Rules of H.O.R.S.E (RAZZ component)

As we have already determined H.O.R.S.E is actually a melange of five different variations of poker and each game has its own specific set of rules and attached strategies. We have dedicated pages to Texas Holdem, Omaha and Seven Card Stud which look at these elements in depth and below we look at the rules of the remaining games – Razz and Eight or Better.

The game obviously begins with Texas Holdem and once completed it proceeds to the remaining games at a predetermined time. The change over to the next variant of poker generally takes place after the dealer button makes a full rotation of all the players around the table, every time the blinds go up, or simply after a set amount of time has passed. 

The Rules of Razz

The rules of Razz are very similar to those of Seven Card Stud except the low hand wins the pot! Each player is dealt a total of 7 cards; three face-down and the other four exposed. The objective is to make the best 5-card low hand using any combination of all 7 cards. Aces are always low and flushes and straights have no effect on the low value of the hand. The lowest possible hand is A-1-2-3-4-5.

Forced Bets – Ante & ‘Bring-in’

The forced bets are exactly the same as in 7 Card Stud:

  • the ante, or up-front wager made by each player before the start of play 
  • Bring-in – the player with the highest card showing must ‘bring-in’ or place the predetermined low limit bet into the pot. If two or more players share the same high card, the player closest to the dealer’s left must ‘bring-in’.

Betting Rounds

As with 7 Card Stud, there are five betting rounds and in fixed limit RAZZ, all bets and raises must be equal to either the low limit bet or the high limit bet depending on which round it is. In Rounds one and two all bets and raises must be equal to the low bet. In rounds 3-5 all bets must be equal to the high bet. A maximum of three raises are allowed per round. For more details on the five betting rounds – 3rd – 7th streets – take a look at our page dedicated to the rules of 7 Card Stud

The Rules of Eight or Better

Quick H.O.R.S.E strategy

A sensible strategy to adhere to as far as H.O.R.S.E is concerned is to minimise the weak areas whilst maximising the strong areas. If a player happens to be an excellent player of RAZZ, but battles with Holdem, it makes complete sense for them to take advantage of the players who are weak at RAZZ and to play aggressively, whereas they are advised to ‘tread softly’ during the Holdem phase of the game!

Obviously the best strategy is to be as skilled as possible at all the games and to be well informed about the individual strategies behind each game of HORSE!