Omaha Poker Basics
Omaha Poker Variation: Hold’em beyond Texas Hold’em
There is a slight difference between the Omaha variation and the Texas Hold’em variation of the game of poker. As a matter of fact, Omaha is sometimes referred to as Omaha Hold’em. It is widely viewed as a modified Hold’em version introduced by Robert Turner, and first offered as a game at a casino by Bill Boyd.
Boyd initially named it Nugget Hold’em, naming it after the casino where it was first offered as a game. The major difference between the two versions of poker comes with the difference in the number of cards dealt each player.
In Texas Hold’em, you’re dealt two cards while in Omaha Hold’em or simply Omaha, each player is dealt four cards. But there’s something more to the additional cards of Omaha; a player is only allowed to play two cards out of the four cards dealt, in order to win a hand in Omaha Poker.
While some players regard Texas Hold’em as the easiest for amateurs, a second group of players regard Omaha or Omaha Hold’em as the easiest, while a third group see both as more of the same, except for the difference made by the number of cards dealt to the players of each of these variations.
For example, in order to win the game of Omaha Poker you need to master how to think beyond the two-pocket card betting of the Texas Hold’em game. One example is the fact that in Texas Hold’em, two pair or less win the majority of hands, while in Omaha Hold’em or simply Omaha, a double of the card volume is put to work.
As a result, the strength of majority of the winning hands are boosted. Being a community card poker with one standard 52 card French deck, each player of Omaha is dealt four cards. A player has to combine three of the five community cards and two of the four pockets cards in order to make his or her best hand.
As the game of poker evolves, most of its original variations continue to undergo further variations. In North America today, the term Omaha is also used to refer to many other modifications of the poker game. However, the main versions of Omaha Poker are Omaha or Omaha Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo or Omaha Eight-or-Better and Limit Omaha, though Limit Omaha is rarely played. However, both Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker share similarities in blind betting. This includes the big blind and the small blind. Small blind and big blind predominate Omaha and Hold’em because both variations of poker are often undertaken without the ante.
The basic winning trick in Omaha Hold’em is to understand that Omaha Poker in its original version is simply a game of “Nut”, if not a game of Nut-only. Why do I say so? A flush or straight in the game of Texas Hold’em will assuredly keep you in constant comfortable positions to win the pot. For this reason, suited connectors enjoy comfortable leads in Texas Hold’em since it is a rare event for you to lose to a higher flush. This is not so with Omaha; you must have “The Nuts” if you want to win the hand in Omaha. This is why it is often seen by many as a Nut-only game, where those who “Hold the Nut”, hold the Ace!
Missing the Nut end of your Omaha game simply means you are going to be on a tight corner in your pre and post-flop, and this will cost you more money to play your low cards, stay suited and/or connected. In Omaha Hold’em, unless you have “The Nuts”, and considering the larger number of cards dealt, which is double the size of cards dealt in Texas Hold’em, it usually does not make much of a difference to give you a win.
A pair of Kings gives you the Nut in Omaha while a Heart gives you the Nut Flush. But remember that each player has only two cards to use out of the four dealt in Omaha, and only one heart is allotted among these two cards. So what do you do? You have to use your non-heart card to make up for the second card role in the game.
There is just a slight difference in the original Omaha Poker and the modified Omaha Hi-Lo or Omaha Eight-or-Better Poker Game. The difference is that in Omaha there is but a single win where the winner takes all, while in Omaha Hi-Lo, there are two winning hands: the winning High Hand and the winning Low Hand. In this case the pot is split between the winning low hand and the winning high hand.
In order to play fairly and well, you need to understand what differentiates the Hi Hand from the Low Hand in the Omaha Poker Game. There is no difference between Omaha Hold’em and the Omaha Hi game. They are more of the same since they come with the same number of cards dealt to each player on the table. The difference comes with Omaha Lo. To have a qualifying Lo Hand as a player you must have a combination of five cards. Three of those five must come from the board while two come from your dealt hand, all with a face value that does not go beyond 8.
What the player finally gets is a “Nut Low” of A-2-3-4-5 since flushes and straights do not count against the player. In order to get an accurate count of the Low Hand, the counting begins from the top down of the Low Nuts of A-2-3-4-5 which give 5-4 Low. In the game of Omaha, playing a hand with only a low draw is simply tricky and can cost you a lot. The best option is to play high always.
Aside the Omaha Hold’em and Omaha Hi-Lo, there’s also the Pot-Limit Omaha Poker and the Re-draw. All these versions of Omaha Poker come with slight differences in the number of cards dealt and the betting procedure. However, poker is not only about Texas Hold’em and about Omaha; there are other versions as mentioned earlier. Another of such Variations of Poker is the Stud Poker Game.
Section Five: Stud Poker – More Fascinating Than Hold’em and Omaha!
Poker Glossary – Poker Terminology A Thru J
Poker Glossary – Poker Terminology K Thru Z
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