It’s great to know two different poker variants because it means you can change your game if you feel that you’re getting a bit stale. So let’s take a look at how to play both Texas Holdem rules and Omaha Holdem rules, and see which game wins the great Texas vs Omaha holdem contest.
Let’s assume that you know what the poker hands are and how they rank – if you don’t, worry not, there are plenty of examples online.
Texas Holdem Rules
Both the poker variants we’re looking at allow you to build a five card hand. In Texas Holdem, you are dealt two cards face down at the start of the game.
Texas Holdem Rules – the “hole” cards
Let’s say that beginner’s luck is in force, and you are dealt two aces. In the rest of the game you’re looking to build that pair into an even better hand, for example a full house. The only fly in the ointment, is that everybody else is trying to build a better hand too.
After the hole cards are dealt, everyone bets. You have three options when it comes to your turn. You can match the bet and stay in the game. You can decide that your hole cards are hopeless, and in that case you fold. Or you can check – this indicates that you don’t want to fold but you don’t want to pay for your next card. If everyone around the table agrees to check, the next card is free.
Texas Holdem Rules – the “Flop”
When the betting has finished, the dealer puts down three cards face up – this is known as the flop. You now look at the way your hand is shaping up, bearing in mind that there are another two cards to come. There’s another round of betting, based on the five cards players have received so far, and whether they think they can win (or bluff).
Texas Holdem Rules – the “Turn” and the “River”
Another card, “the turn” is dealt face up – there are now four communal cards, and there’s another round of betting. Then the final card, known as “the river” is dealt. You now have seven cards and can choose any five that make the best hand for you.
The game ends when one player bets so much that other people fold and that player takes the pot. Or when everyone turns over their cards, and the highest hand wins (called a showdown).
So much for Texas – when it comes to Texas vs Omaha Holdem, what’s the difference?
Texas vs Omaha holdem
Omaha differs from Texas in its betting structure and hand construction. “Limit Omaha” defines the size of bets and all bets must be in multiples of this number. In “Pot Limit Omaha”, the betting limit is whatever is in the pot at the time.
Before any cards are dealt, the player on the dealer’s left – the “small blind” has to make a bet equal to at least 50% of the minimum bet for that table. The next player, moving clockwise, is the “big blind” and they have to put in a bet equal to 100% of the table minimum. Why? So that there is always money in the pot!
The first difference in Omaha play, is that you start by getting four cards dealt face down. The player third to the left of the dealer now opens the betting. The flop is three cards and as with Texas Holdem, you also get a card on the Turn and one at the River. However, Omaha has stricter rules on which cards you can use to build your hand. You must use two of your hole cards and you must also use three of the communal cards.
The betting proceeds as with Texas, but within the rules outlined above for bet sizes. So which is the better game?
Texas vs Omaha Holdem
Omaha tests your ability to calculate multiple hand possibilites more rigorously, because in Omaha you’ve got four cards in the hole, not two. But some people say that Omaha players are less skilled on average, than Texas players, and it’s therefore easier to make money from Omaha if you become a proficient player.
However, being able to play both is a definite bonus – it gives variety, and sheds light on another way to play this absorbing game.