How to play Omaha Poker

For years players have concentrated and learning the strategy of Hold’em, as it has been the most common type of card gambling game. Few years back you were able to find a lot of recreational players online playing holdem and having the basic understanding of the game. Nowadays players are getting smarter and seem to know more what they are doing. While you can still find great rooms online to play Hold’em, its not as easy as it used to be.

Now it seems that online gambling is mainly going over to Omaha, and it’s a true goldmine when you find a good room and get heaps of action.

While you starting to play Omaha in a room with full of recreational players you will get insane action. When I started to play Omaha months back in ShenPoker I was amazed how many clueless players there were. Sometimes it even might seem unreal what hands will just call you off. This means  – it can be a true goldmine. But you also need to understand that swings in Omaha are very different than swings in Holdem and how those two games differ from each other.

The difference between Omaha and Hold’em

In this section im going to contrast No Limit Hold’em with Pot Limit Omaha (PLO), as those two games are most popular forms of those two games.

The average poker player in Omaha has the basic knowledge of Texas Holdem, with the assumption that it’s the same game but just with 4 cards. Now this is really far from the truth. Those two games can be similar from the surface, but if you take some time you will understand that those are two totally different games that needs to be played differently.  Knowing this –  don’t be discouraged from going from Texas hold’em over to Omaha.  The fact that you will acknowledge and understand the difference is the key for your success.

So what is the main difference between Omaha and Holdem? In Omaha you will be dealt four cards – in Holdem two. The board looks the same 5 community cards in total.
In Holdem you need to use at least one card combined with 4 community cards, that’s not the case in Omaha. In Omaha you need to use exactly two of your hole cards to make your hand.

Starting hands in Pot Limit Omaha

As you are getting dealt twice amount the cards as in Hold’em you have to choose your starting hands which have the most equity in them.

Your opponents will mostly have combo-draw potential and pairs. If you don’t have the same position you are starting to play with a disadavtage and you will be relying on pure luck to make it even.  And that’s not the way to success in Omaha.

Top 10 starting hands in Pot Limit Omaha

Those are the top 10 starting hands in Omaha. You can notice that large pairs still have  a lot of value in them but you need the extra hand potential.
Its important to understand that equitys in Omaha and Hold’em are very different. If your best hand in Hold’em is the pocket pair of AA with preflop equity of 83% against second best hand KK. In Omaha the best hand is double suited AAKK and this holds only 33% win potential against the second best hand (AAJT). That’s purely because having J-T will give you more options for straight potential.

Pot Limit Omaha starting tips for beginners:

* Always choose your starting hands very carefully. You need to have the best possible combination to get advantage against your opponents. It is very difficult to make up the potential post flop.

*Value bet! – As having a real good edge against all the possible combination is really hard in Omaha, then whenever you have it – VALUE BET it! You want to get the best maximum value out of it.

*Minimize your losses – As mentioned before, Omaha has huge swings, as there are so many possible hand combinations. To minimize your losses you will need to value bet your best hands, and select your starting hands very carefully.

*Play on position – As common it is, it is often forgotten how important it is to play on position. Dont play big when you don’t have a position!

If you have just started the game, stick to choosing your starting hands very carefully. Play only the strongest combinations and stick to four-way connected hands, such as 9-T-J-Q. Hands that have connectors will typically provide you a very strong hand on the flop, or the opposite – you will get a weak hand and therefor its difficult to make large mistakes playing them.

The moment you start playing weak starting hands in Omaha – is the moment you will start losing your money.  Don’t even think about playing hands like A-K-8-2. It takes a very great player and strong reading skill to understand your opponents and play weak hands such as this is to be profitable in Omaha.

*Don’t play weak hand combinations – select them wisely and you will be soon discovering the side of profit in Omaha.


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