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Omaha Poker has grown massively in popularity over the last few years. There is a high-low split version and several variations in betting available at most online poker sites. Pot-Limit Omaha High is the most popular of all. To those players more used to Texas Holdem the games can seem crazy, with big pots regularly contested between drawing hands. This article gives 5 invaluable tips for those players experienced in Texas Holdem who would like to transition to Pot Limit Omaha Poker.
1) Big Draws Are Often Favorite Over Made Hands
In Texas Holdem a draw is usually an underdog on the flop against a made hand. In Omaha the 4-starting cards mean that a player holding a combination draw can actually be a 2/1 favorite on the flop against an opponent who flopped a set. ‘Wrap around straights’ may have 16+ outs, add to this a flush draw and over-pair – and the drawing hand becomes a firm favorite. Remember that it is vital that you draw to the nuts in Omaha Poker.
2) Aces Are Strong Pre-Flop, But Vulnerable Post-Flop
How much you win and lose with A-A-x-x hands in Omaha can make the difference between a profitable session and a loss. Many players over-value aces after the flop in Pot Limit Omaha and end up losing large pots. The key is that any opponent who calls your bets to the river when you only have an over-pair to the board is almost certain to have you beaten!
3) Coordinated Starting Hands Are Key
With Omaha poker involving 4-hole cards there are a lot more situations in which you will appear to have a playable hand. Since the showdown can only include 2 cards from your hand it can pay to think of starting hands in terms of 2-card ‘combinations’. A single pair has just 1 combination working for it, 4 cards close in value and of 2 suits may well have all 6 potential combinations live – allowing them to hit the flop more often.
4) Position Is Critical In Omaha
Position is a key factor in winning any form of poker. In Pot Limit Omaha Poker it is critical. This is due to two interacting factors. Firstly that starting hands are close in value. Secondly the pot-limit betting means you are less likely to be ‘blown off of a hand’ early – allowing you to benefit from your good position for longer.
5) Balance Your Raises!
A common error for players new to Omaha is to raise only with premium pairs. This tips off observant opponents to your hand while giving excellent odds to play. In fact as you gain experience in this for of the game spotting and stacking an ‘aces-only-raiser’ becomes a profitable strategy in itself. Raising is critical, since allowing random hands to see the flop will make playing difficult. Balancing those raises to include connected medium cards and / or suited high cards in addition to those premium pairs is key.
With the explosion of Online Poker and Texas Holdem over the past few years, there are many poker games that are becoming increasingly popular with poker players. This is a look at some traditional and non-traditional poker games that are making their way into the mainstream:
A cousin of Texas Holdem, Omaha Poker is similar in play including the flop, turn and river as well as following the same betting patterns as its popular counterpart. The difference in Omaha is that each player is dealt 4 instead of 2 hole cards to be used against a community flop. Unlike Texas Holdem, the player must use 2 of their four hole cards to make their hand (a common mistake unknown by new players). Because of this, there are no one card flushes, full houses, etc. in Omaha. The reason this game has picked up with players is because of the incredible amount of action involved. Since each player has twice as many cards as usual, the hand combinations that any given player could have increase significantly hence creating more betting during the game.
Crazy Pineapple Poker:
Very similar to standard Texas Holdem, Crazy Pineapple Poker features all the same rules in terms of the flop, turn and river and sharing community cards to make a hand. The difference in Crazy Pineapple Poker is that each player is dealt three hole cards and there is a round of betting before the flop. After the first round, the flop is dealt and another round of betting commences. Here is where things get interesting. After the second round of betting, the remaining players must discard one of their three hole cards and they will be left with two for the rest of the hand (essentially Texas Holdem). This game creates lots of action and adds a nice twist to standard poker games.
Double Flop Texas Holdem:
Like the name suggests, this game lays out two flops for players to make their hands from. Betting and hole cards following the same rules as Texas Holdem and in this game pots are usually split between two players, however on occasion players are lucky enough to win the entire pool of chips. This variation adds alot of excitment to the game and is full of second chances.
Probably the most known and recognized variation of poker, Draw Poker is a very simple poker game whereby players are dealt 5 cards to make a winning poker hand out of. Players follow a two or three round betting structure and are allowed to discard anywhere from 2-4 cards (depending on the house rules) to improve their hand. This is a great game for beginners and is historical one of the most popular versions of poker.
Deuce To Seven Triple Draw:
This game is similar to Five Card Draw Poker in that players are dealt cards and given three chances to discard and replace cards in their hand. Each round of draws is also followed by a round of betting except the object of this game is to get the worst possible hand you can. In Deuce To Seven Triple Draw, flushes and straights do count against you and your main goal is to weaken your hand every draw. The “best” possible hand to get in Deuce To Seven Triple Draw is 2,3,4,5,7 Unsuited. The game may seem a little complicated at first, but it is quite fun once you get the hang of it.