Omaha or Omaha Hold’em is a nine-card poker game very similar to Texas Hold’em. In fact, the play of the game and the basic strategies of the two card games are the same such as the ways of betting, flop, turn, river, antes and rank of hands.
The aim of Omaha Poker is to get the best 5 card hand from the community cards and the cards that are dealt to you
There is another variation of Omaha, which is called Omaha High-Low or Omaha eight-or better, where the player with the best hand wins 50% of the pot and the player (or players) with the lowest hand also wins 50%. The lowest hand has to contain 5 different denominations of cards that are worth 8 or less, for example 8-7-6-5-4. The lowest hand a player can have is 5-4-3-2-A.
However, there are two main differences between Texas Hold’em and Omaha, which sometimes can cause misreading of hands and unwanted stress for new players of Omaha poker.
- At the very start of the game 4 hole (face down) cards are dealt to the Omaha player instead of only two in Texas Hold’em.
- In Omaha, the player has to use exactly two of the hole cards in combination with three of the community cards given by the dealer, where as in Texas Hold’em it is up to the player how to combine the hole-cards and community cards to get the best hand.
Although not as widespread as Texas Hold’em, Omaha poker is becoming increasingly popular. Some say it is because the hands in Omaha poker are usually much better as you get to choose from nine cards in total.