First attempt at a Strategy Article - HORSE

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switch0723

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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

Limit Holdem

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

Omaha H/L

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.

Stud

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 :D . Any comment or suggestions appreciated
 
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switch0723

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I dunno , i slave to write this for people and dont even get so much as a thankyou, or a not bad at all.
 
Steveg1976

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Kudos switch, well written and informative. Even though I have never played horse and don't have any plans to anytime time soon. :D
 
Jack Daniels

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Funny, I don't remember seeing this one yesterday at all (though the post time is clearly there). But yes, I've skimmed over it quickly and it looks like a decent primer on what to expect for each stage of a HORSE tourney. Nice job on your first try at a strategy post, btw. :)
 
The PoolBoy

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Hey switch-
Like the article on HORSE. I even agree with most of it. I must be wacked ( pro term) because I thoughly enjoy the RAZZ section. It is where alot of the best multi game players are weak. They dont fully comprehend it and are subsequentially frustrated by it( sound true??)
I fully agree with you on 8/better being the bread butter of the game. Good players will go on tilt and chase like a Cop through a ghetto! Truely one of the nuiances of the game that requires high degree of patience and timming. " scooping" in 8 or better is the goal so I would however tend to play low suited connects with much enthusium. By which if ya connect straight/ flush one will be rewarded 2 times.
Heck some of the Holdem is so over done at later stages too. I think this is generally due to the fact that players do not have experience in Limit HE? I will look forward to playing you some in the CC forum HORSE tourny? Til then Good Job on article!
 
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switch0723

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^^^ cheers pool boy, i am also looking forward to playing in the cc horse tourny. Your right some people do enjoy the razz part of horse. Its just that a razz tourny is completely different to the razz part of a horse tourny. Sicne in a razz tourny, you just need to be consistent and make the right decisions to collect chips, while in horse, if you get rotten cards 5th street++, you find yourself suddenly losing a whole load of chips and are suddenly the shortstack in stud. There isnt enough time for thjings to even out in the razz section.

Also about you saying scooping is vital im omaha 8, thanks for reminding me, i forgot to mention that. You should always be playing to scoop in my opinion. Thats why if you have a decent chip stack, you can start limping with 8,9,t,j, because these hands either hit nothing or hit the scoop, they very rarely only take half the pot, so are good hands to play with a deep stack.

Thanks you 3 for appreciating my eforts :smile:
 
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idaho3fan

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Was a good article,
i just dont post a whole bunch,
read a lot of the stuff that is posted, just most things i would say have been said allready

i did send someone this way that was looking for some HORSE advice

nice read
 
NineLions

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Nice switch, and thanks for doing it.

But, I still need to get to the point of knowing how to play these games yet. I'd like to learn, eventually, and then I'll try to remember to look back at this.
 
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switch0723

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There is just too much to write to explain each game and i dont even really know how to properly play each game, but even if you are a pro at playing each game, horse is something different since you only play each game for a set time, so a pro wouldnt suffer so much, but wouldnt be as good if just using individual skills. Also i should make it clear that you need to be bable to play 4/5 games but preferably all 5. In a tourny with long stages, eg 30 minute blinds you wil lneed to know how to play all 5. Its know use being good at just one as you only play it for 1/5th of the tourny obviously
 
dj11

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Switch, you should not play HORSE, you should switch to HOSE. Or maybe just HA.
 
allndave

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played my first game of horse yesterday , wish i had seen this first, one important thing is to pay attention i was eating lunch and did not notice that we changed from razz to stud , donked off a bunch of chips never recovered
 
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switch0723

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HA isnt as good since it doesnt have the stud section which is my goldmine. Also noone plays HOSE, its a lonely place. Have to play HORSE for full interaction. I still make chips during razz section though, i just dont play pots, i just steal to accumalate chips. You build slowly but you dont lose much - kinda contradictory but you get the idea
 
The PoolBoy

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Seen that happen B4 ( thankfully not me). Were ya thinkin why is this donk raising me with King up? Remember high card bring in in RAZZ low card brings in STUD.
 
beardyian

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Cheers for the article Switch.

