H.O.S.E. Poker Strategy

You will find a good description of H.O.S.E poker in the How to Play H.O.S.E. poker article.  Briefly H.O.S.E. poker is actually 4 poker variants rolled up into one game.  They are:

H = Texas Hold'em
O = Omaha Hi-Lo (Eight or Better)
S = Seven Card Stud
E = Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo (Eight or Better)

Everyone has their favorite and least favorite part of H.O.S.E. and though it is not necessary to be an expert in each of the games you should have a working knowledge of how each one is played. This site has some great articles on each of these games. These are some strategy tips on how the play the mixed game all together and not for each individual game.

Understand Which Game is Next

If you are going to play in a H.O.S.E. poker game or tournament you should get acquainted with how the games will be sequenced.  In a standard game they will start just like they are listed above. The game will continue at the end of 7 card stud hi/lo with Texas Hold’em again and will keep rotating through until the game session ends or the tournament is over.

You also should be aware when the games rotate. This is generally done in one of three ways: By blind levels, by time or by hand. There are some games that rotate by hand and these games are usually faced pace and if you are not paying attention you can get lost very quickly. Others rotate by a set time period.  For example every 10 minutes the game changes and the most common rotation schedule is by blind levels.  When the set time for blind level changes come up, the game also rotates.

Not knowing if you are playing 7 card stud or 7 card stud Hi/Lo could be very costly and erase any profits you made on the other variants.  Make sure you keep up with what game is being played.

Playing Your Opponents

Not a lot a people are going to be aggressive and comfortable with all the poker variants being played. This is where keeping a close eye on each of the players at the table could make you a few extra dollars.  If you see a player that has been aggressive in another game suddenly go quite, they may not be familiar with the game.  If you are in a position to take advantage of this opponent then be aggressive yourself whether you are familiar with this particular poker variant or not, it may allow for picking up a few blinds.

They Are Watching you

Don’t forget that there are others familiar with the strategy above and they are watching you. In order to counter this, you will have to vary your game more than if you were just playing one particular type of poker. Keep one eye on yourself and try not to let your game become predictable. Switch up between playing tight and being a little loose.  Show some aggression and then take it easy, it is just as important to keep your opponents guessing about your game while you are figuring out theirs.