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Texas to Omaha

Texas to Omaha
By Hank Cashman of Predictem.com

If Texas Hold’em is the Cadillac of poker, Omaha is the Hummer with a loose steering wheel. Omaha is becoming more and more popular. There are also more variations of Omaha being dealt. But if you think just because you play Texas Hold’em you can play Omaha, think again.

Those two little extra cards in your hand completely change the game. First of all, you now have more possibilities. That’s great. So do all of your opponents. When you are calculating your possible winning hands, you have to give your opponents credit for theirs. Just as you have options so do they.

One of the hardest things for beginning Omaha players to get used to is that they have to play two, and only two, cards in their hand. How many times have players had three clubs in their hand and thought they had a flush? Or they have a pair in their hand and think they can make a Boat but can't play that other card. I believe that this is where we lose so many players to just frustration during the learning curve.

If learning to read your own hand and read your opponents possibilities isn't enough, let’s play the variations. Texas Hold’em players do play Limit and some Pot Limit. But Omaha players will play anything you can bet on. You don’t see Texas players play as much Pot Limit or Eight or Better. Most of the time it is hard to even find a Pot Limit Texas Hold’em game.

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If you can find Omaha being dealt you will find Limit, No Limit, Pot Limit and Eight or Better. These players just want to play Omaha any way they can.

Omaha players, because of the nature of the game, are chasers. Since they have more opportunities to make hands, they will hold on and call bets to see one more card. In Eight or Better, they will go to the river hoping that their low hand will hold up. A lot of money is lost with a 9 on the river.

To me Pot Limit isn't very different from No Limit. In the early stages of each hand you do have to pay attention to the size of the pot. Usually after the flop the pot limit is substantial enough not to hinder the betting. If you have a big hand and want to bet heavily, the pot limit will be enough. Just as a courtesy and to so you know the game, keep track of the pot size. Don't ask the dealer. You should know the pot along with the chip counts of the other players.

If you are a good Texas Hold'em player you need to learn Omaha. Start off with a small No Limit game. As you get better, move on to Pot Limit and Eight or Better. The reason I put Pot Limit second is because of the extra math involved in keeping up with the pot size. Omaha will open up a new world of poker to you. It will also help you Texas Hold’em game.

Keep the cards and chips flying.

01/04/08

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