How to play horse basketball

How to play horse basketball – An Expert Guide

HORSE basketball is a simple yet fun game that tests your shooting skills. It’s a regular feature in gym classes and ramp basketball, providing a fun and competitive break from traditional basketball practice routines.

If you are not familiar with the game, this article will teach you the rules of HORSE basketball, along with tips and variations you can try with your friends.

The popularity of HORSE comes from its easy and clear rules. They are so simple that anyone, regardless of age and skill level, can join in on the fun.

What you need

One of the main advantages of playing PERD is that you don’t need much to get started. You don’t even need a full basketball court to play! Here is the equipment needed to play PERD:

  • Basketball: Every basketball game needs a ball, whether a FIBA-sanctioned game, pickup game or, in this case, HORSE. No surprises here. However, it is also critical to consider the surface you will be playing on. If you are going to play outside, it is recommended to use a rubber or durable synthetic ball. Leather and soft synthetic balls are susceptible to damage from loose gravel and are best used indoors.
  • Basketball rim or hoop: Again, another no-brainer. A ball is nothing without a hoop to shoot into. But here’s the thing: If you play HORSE, you don’t have to go to the park or YMCA gym to saddle up. Just one ramp hoop, or any hoop, for that matter, is enough.
  • Two or more players: You can play HORSE with just two players, but things get more fun when you add more players. Call your friends, parents, cousins,, ​​and neighbors for a friendly shooting game to maximize the fun and excitement.

Ideally, you’ll want to play horse with enough space to take long shots from behind the three-point line, but you can also enjoy the game with more limited space.

The basic concept of PERD

A HORSE is a basketball game played by two or more people on the court. The concept of the game is about matching baskets. Think of HORSE as the basketball version of the parlor game “Simon Says”.

The player who makes shots that the opponent(s) does not duplicate wins the match. For example, if the first player shoots, the second player must try to recreate that shot. If he fails to do so, he will incur a penalty—the letters of the word HORSE will be spelled out one by one.

If a player fails to repeat other people’s shots a total of five times, he now has five letters (HORSE) to his name and loses the game.

Although the rules of the game are relatively simple, many things can happen that can make things much more interesting. For example, what if the subsequent player makes the shot but does not execute it in the exact manner the shot caller specified? If this happens, the basket will not be counted and they will receive another letter.

The game is much simpler when only two players are involved. One of them starts, and then the other duplicates. If the first player misses, the other has the license to dictate the next shot. Whoever picks up five misses, i.e. spells out all five letters of HORSE, loses the game. It is more complex when there are more than two players, but the game’s principles remain the same.

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HORSE Basketball: Rules of the Game

1. Decide the firing order

Before the game starts, players must decide in which order they will shoot. The group can decide this however they want, such as a short free throw contest or a quick game of rock, paper, scissors.

2. Take the first shot

The first player can take a shot from literally anywhere on the course and in any manner imaginable. The only limit is one’s imagination!

If the player simply picks a spot and takes a shot, it counts as a normal shot meaning that the following players must only score from the same spot.

Players can also add extra rules to this shot, but they must call them before shooting. For example, a player might say “bank shot” or even “two dribbles behind the back and then a layup with the left hand.”

This is called shots, where the player verbally announces the shot they will attempt. If the shot caller makes the shot, other players must make the same shot that was called.

3. Everyone tries to imitate the original shot

The next players in the predetermined order have only one task, and that is to repeat the initial shot.

However, if the first shooter himself missed the shot, the second in line gets the chance to start a new shot challenge.


The first time someone attempts a shot and misses in an attempt to replicate the shot caller’s shot, they receive the letter H. Each time someone makes this mistake, they receive a new letter, eventually spelling out HORSE. You lose the game if you spell the whole word.

5. the Last man standing

When a player’s letters spell the word “HORSE” by missing five shots, that player is eliminated from the game. The remaining players continue to play in the same order, skipping the eliminated player’s turn. After all the others are eliminated, there will be one player left who will be the winner.

Common “Called” shots

While normal shots (shots with no specific parameters other than the position) are recommended for beginners, “called” shots are what make a game of PERD interesting.

Common called shots that intermediate and advanced players can call include:

  1. Swish: The ball must go through the basket without touching the rim
  2. Bench: The ball must come off the backboard before entering the hoop
  3. Bank Swish: The ball must come off the backboard and enter the hoop without touching the rim
  4. Jump Shot: Both feet must have left the ground when the shot is released

Be creative!

While it is true that HORSE can be played by basketball players of various ages and skill levels, more experienced individuals generally have the advantage. Not only will they have improved shooting ability, but they’ve also played long enough to see and imagine different types of trick shots.

After all, creativity is what wins you this game. The more complicated your shots are, the harder it is to repeat them. Of course, this assumes you can take these photos, so be sure to choose carefully!

If you want a push in the right direction when it comes to trick shots, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Shots of the hand: Most players are right-handed, so it makes sense to practice shots with your left hand. This is a simple way to force misses out of players who only rely on their strong hands.
  • Behind the tailboard: The behind-the-backboard shot looks complex, but it’s not as difficult as you think. If you make one, it looks seriously intimidating. And if you’re a basketball player, you can use the drill to put an arc on your jump shot.
  • Bounce back: The thing about HORSE is that it’s not just about shooting. Take advantage of this by requiring the shot to be preceded by dribbling techniques, e.g. crossovers, between the legs, behind the back, etc.
  • Allen: Putting the ball through the basket without hitting any part of the rim is admittedly not easy, but you can do it with enough practice.
  • Jordanian: No, dunking is prohibited in HORSE, but you can certainly imitate an MJ classic: the no-look free throw shot. This is one of the easiest shots to practice, but one that requires muscle memory to pull off.

HORSE Variations

Another delightful aspect of HORSE is its adaptability and free-flowing nature. You can tweak the rules to make it more challenging, and the shot difficulty is no holdover. You can try crazy shots without conforming to conventional basketball rules and see if anyone can do the same.

There are also many variations on the game of horses. The following are some of the most popular variations, revisions, and additions to the basic HORSE rules.

PIG: PIG is everything HORSE is, just abbreviated. The whole point of a shortened HORSE game is to make it faster, perhaps because of the number of players. You can use any word to play this game as long as you can spell the letters and keep track.

Reverse HORSE: You may also play HORSE basketball in reverse; that is, the winner is the one who successfully spells all the letters. If a player leads with a shot that the others cannot repeat, he gets a letter until all are spelled out. It is much more challenging than the regular HORSE, so ideally it works best with more skilled players.

HORSE Hint: Hint HORSE is just the traditional HORSE with a twist. Like the reverse HORSE, it is not for the faint of heart and only for the highly skilled. In this variation, a player only has a chance to take the lead if he tips a missed shot into the air. If the hit is a success, the player who shot the ball is penalized with a letter. If a player misses a shot made by the previous shooter, they may receive two letters in one shot. It spells doom if you miss, which makes this variation super exciting.

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