How to Play Horse: A Fun Basketball Game for Everyone

how to play horse

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. So you are bound to see a court in any part of the country, whether it’s in a suburb in Michigan, a farm in Texas, or a street in New York. Believe it or not, more than 26 million Americans play basketball. And most of these people know how to play Horse.

Horse is a beloved variation on the game of basketball. The game of Horse is perfect for times when you find yourself playing with too few players for a full basketball game or looking for a less intense workout. And not only is Horse fun, but anyone can play no matter their age and fitness level.

It is an awesome game to play to show off your basketball moves. The best part is that it is easy to learn how to play Horse.

What Is Horse?

person about to shoot basketball

Image Source: Pixabay

Horse is a game that utilizes shooting skills. This fun game is intended to be played in an informal setting without referees or officials. The main point of Horse is for its players to enjoy the experience of playing a simplified version of basketball.


The game requires two or more players on a basketball court. The players are meant to duplicate the shots of their opponents. If a player fails to mimic the shot of their opponent, he or she receives one letter from the word “horse.” And this is where the name of the game comes from. The game continues until one player accumulates all the letters of the word.


There are a lot of variations of Horse. One example is “Pig,” which is a shortened version of the game of Horse. Instead of spelling a five-letter word, the players can only make three mistakes before they lose. There are also optional rules available depending on the players.


For example, if some players are significantly taller than their opponents, they might not be allowed to dunk to try to even the playing field.

Why Should You Play Horse?

person about to dunk ball in basketball ring

Image Source: Pixabay

Basketball has truly evolved from a classic game to a modern sport. If you want a new way to play, learning how to play Horse can be a fantastic solution. This sport remains one of the most enjoyable games for players and spectators alike.


Since almost everyone knows how to play basketball, Horse is a game that can be learned by just about anyone globally. This convenience and widespread accessibility of basketball and Horse provide many incredible benefits.


Getting better

The bonds that you want

Consider the cost

Uncomplicate things

How to Play Horse

Establish rules

Take a shot

When a shot fails, get a letter

Invent new shots

How to end the game

Tricks You Need to Know

person aiming to shoot ball in basketball ring

Image Source: unsplash

Did you know that NBA stars also love playing Horse? When you watch professional players such as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, you will notice that they make up ways to make the game more creative through unique shooting techniques.


By learning these tricks, your Horse game may be as intense as when Michael Jordan and Larry Bird competed for a Big Mac.

No-look shot

Behind the back shot

Sitting down shot

Opposite hand shot

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

person shooting a ball

Image Source: Pexels

It’s never too late to learn how to play Horse. It is super easy to learn and is perfect in situations involving only a few basketball players.


When playing this multi-generational game, make sure to enjoy. Make sure to keep the game about smiling and not about winning.


Have your own experience in learning how to play Horse? We’d love to read about your thoughts in the comments below!

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