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26/03/2007 No. 19
he Guardian G2 Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Monday March 26, 2007

Texas hold 'em has become so popular that it is a little déclassé. The biggest event at the World Series of Poker last year was not the $10,000 no-limit hold 'em competition, but an amazing $50,000 HORSE tournament. The acronym denotes five poker variants, played (round by round) in that event, only one of which is the people's favourite hold 'em. This creates a champion who is the master of many trades.

The $50,000 HORSE will gallop again at this year's World Series. No doubt many of you are planning to play it; what's 50 grand between friends? But if you're suffering a temporary cashflow problem, the good news is that you can find it (and all its constituent games) for much lower stakes on the internet.

It has been a few weeks since our exhaustive run through the poker variants, so it's time for a recap of the most important tip in each game. Here is a cut-out-and-keep guide for anyone planning to fly out to Las Vegas in June and piss $50,000 up the wall - or just have a bit of fun online.

H is for HOLDEM: Location, location, location. The later you are in the action, the stronger you can play.

O is for OMAHA HIGH-LOW: Play cards THAT work together. A hand without an ace is pretty weak.

R is for RAZZ: The worst, or lowest, hand wins. If any of your first three cards is a nine or higher, throw the hand away.

S is for SEVEN-CARD STUD: If you start with three flushing or straightening cards, or maybe a pair, you can play the hand. But if you haven't improved by "fifth street", give it up.

E is for EIGHT OR BETTER STUD: As in all high-low games, you want a chance to win both ways. Protect your made hands with big bets; don't give free draws, even for half the pot.

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