Texas Holdem and Omaha are the most popular poker games. Both the games have similar characteristics, levels of fun, thrill and enjoyment. However, the only difference is the amount of action that takes place during the game. Though both card games belong to the poker family; but are totally different and involve different principles, methods and winning strategies.
Number and Usage of Pocket Cards
The key difference between the two is the number of hole or pocket cards received by each player. Hole cards are those that are dealt (face down) to each player in the starting of game. In Texas Holdem, a player gets two hole cards while in Omaha poker, the player receives four cards. In Texas Holdem, the player chooses whether to use one or both the hole cards in combination with the community cards, but in Omaha Poker, he must use exactly two hole cards out of the four, to make a poker hand by combining these two with the three community cards. This results in much higher chances of making a hand in Omaha as players will get to stay more in the game till flops. Hence, more betting can be expected throughout the entire hand.
How to Play
After the dealing of cards, a round of betting occurs and players examine their cards to see if they have a playable hand. All players have four options. They can, either call the blind, raise it up or simply fold their hand if they find their cards are not playable. After the first round of betting “flop” occurs and three community cards are dealt face up. Another round of betting happens and the “turn” card is dealt. Next round of betting happens – the “river” in which the final community card is dealt face up. Three out of these five community cards can be used by all players to make their poker hand. Now, the final round of betting happens and the player with the best five card hand wins the pot.
Comparative Hand Strength-
Just the difference in the number of the hole cards alters the game play strategy of the two games. Omaha involves more of “three-of-a-kind”, “straight”, “flushes” and “full houses” as each player has two extra cards in his hands. As a result a “pair” is rarely a winning hand in Omaha, whereas in Texas Holdem you can have a fair chance if you have a “pair” or a two pair.
Bluffing and Drawing-
Though not impossible, bluffing your opponents is much harder and tougher in Omaha, as big winning hands occur frequently. Players are less likely to “fold” in Omaha as compared to Texas Holdem as they are given many outs to hit their hand. In fact, Omaha is usually considered as a drawing game as there are so many outs that will complete a hand.
The fact that each player receives four hole cards to start the game, results in bigger pots in Omaha. There are a large number of potential combinations which encourages players to stay in the game.
Both the games are fast paced, though some players consider Omaha faster. Both are equally enjoyable and fun-filled. It takes a sharp mind and a lot of courage to be a successful poker player. You can not always win every game, all you need to do is to choose the right stake poker table.