The origins of Omaha poker are unknown, but the credit for bringing it to the world of casinos goes to the Robert Turner who introduced the game to casinos. The game was first introduced by him to the professional poker player Bill Boyd, who in turn spread the game. Bill Boyd offered this new variant at the Las Vegas Golden Nugget Casino where he was working and the game was then called the Nugget Hold’em.
As the game gained popularity and spread to other casinos it came to be known as Omaha poker. It is widely known as Omaha hold’em or Omaha holdem or just Omaha.
Omaha poker is a community card game of poker similar to the Texas Hold ‘Em but is actually a more complicated version of Hold ‘Em. In this game a player will get four cards of which he/she will have to make the best hand using two of them and another three from the five community cards.
Omaha Poker Variants
In Northern America where poker is very popular, Omaha poker is played by many. In most casinos the term Omaha refers to several games of poker. Of all the Omaha poker variants, Omaha high is considered to be the original one. The other commonly played Omaha variants are – Omaha eight or better also known as Omaha/8 and Omaha Hi-Lo which is a high-low split version.
Europe, another poker loving region, is also Omaha territory. Here Omaha typically relates to the high version where the players can raise stakes to the size of the entire pot itself. Such games are called pot limit Omaha. The common abbreviation for it is “PLO”. Pot limit Omaha poker games can be found in most casinos but the no-limit ones are rarer but definitely played.
In this variant of Omaha poker, players make a separate five card high-hand and a low-hand five card ace to five. This is what translates to eight high or lower to qualify. For a player to qualify for low, he or she must play 8, 7,6,5,4 or lower. Players might also find a few casinos which play this variant with a 9 low but such cases are extremely rare. Every player can use any two of his/her four hole cards to make a high hand and use any of the two cards from the four hole cards to make a low hand as well. If there isn’t a low qualifying hand then the high hand wins the entire pot. Though it might sound easy the game actually takes some getting used to before it can be played with confidence. Even the most seasoned players take time to decide on the different draws that is possible before moving ahead with their hands.
Pot limit Omaha
The PLO version of Omaha poker is mostly played high but can also be played low. Omaha poker is known as a game of ‘the nuts’. With pot limit Omaha this holds very true since this is a game of drawing. There are number of Omaha variants and this is what keeps it interesting.