A new popular form of poker at online casinos is "mixed games".
This form of poker lowers the advantage that a specialist in one type of poker may have and highlights the true ability of a player who can play multiple variations of poker. Many people think that the HORSE tournaments and other mixed games are the best criteria for judging the actual skills of a poker player.
HORSE tournaments have recently increased their popularity since their introduction at the 2006 WSOP. This is the biggest event in the $50,000 buy-in.
HORSE is a combination of five versions of poker. The variation player is changed after a certain period of time or a fixed number of hands played, according to the poker room and tournament structure. A HORSE game includes Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Stud Hi/Lo, in this order. To succeed in a HORSE tournament, you must be able to play skillfully at each of the five variations of poker tournaments included in HORSE.
HORSE tournaments have become a very popular game for professional high stakes players getting tired of only playing Texas hold'em. Most players know how to play Hold'em and Omaha. Razz and Seven Card Stud are less known, so we'll take a quick look at them.
In Razz, the high value cards are not important. The lowest hand wins the pot. The format of play is similar to Seven Card Stud High. The Ace is considered a small-value card. Straights and flushes do not count. The 5-4-3-2-A is the best possible hand, called the wheel.
Seven Card Stud is a game with antes where the goal is to get the best possible hand from your seven cards. Of these, four are dealt face up and three face down. To start a hand, each player must pay the antes and then everyone gets three cards, two face down and one face up.
The player with the lowest face up card is the first to act. This player is first to start the betting, either paying half the lower limit or making a bet equal to that limit. After all players have made their bets, they receive another card face up and the player with the highest combination of cards face begins another round of betting.
During this round, the betting is still at the lower limit. The bets are followed by distribution of a third card face up and the game continues as in the previous round, except that the bets are now at the upper limit. This limit is maintained for the next two rounds, where they distribute a final card face up and one face down. In a show down, the player with the five highest cards wins the pot.
HORSE is a very interesting poker variation but do not start playing it until you understand at least one or two variations well. As HORSE is indeed a very complex game.
So if you have any free casino money or poker money, try playing HORSE. But make sure you understand well the rules of each poker variation before you sit at a HORSE table at a Las Vegas Casino or elsewhere. If you do get the game rules, then you may make a killing as most of your opponents won't.