Have played a fair bit of HORSE - as well as various games at limit.

People should be aware that often 2 pair is nothing in Omaha & Stud so do not put too much into the pot with that hand unless you are certain you good with it.

In Razz A23 is the best starting hand (but it has been known to be followed by KKQ :mad:)
 
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switch0723

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People should be aware that often 2 pair is nothing in Omaha & Stud so do not put too much into the pot with that hand unless you are certain you good with it.

Yep, these are the types of things i expect people to know before reading this article. Although top 2 pair is bettable in omaha. It will be the best hand frequently on the flop, just needs to be played with a lot of caution from turn onwards.

As for 2 pair being useless in stud, i disagree with that. Generally in a pot, it is a race to the highest 2 pair. If you raise pre flop with a big pair, you can expect your 2 pair to be good by showdown unelss someone has been aggressively betting an ace on board, then you have to fear over 2 pair. But generally 2 pair, aces over X's will win you hte most pots id imagine. I dont know stats but i imagine that is the case
 
beardyian

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I could have worded it better i suppose - it was more of a cautionary note, not to get too carried away with 2 pair instead of meaning it wasn't worth anything :)
 
bubbasbestbabe

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Couple of good tidbits to add. In the Omaha play, if there is a pair on board, there is a good chance that someone has a boat. In Razz, try to see the hand for the cheapest amount you can until your hand is made. In Omaha, play for the high. It's the low that gets chopped the most. You can wind up losing money with a 2 or 3 way split on the low.
 
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switch0723

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^^ good notes bbb. I tried avoiding explaining how to play each game individually for the fact i didnt wwant to write a 10,000 word, 3 hour long to write article. As for omaha, if there is a pair on board, you assume someone has got a boat and fold anything else such as flushes. Also dont play for high, play for scoops. You play hands such as a,a,2,3. Not for the fact they have a big low draw, but because you have multiple wheel draws and top boat draw allowing you to scoop

Ive enjoyed writing this article, i think next week i might do another one, im thinking along hte lines of when to and when not to cbet flops, since ive seen nothing of that kind around here
 
dj11

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Also remember that if you get dealt trips in the stud games, it is razz.;)

For those less familiar with razz, think of it as 7stud low. The name razz seems to have originated in the late 70's/early 80's. Clouded in misty history it was probably some drunk sluring his speach so badly that when he said 7stud low, it just came out "rzzzzzzzzz" and the name stuck.



Note; this historical conjecture about real or pseudo real events bearing little or no bearing on reality is a historical dummimentary about on the same level as the 'Tudors'.
 
adventurebound

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There is just too much to write to explain each game and i dont even really know how to properly play each game, but even if you are a pro at playing each game, horse is something different

First off, Nice job on the article Switch.

They best way to learn higher levels of skill is to teach. I say that from my experience of teaching other artists over the last couple of decades. Each time I teach someone my art I find I learn new things by getting a look at it from another's perspective. The trick is to listen to them and rethink my approach to see if there idea is actualy going to improve what I do.

A mind is like a parachute...it only works when it's open.

Looking forward to the next article,
AB
 
NineLions

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I like all the little game-specific tips people have thrown in. That's the kinda stuff someone at my level needs.


And if, as ab says, someone wants to learn by teaching, I'm willing to help you out.

:)
 
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mafalda34

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Nice post that was entertaining to read, i do like RAZZ although its the game with the biggest part of luck involved on the HORSE.

Most of the things u said there ive found them by myself but its nice to read them because that way i know im doing things correctly.
 
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TheHoag57

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Thanks

Excellent post! Great,entertaining overview of host. I have never entered one, not knowing what to expect. This helps a lot. Nice job.

TheHoag57
 
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switch0723

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WOw im so proud of my work, not one bad comment, although people feel free to add little bits you think ive missed
 
adventurebound

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Rather odd but last night I heard an old confucius saying that is basically the same as what I posted.

"The measure of a true master is one who learns from his stundents" or something close to that....

Made me think of what I posted here and how seperate cultures come up with similar sayings.
 
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