Omaha Hold'em , usually called Omaha for short , is a variant of the card game poker . Omaha Hold'em evolved from the variant Texas Hold'em and follows the same game sequence . In contrast to Texas Hold'em, each player receives four cards and an Omaha hand always consists of exactly two of a player's four cards and exactly three of the five community cards .
The rules of Omaha are the same as those of Texas Hold'em with the following differences:
- Each player receives at the start four cards face down (hole cards)
- A hand consists of two of the four cards from the player's hand and three of the five community cards from the table
The game play is the same as in Texas Hold'em. All types of limits common in Texas Hold'em are also played, with Pot Limit being by far the most common variant.
Differences from Texas Hold'em
Omaha allows for significantly better hands on average than Texas Hold'em, which is why it is often referred to as the game of nuts , i.e. the best possible hands in relation to the community cards. In contrast to Texas Hold'em, a player in Omaha can form six possible combinations from his four cards in hand. This significantly increases the likelihood, compared to Texas Hold'em, that you can form a good hand with the community cards.
Because of this larger number of possible combinations, there are usually more possibilities for draws than in Texas Hold'em. While in Texas Hold'em the strongest hand on the flop is almost always the most likely to win, in Omaha this is far less the case because of such draws.
Normal scoring applies to determining the best hand in Omaha Hi . The best possible combination of exactly two cards in hand and exactly three community cards from each player is compared and the player with the best hand gets the entire pot .
The following hand shows a showdown between two Omaha hands. Player 1 on the left (K-9-6-6) wins the hand with three of a kind kings (KKK-10-9) before player 2 on the right (AQJ-8) with two pairs of kings and eights (KK- 8-8-A). Player 1 uses K-9 from his hand cards and KK-10 from the community cards for his best possible hand, player 2 uses A-8 from his hand cards and KK-8 from the community cards.
Player 1 does not have a full house because he has to use exactly two of his hand cards - and for the full house with kings over sixes he would have to use K-6-6 from his hand cards, which would be against the rules. Player 2 also does not hold a straight, as he would also have to use three of his hand cards (AQJ), which is not possible. In addition, both players do not have a flush, since they would have to use the four clubs cards of the five community cards, but according to the rules, they are not allowed to use more or less than exactly three community cards. For a flush you always need at least two cards of the same color in hand.
Like most poker variants, Omaha can also be played as a high-low variant: The pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand , should one come about. Normal scoring applies to determining the best high hand . The 8 or better system is mostly used for the low hand . Here the players qualify for a low hand , which can have five different cards with the values 8 or lower (with the Ace as the lowest card). Neither streets nor flushes count - that is, streets and flushes do not change the valuation of the low hand . There must be at least three different cards 8 or lower in the community cards, otherwise a low hand is not possible. The best possible low hand is therefore 5-4-3-2-Ace (also called a wheel ). When comparing two low hands you score from the highest card down. So 6-5-4-3-2 is a better low hand than 7-4-3-2-Ace (counting from above the 6 is already lower than the 7) - and 7-6-4-2-Ace beats 7-6-4-3-Ace (the first three cards are the same, but the 2 is better than the 3).
The players can use different cards for the high hand and the low hand , but must each use exactly two of their four hand cards. If no player has a valid low hand, the entire pot goes to the player with the best high hand . Otherwise the pot is split, whereby a player can have both the best low and the best high hand and thus wins the entire pot - a so-called scoop . If two or more players have an identical low hand , then the pot for the low hand is split between the players (see Split Pot ), just as with identical high hands .
The following hand shows a showdown between two Omaha Hi-Lo hands. Player 1 on the left (A-2-4-K) wins the low hand with a 5-low (5-4-3-2-A) against player 2 on the right (5-5-2-A ) who does not have a valid low hand because he cannot make a hand with five different low cards. Player 2 wins the high hand with a full house five over jacks (5-5-5-JJ) against player 1 with a heart flush (KJ-5-4-3). So these two players would share the total pot.
At the most important international poker event, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) , Omaha has had a permanent place in many different variants since 1983 . Omaha is also one of the most popular variants in casinos and online poker rooms, and almost every poker room offers Omaha poker. Pot limit Omaha (PLO) is the most popular poker variant, especially among professionals, as the game is extremely "action-packed" and therefore very suitable for top players to use their excellent decision-making power.
- Rolf Slotboom : The Secret of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha. How to Win Big - Live and Online. AniMazing GmbH, Regensburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-940163-07-3 .
- Sam Farha , Storms Reback: Farha on Omaha. Expert Strategy for Beating Cash Games and Tournaments. Triumph Books, Chicago IL 2007, ISBN 978-1-60078-020-2 .
- Doyle Brunson , Crandell Addington, et al. a .: Super System 2. A Course in Power Poker. Cardoza, New York NY 2007, ISBN 978-1-58042-136-2 .