All The Aces Daily Poker Column

November 2005 Poker Column

Why Play Omaha Poker?

If Texas Hold'em is more popular, why play Omaha?

Why Omaha Poker?

Truly great professional poker players will often prefer big pot limit Omaha to Texas Hold’em. Let’s look into the probable reasons for this because Omaha is a compelling game. Each hand in Omaha consists of four hole cards, two of which you must utilise in combination with  three of the face up cards on the board. Let’s assume there are ten players at the table. In Texas Hold’em there are therefore only ten possible hands that can be in play. Omaha however gives every player six possible combinations of hands, so in effect, you have sixty hands in play! With so many hand combinations available the chances of a premium hand coming up are far greater than in Hold’em. This reduces bluffing to a very fine art as it is highly likely anyone who is betting aggressively probably really does have a “nut” hand. (A premium hand)

Pocket Aces - Texas Holdem or Omaha

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Bigger pots are almost inevitable in Omaha which is a far more volatile game than Texas Hold’em and because you have a far greater chance of making a flush or a straight, players get very attached to what they assume will be their winning hand. In this atmosphere bets flourish, hearts are broken and the winner is usually richly rewarded.

In most games of Hold’em a pair of aces will give you better than a two to one shot at winning the pot. In Omaha poker that pair of aces is going to have to improve quite a lot along the way. If the face up board cards are showing potential straights or flushes for your opponents, you’re going to need that third ace at least to rattle their cages. Try one of the easy to follow Omaha poker online tutorials. Once you get into this game it has a character all of its own.

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Q: You’re in the big blind with ace of clubs and eight of diamonds. The pot is raised and re-raised to twelve times the big blind before the action reaches you. You are short stacked with just eighteen times the big blind in front of you. What do you? Do you toss away your cards? Call the raise? Go all-in?
A: You’re up against a raise and a re-raise. This is probably too heavyweight for your ace and eight. You have eighteen times the big blind in your stack so wait for a better hand before you push all-in. Even though you’re in the big blind you should muck your cards and not be guilty of over-valuing your ace in this situation.

ALL THE ACES poker column:
Wednesday, November
 9, 2005: 
Why play Omaha Poker?