Omaha, an Overview

Omaha is a community card game very similar to that of Texas Holdem, in fact, it is a variant of poker holdem and is possibly one of the major reasons why there has been such enormous enthusiasm for poker in all its guises. Omaha is one of the World Championship events at the annual World Series of Poker and it can be played in various forms including limit, no limit and pot limit as well as Hi/Lo.

Omaha – Popular Online Poker Variant

Traditionally, Omaha is a lot trendier in Europe than in the States but it is fast growing in popularity particularly at the dozens of online casinos that are cluttering up cyberspace. It is slightly more complicated than its arch rival at the tables, Texas Holdem, and there are many more outright Omaha specialists on the international poker circuit today than there are 7 card stud, Texas Holdem or H.O.R.S.E experts.

The rules are very to similar to those of Texas Holdem with the main differences being that each player is dealt four instead of two ‘hole’ cards and that the best 5-card poker hand must be made up of exactly two of the player’s personal or hole cards and exactly three of the five community cards on the board. There are simply no exceptions to this rule and this makes creating a straight or a flush a lot more difficult for the players.

In the Hi/Lo Split version of the game, also known as Omaha Eight or Better, Omaha Hi/Lo or Omaha 8, each player makes the best possible 5-card high hand and 5-card low hand and the pot is split between the winners – it is not unknown for the same player to win both.

Unlike many other casino card games, Omaha requires a certain amount of skill and strategising  and pot limit Omaha in particular is a difficult game to master. In later pages we look at basic strategy tips for the game and give a concise overview of the rules of Omaha.

Omaha Maestro

As with all forms of sport there are always a few players who tend to dominate and tournament poker is certainly no exception. One only has to think of the current leading WSOP bracelet winner, Phil Hellmuth – each of his record-breaking eleven bracelets are for victories at limit, no limit of pot limit holdem – he has not won a single title in the other forms of poker!

Phil Ivey, who is widely regarded as the most proficient poker  player in the world today, has to be considered a master of Omaha as well. He has won two WSOP bracelets for Pot Limit Omaha, claimed the WPT Bellagio Five-Star World Poker Classic Omaha Hi/Lo title and boasts an impressive 14 top ten finishes for Omaha in his long and fruitful career.