If you like poker, then chances are that you are keen to explre a few of the variants of this game. One of the key variants of poker is Omaha Hold’em. Learn how to play this exciting poker variant, and learn a little about its history too, with this handy little guide.
The history of playing poker according to Omaha Hold’em rules
The precise origins of the game of Omaha Hold’em Poker are currently somewhat mysterious, and it is likely that we will never know exactly when and where the first game of this poker variant was played. However, one important moment in the histoy of Omaha Hold’em Poker has been documented: the moment when it was first played in a casino. This was when it was introduced into the Las Vegas Golden Nugget Casino in the 80s by Robert Turner (the casino’s executive) and Bill Boyd (a professional poker player who sadly died in 1997). At the time, the Golden Nugget Casino was a prime location for playing Texas Hold’em Poker. The game that we now know as Omaha Hold’em was initially called Golden Nugget Hold’em, after the casino. Boyd and Turner did not invent the game, however: they simply popularised it. It is likely that they were just formally introducing a game that had already developed in Midwestern cities such as Chicago into a casino setting.
What are the Omaha Hold’em Poker rules?
Five cards are dealt face up on the table. These are called the ‘community cards’ and all players can use them. Then, each player is dealt four of their own cards, which they do not reveal to the other players. These cards are called the ‘hole’ cards. The aim of the game is to create the best possible poker hand using two of your hole cards cards and three of the community cards.
The difference between Omaha Hold’em Poker and Texas Hold’em Poker
The main difference is that in Texas Hold’em, players are only given two hole cards each. By contrast, with Omaha Hold’em Poker rules, each player gets four hole cards and can only select two of them to use in their hand. The result is that with Omaha Hold’em, players use the same number of hole cards in their hand, but they get more autonomy with regard to which hole cards they use. With Texas Hold’em, like it or lump it, you can only play with the hole cards that you are dealt.
Omaha Hold’em tips
Here are a few helpful Omaha Hold’em tips for when you start to play Omaha Hold’em online:
- Be fluid with your hole cards: do not just choose the two ‘best’ cards to play with in the flop (i.e. the first round) and stick with them. Be prepared to switch your chosen hole cards around in each round.
- Practice some elementary card counting: try and work out which cards each player is likely to have in their hand by deducting the cards that you know have been dealt out into the community table plus the cards you have in your own hand.
- Learn your percentages and the statistical possibility of winning with a given hand: you may be excited to get a king among your hole cards but it is statistically almost impossible to build up a royal flush during a game of Omaha Hold’em. Experts suggest that your chances of doing so may be as little as 2%. Lists of probabilities for each building up each type of hand can be found online.
- Stay within your bankroll at all times: Omaha Hold’em is a game that it is best to play tightly and cautiously. The tighter your play, the better.
- Don’t get committed to aces before the flop: before the flop (the ‘pre-flop stage’) it’s too early to say if you can develop a good hand with that ace you got dealt right at the start. Keep your mind open.
As the games are quite similer, you will find that you can use many of the strategies that you use to win Texas Hold’em Poker in order to succeed at Omaha Hold’em too.
Enjoy playing Omaha Hold’em online
So many online casinos offer Omaha Hold’em games, both in automated and live dealer formats. Run through the tips above once more, make sure that you know the rules, and then jump right in to a game.