Five different variants make up the action in a game of H.O.R.S.E. poker and form the acronym that is its name:
H.O.R.S.E. poker events attract a large number of the top professional players because the simple fact that you have to play in five different poker disciplines means that a great deal of skill is required. It is a true test of a poker player’s mettle.
During a game of H.O.R.S.E. the play shifts between the different poker game variants after set periods of time, such as after each hand, in tandem with raising the blinds or at timed intervals.
H.O.R.S.E. has become so popular in professional playing circles that the richest event in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a $50 000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament, which debuted in the 2006 World Series of Poker.
In fact, top professionals have since been quoted as saying that this tournament actually decides the world’s best player, despite the winner of the $10 000 No-Limit Texas Hold’em Main Event being crowned unofficial World Champion.
In 2007 another two H.O.R.S.E. events were added to the World Series, one with a buy-in of $2 500 and the other a $5 000 event.
All of the game variants normally use the limit structure in a H.O.R.S.E. format, but in the case of the 2006 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. tournament the final table was No-Limit Hold’em.