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Omaha High

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Omaha Hold 'Em, or Omaha High, is pretty similar to Texas Hold'Em. However, it's not nearly as common.

The winning hands are higher - for example, you'll rarely win with 2 pair. In fact, two pair is the most common losing hand in Omaha High.

The game does take some getting used to especially if you love playing Texas Hold'Em. It's pretty worthwhile to take the time to learn how to play Omaha Hold'Em.

Here is why.

1) It's not as popular as Texas Hold 'Em. The field vying for prizes on the Hold 'Em circuit is quite large. You have a better statistical chance of winning Omaha.

2) It's a game of skill; not luck. Of course, there are suck outs on occasion; but, generally speaking Omaha Hold 'Em is set up in favor of the math. The best hand usually wins. Bluffing and all that other stuff that might get you fed up with playing Texas Hold 'Em doesn't happen - at least not as much - in the Omaha neck of the woods.

3) If you get good, you can win consistently! Many people who play Omaha do so pretty badly. The learning curve isn't terribly high. A little knowledge and a bit of know-how can make you a winning player in this game.

Now, back to the rules of Omaha Hold 'Em.

In Omaha High, the highest hand wins. You get 4 hole, or pocket cards. Each player can only use 2 from her hand. The game is a community game. There is a flop of three cards, then a turn and a river. You bet after each round. Again, just like in Texas Hold 'Em. Each player uses three cards from the board and two from their hand to make the best possible hand.

Note that you can only use 2 cards from the pocket and 3 from the board. If you have A (spades) K (hearts) 10 (spades) Q (clubs) and a J(spades), K (spades), 3(hearts), Q(spades), 9 (spades) come up on the board, you have a Royal Flush in Spades using the A (spades) and 10 (spades) from your pocket and the J, K and Q of spades from the board. (It won't happen very often - but it can happen!)

In Omaha, most decisions come down to a simple calculation of your outs - the cards you need to make the winning hand. If you can do that consistently and well - then you'll be an Omaha Hold 'Em winner.

Many experienced players find that this game is just as fun - if not more so - than Texas Hold 'Em. Some also find it less challenging, winning more with it and enjoying playing against the competition. There are two types of Omaha players - really good players and really bad ones.

A good basic strategy is that if you have a really good Texas Hold 'Em starting hand among your hole cards such as pocket AAs, KKs or, as some players like to say, any 2 cards that'd make a winning blackjack hand, then you should see the flop. Of course, be prepared to chuck your hand post-flop if you don't have a significant draw or, at least, 2-pair. In Omaha, you'll fold more hands both pre-flop and post-flop. You'll come in less and call less bets.

Here's a few other key tips you may want to focus on as you start out:

1) If there are 3 cards of the same suit on the board, someone probably has a flush. If it's you, make sure you are as close to the nuts as possible. If you're not - fold and live to play another hand.

2) Full houses are common winning-hands in Omaha High; much more than in Texas Hold'Em. Unfortunately, you can lose to a bigger full house so make sure you have a big full house before you bet big or call a huge raise. Trust us - you will lose a few hands to a bigger full house. It's quite upsetting.

3) If someone's betting big and you don't have the nuts, fold. They probably have you beat. The statistics are against you. Remember - everyone has 4 hole cards too! That's two extra chances to have you beat times how many more players are in the hand!

These are simple tips that are full of common sense. Use them. They can help you win - and do so consistently. Isn't that the most important thing? Now get out there and play some Omaha.

Party Poker offers plenty of Omaha High games. One of the benefits of playing poker at Party Poker is that their games are known to be looser than Full Tilt's. The reason is that as American players are not allowed, and as they are the most advanced players as the game started in the USA, casual players are relatively more numerous.

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