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Maria Ho Offers Five Beginner H.O.R.S.E. Tips

Maria Ho

With 31 cashes lifetime at the World Series of Poker, Maria Ho has proven to be more than just a one-trick pony. In fact, in addition to many no-limit and limit hold’em cashes she has made the money numerous times in mixed-game events as well.

While deep in the 2015 WSOP Event #24: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. on Thursday, working on that 31st cash — she eventually finished 33rd — Ho took a little time to give PokerNews readers a few tips for playing one of the more popular mixed-game variants at the WSOP.

“Overall, to be successful in H.O.R.S.E. events, you need to be proficient at all the games,” Ho said. “I think a lot of people come in here and try to play only the flop games or the stud games. You need to be proficient in all the games.”

“A lot of people also play entirely too loose, especially in the hold’em rounds. You don’t actually need to play any hands in the hold’em rounds, but that’s usually people’s default game, so they play too many hands there and that’s a big mistake.”

H.O.R.S.E. consists of limit hold’em, Omaha hi-low, razz, seven-card stud, and seven-card stud hi-low. Ho offered up her top five tips for beginners to H.O.R.S.E. events, one for each of the games spread:

Limit Hold’em

“I would say play tight and either be three-betting or folding,” she said.

Omaha Hi-Low

“Play hands that can scoop and not win just half the pot,” she said. “Play hands that are good for both high and low.”


“Like in all the stud games, you need to have good board awareness,” she explained.

“You need to realize which cards are dead and which are still live. I think people play a lot looser in razz than they should. There’s a big decision on sixth in razz, and I think people play that street pretty badly.”

Seven-Card Stud

“My strategy is to find good bluff spots in stud,” she said. “I think people play pretty true to the board and don’t bluff enough in stud.”

Seven Card Stud Hi-Low

“Similarly to [Omaha Hi-Low], you need to play hands that can win both the high and the low,” she said.

“Don’t play hands that are three to a low but don’t give you any straight possibilities. Too many people play hands like that and I really don’t think it’s the right strategy.”

* * * * *

Thanks to Maria Ho for taking the time to talk H.O.R.S.E. strategy with us. Event #24 continues today, where 31 players began the day from a field of 772 to continue battling for the bracelet.

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