First attempt at a Strategy Article - HORSE
Alrighty o, well yesterday ran deep in another horse tourny - finished 28th out of 800 odd. Ended up pushing with a,t in holdem and huge stack bb was compelled to call with any 2 but had pocket 5's anyway and they held. But after that i thought i would write this article since i havnt seen a HORSE one around here.
Right, well I firstly need to point out that this isnt a guide on how to play each of the individual games, this is a guide on how to play HORSE. I expect everyone to already have a basic knowledge on how to play each game before reading this, but i will be giving little hints out.
Horse tournies are generally split into 3 levels based on orbits of games. I wil lbe explaining how to play each game based on each of the 3 levels. The first level is the first time you play each game when the blinds are very low, the 2nd level the blinds have increased to decent sizes and are worthy enough to steal, the 3rd level blinds are generally very large in comparison to stacks.
Horse is very much a game of patience, with it being a limit game, you can afford to take your time and only play big hands throughout the tourny. Stages like stud aid the short stacks as they are not compelled to play any hands and even with the bring in, they can still have big hands to play. In horse dont make any rash decisions, take your time and make sure your decisions are wise.
Too the games
1st Level - The opening round in horse, in online tournies anyway, start with 10/20 blinds. Therefore there is no need for you to do anything drastic at all first level. You will be playing for pots worth about 200, so there really isnt much point in getting involved. At this level i fold everything except aces kings and queens. With those im raising pre flop but only from late position with no limpers infront. If you raise utg with one of these, you can end up with a 5-7 person pot not knowing where you stand and spewing chips away. The idea of this level is to get through and maintain a stack, not build it. Also as a side note, dont set mine in this stage since there will be lots of multi pots where sets wont be good enough to win, you need to at least hit a fh to win. Therefore i wouldnt bother
2nd Level - At this stage, the blinds and pots are easily big enough to be worth playing for now. People will not be calling with any two cards now just to see flops because bets are much bigger. I would still prevent limping, only come into pots with a raise. Now you need to be raising pre flop with pocket pairs and qj+. Also position is your friend in limit. If checked to in pots with 3 people including you, lead out. You will take down the pot a lot of times.
3rd level + - Blinds are generally pretty big now so the game turns into more of a no limit game, as any raise pre flop generally commits you to the hand. This is the time to raise the short stacks and start bossing hte table. You can steal a surprising amount of pots as long as you dont raise big stacks, as any raise is a significant portion of any stack. So at this stage, think of it as a late stage in a no limit tourny, and steal your ass off. If your short stacked, be patient. There is no use to playing any two cards since you will be called. It is better to wait till the very end and be blinded out higher up the ladder than push any 2 earlier. Just wait for a,9+ and push
1st level - You will find a lot of people raising pre flop here, both people who dont know how to play and people who ar eon tilt after a bad beat in the holdem. Generally avoid them, dont call pre flop raises as any hand can win and you are playing lottery by calling. Just wait for your premium hands, your a234, aa23 etc. Generally dont get committed to a hand, call pre flop with a premium then check/call it down if you hit, only raise with the nut high. Again this is a level to maintain a stack, not to build one.
2nd level - Generally the same as the first level. You wont find as many people raising pre flop now, but you will get mass calling, so once again wait for you premiums and look to pick up small pots with them.
3rd level - This is the hardest part of a horse tourny, trying to maintain a stack with high blind levels in omaha 8. Generally two strategys here. If your not to good at omaha, try and fold your way to razz and play premiums. If your good, raise it up to play some big pots, you can take advantage of weaker omaha players left. If your the large stack, raise hte short stacks to oblivion with anything, just look to play pots. If your a shortstack. Push with any 3 in your hand that are 5 or lower if 1 is an ace. Also push with aces in your hand, or 4 connectors eg 8,9,10,j.
Razz - Firstly the worst game in history, what is hte point in razz existing, there are guides on how to play, but imo they only work for razz tournies not HORSE tournies
1st level - Fold fold fold fold fold. Absolutely nothing you can do here since people call with any assortment of cards, and 4th street onwards is all down to luck. The only hand i play is 3 to the wheel. If on 4th street im drawing to a 6 low, i continue, if not i dump it. Mainly in razz dont look to play pots. Just raise to steal pots before 4th street. Most should know how to do this, someone brings in with a king, it is folded to you with an ace in the door and everyone behind has picture cards. You raise whatever to take the pot.
2nd level - Same strategy, dont play pots, steal pots before 4th
3rd level - same strategy. If your the big stack, apply pressure by raising with 3 lower than an 8. If your the short stack, push with 3 to the wheel.
1st level - You can generally pick up a lot of chips here since a lot of players in the first level dont know how to properly play stud. Play tight and raise with tens or better, then just keep pounding away with bets. If raised back into, re evaluate before continuing. Also play your drawing hands here since you will get paid off
2nd level - Same basic strategy, wait for your rolled up cards and your big pairs, then just bet bet bet. This is where you will make a lot of chips with this strategy
3rd level - Exactly the same strategy. If your the big stack, raise the short stack to oblivion again and be willing to take them on with any 3 cards sicne you wil lgenerally be a 35% underdog at worst. As short stack, wait for you big hands, you will get paid off and lkely doubled up when you hit them
Stud 8 or better - The gold mine of the horse tournies. Add the 8 or better part is the most ridiculous part of this game and is what makes you a lot of money. You will hit a low about 40% of the time starting with 3 to low i think it is. Therefore in a heads up pot, you are drawing with a 40% chance to win your money back, what is the point in that. In a multi way pot, you are drawing to at least a 6 low to be confident, and that is uncommon to hit. But if you do, you generally have a straight aswell and can raise with that. In general dont chase in stud hi/low, play your big pairs and rolled up cards as you will be paid off by low draws. I only ever draw to the low, if im bringing in with 3 cards lower than a six and see 4th street for free and hit 4 to a 6 low, then i am willing to draw to a straight aswell.
The same strategy applies for all levels on this game, and it will be where you pick up most of your chips as long as you dont chase your low. If your short stacked, push with big pairs, you will be called by big stack hoping to hit a low. If your big stack, dont change the game you are playing, stick to tight playing big pairs stud poker
I dont think thats too bad for a first attempt. Its probably all rubbish and full of typos, but im quite proud of it . Any comment or suggestions appreciated