A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Omaha on Bet365 Poker

Other than the Hold’em tables, the next most popular variant of poker on Bet365 Poker is Omaha and while this game does originate from the Hold’em game, it is a very different form of poker. If you are a new player on Bet365 Poker and would like to try playing Omaha, then read on to discover a few facts about this engaging version of the game.

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The Similarities

Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em in many ways; firstly the small/big blinds are the same, the dealer button still progresses around the table, people still make bets and there are still five cards dealt out as community cards, three as the flop, the turn and the river. A round of betting follows after each card is turned and the winning hand is either the last player standing in the hand, or the player with the best hand once the card is revealed.

The BIG Differences

The biggest difference in Omaha is that each player is dealt FOUR pocket cards, of which the player MUST use two of these cards to form their hand. Unlike Texas Hold’em where the player can use all five of the community cards to make the best hand, or four community cards and one from their hand, in Omaha, a player has to use three community cards and two from their hand.

This is an absolute fundamental of the game and unbelievably, it is something that new Omaha players often do not realise when the start playing. This can be very, very costly and we’ll examine why a little later when we look at the impact of each player having four pocket cards.

The other big difference is that Omaha is most often played with a Pot Limit (often abbreviated to PLO).  This is different to No Limit games as the maximum bet a player can make is the current size of the pot, including the cash you would need to call.

Other than these two differences, the actual gameplay of the game progresses in a very similar way, but how these hands progress can be very different, chiefly due to each player having four pocket cards.

What is the impact of having four pocket cards?

With each player having four pocket cards, this radically alters the statistical side of the game and means that what are traditionally strong hands in Hold’em, may well not be in Omaha versions of the game. Without going into detail in the mind-numbing statistics, the differences between the games can generally be summed up as:

  • In PLO, more players will likely see the flop as PLO is more a game about drawing the cards you need, rather than strong pocket cards.

  • In Omaha, more players in the pot means larger pots and larger bets post flop. If you are queasy about betting large sums, then PLO may not be for you.

  • You need a very strong hand, or the best hand (‘the nuts’) to win at Omaha. You will not win many hands with two pairs or weaker playing PLO.

  • Bluffing is kept to a minimum in Omaha, the sheer number of possible hands and the greater chance of someone having at least a flush or full house makes bluffing very difficult.

  • Value betting is key if you are to play the game properly. If you don’t understand what value betting is, then it is strongly suggested you learn about it before you start.

  • Playing it tight and gently in Omaha is a sound policy for new players. It isn’t as easy for people to bluff or bully you as it is in Hold’em.

  • Remember, what is a good hand in Hold’em (such as two pair) is generally not as strong a hand in PLO.

As a novice player, it is a good idea to learn about Pot Limit Omaha before you play, especially the Pot Limit rules and also a little about what constitutes a strong hand. Then head to the free play or micro stakes tables in order to hone your technique.

Although similar to Hold’em, Omaha is a very different game requiring different poker skills, but played well, it can be equally as enjoyable and rewarding as the more popular variant of the game.

Want to learn more about Bet365 Poker? Check out our newbie’s guide to Bet365 Poker etiquette.

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