Omaha Poker Differences from Texas Hold'em

Omaha poker is a community card game like Texas hold'em. Five community or communal cards are distributed the same way with the flop, turn, and river. They each have four betting rounds in a complete game. And blinds (big and small blinds) are posted the same way too. Their differences lie in hole or pocket cards and how poker hands are made that, in turn, reflect the difference in effective poker strategies between these two variants.

In Omaha poker, each player gets four hole or pocket cards in contrast to Texas hold'em where each player gets only two. This seems an advantage in poker hand combinations for Omaha but this is really a mistake in perception. It's because poker hands are made quite differently than with the more popular Texas hold'em.

It goes without saying that a poker hand is made up of five cards. That's pretty constant in all of its variants. How that five-card hand is made, now, there lies the difference.

In Omaha poker, you must use two pocket or hole cards and three communal cards to make a hand. This rule is often forgotten by greenhorns especially if they're making that transition from hold'em where there's no restriction on which cards to use. You may even play the board in hold'em which is not allowed in Omaha poker. So you see, an otherwise winning poker hand in Texas hold'em would less likely be realized in Omaha because of how the poker hand is made.

In effect, successful poker strategies in hold'em are not necessarily efficient in Omaha poker. For instance, players staying on to see all five community cards are common occurrences in Omaha. So, making a raise in late position to get players to fold, which is a popular hold'em strategy, may not exactly work well here.

There are basically two procedural differences between Omaha poker and Texas hold'em. First, there are four pockets or hole cards dealt in the former while there's only two in the latter. And second, a poker hand is made up of two pockets and three community cards in Omaha while there's no card restriction in hold'em. With these rule differences, strategies that are effective in hold'em are not always applicable in Omaha poker. Because it's natural to see poker players make that transition from hold'em to Omaha poker, it's important to note that these community card games have differences which only add to the joy of playing poker even more.