H.O.S.E. Poker, which is also known in poker circles as S.H.O.E. Poker, is a mixed poker variant of the game that is actually a combination of four popular forms of poker – Texas Hold'em, Omaha Eight or Better, Seven Card Stud and 7 Card Eight or Better.
A similar version of H.O.S.E. is H.O.R.S.E., which includes the Razz poker element.
Playing H.O.S.E. naturally requires that players become skilled in all the rules and strategies of all four games that make up this variant, and is this game is played mostly by professional players for high stakes.
This eliminates players who are only skilled in one poker game, and industry analysts consider those who go on to win mixed poker game such as H.O.S.E. or H.O.R.S.E. the true masters of poker.
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A H.O.S.E. game comprises players playing a specific number of poker hands from all four variants that make up this game. Alternatively, and depending on the location, the game could comprise a certain time frame for each of the four variants. These rules are determined by the house, however the specific rules for each form of poker are followed exclusively.
As an example, a H.O.S.E. game may comprise eight hands of Texas Hold'em, followed by eight hands of Omaha, etc., OR the game may comprise half an hour of Texas Hold'em, followed by half an hour of Omaha, and so forth.
Rotation takes place in the order of the acronym, ie. First Texas Hold'em, followed by Omaha, then Seven Card Stud and finally Eight or Better.
The rules of H.O.S.E. incorporate the rules of all four poker variants that make up this game. Details of these game rules can be found from other sources, but a general outline of each is explained below:
- Texas Hold'em - Considered the most popular variant of poker today, where each player uses a combination of any five community cards and two hole cards to make the best poker hand.
- Omaha - Also known as Omaha Hold ‘em, this is a community card game that requires players to make their best poker hand using exactly two out of the four dealt cards and three out of the five community cards.
- Seven Card Stud Poker - A stud poker variant, which was considered the most popular form of poker before Texas Hold ‘em. The objective of this game is to make the best possible poker hand with the seven cards that were dealt to the player.
- Eight or Better - This is the hi/lo version of Seven Card Stud Poker where the best poker hands for the high and the low hands split the pot at the end of the game.
- H.O.S.E. Poker is not considered a game for beginners because of the high stakes, quick game rotation and top players sitting around the tables.
- Players should make sure that they familiarize themselves 100% with the rules and strategies of all the games that make up H.O.S.E. before wagering that first dollar.
- During H.O.S.E. tournaments, play tight with games that you are less familiar with and become more aggressive in games that you have the most experience in. However, as mentioned, it is best to become good at all games that make up H.O.S.E. poker.
- Take positive expectation risks earlier in the game to ensure the best chance of a good end position.
- Pay attention to the changes in the games and adjust accordingly. The fast pace of H.O.S.E. means that the stakes rise every few hands or minutes and so players should take careful note of these.
- Practice whenever you can for free, whether using free download software off the internet or anywhere else. The best H.O.S.E. players have literally hundreds of hours of game play behind them.
H.O.S.E. is an excellent way for players to develop an expertise in several exciting poker variants and eventually try these skills in high limit, professional games. H.O.S.E, as well as other mixed poker variants such as H.O.R.S.E, allow players to break the monotony of playing one poker variant and delivers a fast-paced, challenging and extremely exciting option.
Posted by CCJ Team