Sunday, May 25, 2008

Understanding Omaha

Understanding Omaha

Omaha is one of the fastest growing poker games online, and very popular among high-stakes pros. It’s a variation of Texas Hold’em where players have four cards to work with and must use exactly two of these cards with three of the five board cards to make their hand. While this seems simple, the strategies of the game can be very different. If you want to try Omaha, it can be found at all the best US Poker sites.

Starting Hands in Omaha

Although when you start out playing Omaha it may seem that any four cards are sufficient to enter a pot with, you should really only come into a hand if all four of your cards are working together. Hands with one or two low cards should be folded summarily, even when together with a big pair. Exceptions might be if the low card gives you two of a suit with the other one being a king or ace. Three or four of a kind in your hand must also be folded at the first opportunity, since you can only use two of the cards in your hand, and the matching cards are dead.

Flexibility of Omaha Hands

Some hands in Omaha are particularly desirable for their straight possibilities. A hand like 9 T J Q, called a wrap, is appealing because there are many ways it can make a straight, even though you can only use two cards. Similarly, double suited hands, like As Ts Kd 8d, are appealing for their ability to make flushes two different ways.

Strength of Omaha Hands

Since so many cards are in play, the strongest hands are usually needed to win at a full table of Omaha. If the board is paired, you can expect a full house to be the best hand, so you should throw away your straight or flush. Even if you make a flush, you should have one of the highest ones to win, since the majority of the cards in your suit will often be in the hands of other players.

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