5 Good Reasons Why You Should Play Omaha

People play a card game. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)

Are you still playing No-Limit Hold’em and nothing else? Any poker is good poker, but if you want to enjoy the best of what this game has to offer, it’s time to start playing some Omaha on the side. Here are five good reasons why.

1. It’s More Fun

This is the most important reason. Because you start with four hole cards in Omaha instead of two, the chances of getting dealt a big hand go up considerably. This gives people more incentive to throw their chips around and mix them up in gigantic multi-way pots. Omaha also hasn’t been “solved” nearly as well as Hold’em, so if you enjoy a more challenging mind sport, this is it.

2. There’s More Money To Be Made

This should be Reason 1A at best, although some players think it’s the only reason. Either way, these two things go hand-and-hand if you’re doing it right; all those people splashing the pot and enjoying themselves will add considerably to your bottom line. Plus, it’s easier to build a strategic edge over your opponents if you’re willing to put in the extra work to master Omaha.

3. It Will Make Your Hold’em Better

For dedicated Hold’em players, tackling a more complex game like Omaha will be a bit like stepping into the on-deck circle and swinging two baseball bats at the same time. Once you drop those two extra hole cards and get into the batter’s box, it’ll feel like you’re playing a much simpler game than you remember.

4. It’s Basically The Same Game Anyway

There aren’t any real differences between Omaha and Hold’em once you get past the hole cards – okay, maybe some tiny ones. But the rules are essentially the same, and your strategies should only require some small-to-medium upgrades to account for the greater likelihood of making bigger hands. It’s still not rocket science.

5. You Should Play All The Games

There are only so many hours in a day and a seemingly infinite number of ways to play poker. But the more “mixed” games you can add to your arsenal, the better a player you’ll become.

Once you give Omaha a try, the next logical step is Omaha Hi/Lo, which will introduce you to split-pot games. Then try Razz, which will introduce you to the wide world of stud games. Razz gets a bad reputation (maybe because some of those naysayers go on super-tilt when they don’t win), but it will give you the fundamentals you need to master any game involving low hands, including Stud Hi/Lo and Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw.

There are plenty more reasons beyond that to play Omaha, but these are the most important five. If you’re not convinced yet, the next time you’re at a live poker room that has Omaha tables as well as Hold’em, take a walk around and see what you see. Chances are you’ll see Reasons 1 and 2 in all their glorious splendor, playing out right before your eyes. The other three reasons are self-evident.

Before we go, one more tip for your gambling: When you’re ready to start playing Omaha, start small. Play some freerolls if you can, until you figure out the slightly different rules, then move on to micro-stakes cash games and tournaments while you’re getting used to how someone always seems to have Aces.

The rest is up to you, so good hunting, and may the rectangles be with you.