Compare Omaha Holdem and Texas Holdem

Description:  Omaha Holdem and Texas Holdem have similar names and community cards but they are quite different poker games. This is a beginner's guide to the differences between Omaha Holdem and Texas Holdem.

Omaha Hi/Lo Poker Vs. Texas Holdem Poker

by Nick Shons

As a beginning, Omaha player you may get confused at times as you try to ferret out the best five-card poker hand among the five community cards on the center of the table and the four private cards in your hand. But don't worry, if you can play Texas holdem, you can play Omaha too - it just takes some getting used to.

The poker games appear similar, and at first place the differences seem small:

Texas hold'em players are dealt two private cards and may use both, one, or even neither of them to form the best poker hand. But in Omaha each player is dealt four private cards and must use exactly two of them - you can't use more, nor can you use fewer than two — to form the best poker hand.

Those seemingly small differences in rules and procedures cascade so dramatically through the requirements for good play that even a skilled Texas hold'em player cannot make the transition to Omaha without significant forethought.

Major adjustments in poker hands strategy and tactics, and a real appreciation for the fact that while these games are structurally similar, they are very different beasts.

That's one of the reasons for this article. You just can't read a article on Texas hold'em and interpolate your actions into good Omaha play. The games are so different that separate articles are needed. It's like the difference between driving a car and flying a small airplane. Both run on internal combustion engines and the engines aren't all that different in principle. But just because you've been driving a car all your life doesn't mean you're ready to step into that cockpit and take off. You need a new set of skills (check out Top3Poker.com for more articles about poker games)

In Omaha/8 as in most split-pot games. there's no shortage of action, and lots of chips may be on the table. Some players vie for the best low hand,some for the best high one, and still others hope to scoop the entire pot.

Omaha, whether it's eight-or-better, high-low split or played for high only, also creates action because each player is dealt four cards rather than the two that Texas hold'em players receive. Naturally, with four cards to choose from, many players have no trouble finding hands to play. in fact, many play most, or even all. But that's a rather slippery slope, and we hope you won't go there. At least, we hope you won't after reading this article. I-land selection is one of an Omaha player's most critical skills. Because many players involve themselves in far too many hands, they create weaknesses for skilled players to exploit. You'll be able to exploit those weaknesses too. Well show you how a little later in the article.

If You've Never Played Before:

If you're playing Omaha high-only or Omaha/8 for the first time, but you've had some experience playing Texas hold'em. you can

expect these differences:

• Omaha/S is a split-pot game. That usually means you'll find more action: more players in each pot, more chips in the center of the table, more folks going all-in on big draws. This added action is one of the game's major attractions.

• Players must make their best live-card poker hands by using exactly two of their private cards and exactly three communal cards.

In Texas hold'em, the best hand can be formed using two, one, or none of your private cards. If you're playingTexas hold'em and hold the ace of hearts in your hand while the board contains four additional hearts, you have a flush. But if all you hold is one heart among your four private.

Omaha Variations:

Omaha poker, whether played as a pot-limit game for high only or as the “eight-or-better, high-low split variety” — the kind you'll find played in most American casinos — Is a variation of Texas holdem. In Omaha, as in Texas holdem, five community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table and are combined with the private cards in each player's hand to form the best poker hand. The games appear similar, and at first glance the differences seem small at best: Texas holdem players are dealt two private cards and may use both, one, or even neither of them to form the best poker hand. But in Omaha each player is dealt four private cards and must use exactly two of them - you can't use more, nor can you use fewer than two — to form the best poker hand.

Those seemingly small differences in rules and procedures cascade so dramatically through the requirements for good play that even a skilled Texas hold'em player cannot make the transition to Omaha without significant forethought. Major adjustments in strategy and tactics, and a real appreciation for the fact that while these games are structurally similar, they are very different beasts.

That's one of the reasons for this article. You just can't read a article on Texas hold'em and interpolate your actions into good Omaha play. The games are so different that separate articles are needed. It's like the difference between driving a car and flying a small airplane. Both run on internal combustion engines and the engines aren't all that different in principle. But just because you've been driving a car all your life doesn't mean you're ready to step into that cockpit and take off. You need a new set of skills.

Omaha High and Low:

In Omaha/8 poker, as in most split-pot games, there's no shortage of action, and lots of chips may be on the table. Some players try for the best low hand, some for the best high one, and still others hope to scoop the entire pot. Omaha. whether it's eight-or-better, high-low split or played for high only, also creates action because each player is dealt four cards rather than the two that Texas hold'em players receive. Naturally, with four cards to choose from, many players have no trouble finding hands to play. in fact, many play most, or even all. But that's a rather slippery slope, and we hope you won't go there. At least, we hope you won't after reading this article.

I-land selection is one of an Omaha player's most critical skills. Because many players involve themselves in far too many hands, they create weaknesses for skilled players to exploit. You'll be able to exploit those weaknesses too. Well show you how a little later in the article.

About the author...

Nick - Online Poker content Editor at Top 3 poker.com



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