Omaha Hold ‘em Poker is another variety of Texas Hold ‘em Poker. The rules are not that different either. Instead of two ‘hole’ cards you are given four ‘hole’ cards. When it comes down to it, you can only use two of the four ‘hole’ cards and three of the community cards. That is the only difference. As you can see, it is very similar to Texas Hold ‘em. It is generally considered that Omaha is the more exciting version because there is always more going on due to the increased number of cards each player receives.
Omaha became popular when casino executive Robert Turner introduced it to the Las Vegas Golden Nugget Casino in 1983. The professional Poker player Bill Boyd then made it a fad and its popularity spread like wildfire.
Where did Omaha get its name from? Well it is alleged that a variety of the Texas Hold ‘em was played, except instead of the player using five of the seven cards on the table and in their hand, the player had to use their two ‘hole’ cards. This variety was called Omaha so when the version of Omaha reached Las Vegas, it was given the name Omaha because of the importance of using two of the four ‘hole’ cards.
The game offers so much in terms of action. Due to the increased number of cards each player has to work with, not only are the players involved in more action but they also need to be able to calculate their odds for certain possible hands more effectively. Where as in Texas Hold ‘em the players are generally only looking at the chances of one or maybe two outs in a hand, in Omaha they are looking for several on a regular basis.
This makes it not only a more intense game but also a game requiring a bit more method and mathematics. Omaha has several varieties within its own form as well. Omaha Pot Limit and Omaha Hi-Lo are both commonly played versions. It is also used as the O section of the card game HORSE.
It is still a very popular variety of Poker. Many Texas Hold ‘em stars such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey and Chris Ferguson have made thousands of dollars through prize money playing Omaha Poker. Due to the similarities between Omaha and Texas, it is often seen that players play both games. The game seems to only be gaining in popularity as well as more players who are introduced to Poker via Texas Hold ‘em branch out and experiment with the other varieties of Poker.