One wonderful thing about poker is that there is always something new and exciting surrounding it. New to the world of poker is Omaha hold’em, a variation of Texas hold’em where four cards are dealt instead of two.
The additional cards force you to make a choice of which cards you want to play. You have more options than in Texas hold’em, but you also have more decisions to make. In essence, the crux of the matter is which two of the four cards in your hand do you want to play based on the community cards dealt on the table. With Texas hold’em, there is no choice to make, you must play the cards you have been dealt to you to your best ability. With Omaha, you still play with only two cards, but it’s up to you which two those will be.
The result is that you get to play more hands and have more opportunity to win. What many people don’t realize is that poker isn’t only about the cards. If that was the case, then you’d probably have more fun playing bridge, but because of the betting involved it adds a new dimension to the game and forces you to keep your wits about you.
The rules and play of Omaha are the same as for other hold’em games. Each player is dealt four cards to use in the round. At this point, if your cards are such that you wish to continue the play, an initial bet is placed. This bet is called the big blind. You determine from your hand whether to call, raise or fold.
After the first round of betting the first set of community cards are dealt onto the table, the flop, where you can then assess the strength of your hand. Another round of betting will then commence and once again you can call, raise or fold your hand. After everyone has completed their betting the next community card, called the turn, is then dealt onto the table and there is another round of betting.
Following the deal of the last card, the final round of betting, the river, begins. This final card will make you or break you. Lose and you play another round to make it back, win and you play another round because you’re hot. You learn the strength of your opponents hands at each new round of betting. With more experience you will know how much to bet and when.
Poker in whatever form offers the challenge of playing against people like yourself and not just cards. People are unpredictable poker players until your knowledge of their playing style makes them far less so. Once you get the modus operandi of their play, you can determine what they will do next.
Experience is the answer to making the unknown play of your opponents into something you can figure out and use. Keep at it. Keep challenging yourself and good luck.
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