Basics of Omaha 8

If you compare Omaha/8 games to Texas Hold’em games the resemblance is remarkable.  Both have the same rounds of betting with the of flop, river, and turn. But the real difference lies in the beginning of the game: In Omaha/8, all players are dealt four instead of two down, or hole, cards.  Players previously played Omaha games for only the best high hand, typically called Omaha High. However, the most prevalent variant today is Omaha/8, Like Seven-Card Stud/8, in Omaha/8 the pot is divided for the best low hand and the best high hand.  The game’s pot splitting has fueled the game’s fame because it gives you two likely chances of winnings. And with gamblers betting for both a low hand and a high hand, the pots build faster.

When making the five-card hand during Omaha/8, you will use only 2 of your 4 hole cards in combination with 3 of the 5 community cards. Even if you get 4 aces as the 4 hole cards, you may use only 2 of those aces when trying to make your best ‘five cards’ hand. Conversely, if among your 4 hole cards you have an ace as the only spade, you can not use 4 spades on the board to create a flush – you must play 2 of your hole cards and 3 from the community cards.

If you have been playing a few seven-card games, such as Seven-Card Stud or Texas Hold’em, get ready to see some better-ranking hands in Omaha/8.  Since you have 9 cards to make a hand, your opportunity to make flushes, full houses, straights, or better hands improves accordingly.  With 5 community cards, as in Texas Hold’em, the effectiveness of your hand depends on your hole cards. Great starting hands are as crucial as ever before you go into into a pot. And since you have 4 hole cards in Omaha/8, you have 6 possible combinations if you use any 2 of those cards. This makes far more opportunity to mix them with the community cards to create winning hands.

Powerful starting hands in Omaha/8 are known as double-suited – it means that 2 of your 4 hole cards are of one suit, coupled with 2 other cards of another suit. Since you can play only 2 of your hole cards, no real advantage exists to having all 4 hole cards in a suit. But being double-suited provides you with opportunities to make a flush in a couple of different suits. And since Omaha/8 is a split game, the greatest starting hands will have both low cards and high cards. Consequently, aces are strong because they play either way.

Weakest possible starting hand is 2-2-2-2. You must play precisely two of your hole cards, you’ve no chance of creating three of a kind – and the hand is neither connected nor suited to easily make a straight or flush.  You will play an Omaha/8 game similar to how you play a Texas Hold’em game. You shouldn’t get into a pot except if you have a strong starting hand. But in Omaha/8, you get two chances to strike pay dirt – either the best low hand or the best high hand.

You should also remember to take advantage of a poker bonus if you want to learn a new game, as this will help reduce you variance while learning.

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