Introduction to Omaha

Differences between Omaha and Texas Hold’em

In Omaha Hold’em each player receives four hole cards and everyone shares five community cards, similar to Texas Hold’em. The catch is that you must use exactly two cards from your hand and three cards from the board to make your five-card poker hand. In general the winning hands in Omaha are much better than the winning hands in Texas Hold’em; in a game of more than three people usually a straight or better wins.

When you are first playing Omaha, you should make sure you are actually using two cards from your hand, and not three or one. For example, if the board is K-Q-J-5-4, and you have A-Q-4-4, your hand is only three-of-a-kind 4’s. You don’t have full house of 4’s over queens. If the board is A-K-Q-10-9, then your J-J-5-4 is not a straight, since you must use two of your cards.

Why play Omaha?

Omaha Hold’em is not as popular as Texas Hold’em, but is played by plenty of fish. That’s one good reason to give it a shot. Also, a lot of good Texas Hold’em players want to try out Omaha while they’re still unfamiliar with the game, and yet they still go and play at the higher limits because they’re good at Texas Hold’em. These players generally play to lose, so take advantage.

Another thing worth mentioning: Omaha is much more of a technical game than Texas Hold’em. It’s easy to see what the best hand is since there’s usually a flush or a straight on the board—odds are that somebody has one.

Some good places to play low-limit Omaha are Party Poker or Empire Poker.