Omaha Five

written by: James

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In recent years, Omaha poker has seen a major rise in popularity, and is now second only to Texas Hold'em as the world's most popular card game. The game of Omaha is quite similar to Texas Hold'em, with the major exception being that each player receives four hole cards instead of two. However, card players have recently developed a new Omaha variation entitled Omaha-Five. In Omaha-Five, each player receives five hole cards. This makes for some interesting rule and strategy changes that every Omaha-Five player should be aware of.

Omaha-Five Basic Rules

In order to play Omaha-Five, each player is dealt five hole cards each instead of the standard four. From here, the game plays out exactly like a normal game of Omaha Hi. In order to make a winning poker hand, you must use exactly two of your five hole cards and three of the five community cards. Just as in Texas Hold'em or Omaha, community cards are placed on the table in three rounds: the flop, turn and river. In between each of these community card rounds is a betting round, followed by a final betting round at showdown.

The only other special consideration to make when playing Omaha-Five is the number of players involved. A standard game of Omaha can be played with 10 players easily. However, when each player receives five hole cards in Omaha-Five, a maximum of 9 players can be dealt in. This will allocate a total of 45 cards to hole cards, with 7 cards remaining. Five of these seven remaining cards will be community cards.

Omaha-Five Strategy

With the addition of one extra hole card per player, everybody has the chance to make a potentially stronger hand in Omaha-Five than they would in regular Omaha. Because of this, you'll want to only play hands that show excellent connectivity, preferably with some face cards involved. A hand such as AAQQ, which would be quite strong in Omaha, isn't very strong in Omaha-Five due to the lack of connectivity. Generally, straights are more common in Omaha-Five due to the additional hole card.

In Omaha-Five, it's important to resist the temptation to bring your hand to the flop just because you have a high pair, or even two high pairs. When each player has a total of nine cards to work with in each hand, it's easy to see how a straight could be easily formed. Hands such as 98765 or AKKQJ are very valuable. A winning hand should show either perfect connectivity, as in 98765, or solid connectivity combined with a high pair, such as in AKKQJ.

As in any Omaha game, having three- or four-of-a-kind in your hole cards isn't very valuable. This is because you can only use exactly two of your hole cards. A seemingly amazing hand such as AAAAJ can only be looked at as a pair of aces, though the fact that no other players will receive aces should also be taken into consideration.

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