’t understand how to play or can’t adapt to each of the five variations played. Players who can adapt to all five games, and do have the skills needed to play each one, should be on the lookout for those who can’t. In this strategy article we’ll provide you with some observations you can look for when trying to spot the weak player in which game. We’ll cover all five games played which includes; Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Stud and Stud 8 or better.

HORSE Poker Mistakes – Fixed Limit Texas Hold’em

Nearly any opponent you’ve faced has played Texas Holdem at one point or another. It’s the first game most players pick up and ideally the one game most HORSE players show strength in. Of course your opponents may understand how to play Texas Holdem, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they play it right. It may be a strong game for them, but they might lack the fundamentals that would make them a winning player. By observing the table you should be able to asses which player doesn’t understand position, lacks the basics to calculate their odds, both pot odds and implied odds and more importantly plays way to many hands.

Although we can safely assume the majority of players will see more hands playing Fixed Limit Holdem than they would if they were playing No Limit Holdem, you’ll still spot those who are playing more than their fair share of hands. Weak hold’em players typically play out of position, as they don’t quite understand what position is, and have no insight into pot odds. For this reason alone, you should be able to profit from these players if you tighten up your starting hand requirements for Hold’em. Pay special attention to the player who can’t fold top pair when they should. These players will likely pay you off in other games if they’re making this beginner mistake in Holdem.

HORSE Poker Mistakes – Omaha Hi Lo

Although it’s the second most popular form of poker, Omaha Hi Lo is one of the few games where you can anticipate terrible players. Unlike Omaha Hi, players in this game don’t understand the notion that they need to play for both pots. You can spot these quickly by observing their hands. Any Ax will play for low and few will stack their hands just to play for Hi. Tighten up your starting hand requirements for Omaha Hi Loand you’ll easily profit from these players. If you’re unsure why it’s a bad idea to play for one pot only when you’re playing Omaha 8, please see our article “Omaha Hi Lo Strategy ” which explains this topic further and also discusses “quartering”.

HORSE Poker Mistakes – Razz Poker

Razz is one of the more complicated games and very costly for weak HORSE players. If you’ve spotted a weak player in Omaha or Holdem you can pretty much guarantee Razz is their weakest game. This makes it a profitable game for you. Weak Razz players don’t understand what qualifies as a low hand. If they do, they rarely understand what a winning low hand is. It’s because of their unfamiliarity with Razz that you’re able to get them to stick around a bit longer than they would in Holdem or Omaha. Often times, the weak player is usually the calling station because they’ve concluded that their hand may be good if they continue to draw.  Use these players to your advantage. Keep them interested in the hand, which in turn will keep them dumping chips into a pot just to play for second best.

HORSE Poker Mistakes – Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud is probably the easiest poker game in HORSE when it comes to profiting from weak players. The majority of them don’t understand the cost of each bet when chasing their hands and will more often than not play till 6th street without hesitation.  Watch the table for players who seem as though they aren’t aware of the board or the door cards of their opponents. These players tend to draw additional cards when there is even the smallest opportunity for their hand to improve. After all they get to see seven cards, right! Your best chance to profit from the weak stud players is to keep them in the pot as long as possible when you’re confident you have the better hand. If your opponent’s skills lack in this game, they will clearly have a problem with the next round once it changes to Hi Lo.

HORSE Poker Mistakes – Seven Card Stud Hi Lo

If you managed to find a weak player in Seven Card Stud or Omaha Hi Lo, you will absolutely want to take advantage of them during the Seven Card Stud Hi Lo round. The concept of playing for both pots is without a doubt over their heads. This type of player will be playing way to many hands and draw to 5th or 6th street. If you spot a player who calls but typically folds before showdown you can pretty much assume they lack the judgment needed for Stud Hi Lo starting hand requirements.  If they do go to showdown, pay special attention to their hands and relate it to the board and the other players. These players often play for second or third best and become easy targets.

There are obviously more things you can look for when playing against players in HORSE. Our best suggestion is to pay attention during the first five rounds so you can observe which games your opponents lack in and take some notes. The mistakes and observations above is why it’s critical that players have each of the five games down pack before sitting down to HORSE. Players who don’t pay attention to all five games will see quite a bit of variance on their mixed game bankroll.