I played a couple of HORSE tournaments on Full Tilt last night and one of the things that I noticed was a distinct lack of patience among most of the players at the table. Most of them played way too many hands and they chased way too many hands. If you are going to be successful at games like HORSE that are Limit instead of NL, then you still need to be selective about your hands.

When you move from a NL game to a Limit game, the tendency for most is to chase after more hands because it costs less to do so. In other words, there is no chance of the other player going all-in, so it is easier to calculate your odds and what it is going to cost you to chase down your hand. This can be a good thing because it allows you to play more speculative hands like flush draws etc, but it can be a bad thing if you are chasing hands with no potential or hands that are going to be beaten by another player even if they hit.

An obvious example would be if you have J-J-2K in a Stud hand, and you can see that your opponent already has X-X-A-A. Trying to draw to anther pair or a 3rd Jack is a bad idea and one that will lose you money. When you can see that you are beat, fold.

I have a rule in most Limit games when I am playing HORSE and that is that I will get out by 4th street or go until the River. That is unless I can see a reason to get out sooner. What I am trying to say here is, that by 4th street you should know where you are at in the hand. If you don’t you are in trouble. If you qualify your hands early you will save yourself a 5th and 6th street bet that could result in failure anyway.  Sure, you can try to play a few more hands because it is cheaper to get into them in a Limit game, just know when to quit if you are drawing dead or just hoping for a miracle card.  The exception to this rule would probably be Omaha h/l since sometimes you won’t know where you are at until the River. In this game, you should usually decide to play the hand all the way or fold it on the Flop.

More tomorrow on HORSE hand selection game by game.

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