So I recently decided it was time for me to learn a new game. Texas Hold ‘Em is fun and all, but I felt like I was getting into a bit of a rut.
I chose Omaha because it’s available at the card rooms in my area.
Even though the rules of the game are nearly identical, the game is wildly different. I have tried three different games – Omaha 8 or Better – limit, Omaha – limit, and Pot Limit Omaha.
As you can see in my Poker Tracker app, I’m currently losing. But I’m not discouraged, I fully expected this. It’s actually kind of fun to start over at a game, although it’s been expensive fun.
Here are my takeaways if you’re looking to learn a new game.
1) Don’t expect to win right away…. See above.
2) Use the skills from a game you know that transfer. Things like playing in position, profiling players, and game flow are relevant no matter what flavor of game you find yourself in. Pay attention, and you can pick up a lot – even in a new game.
3) Ranges are much different in Omaha. I’m not going to go into Omaha range building here because clearly I’m no expert, but I will say that spending time away from the table building ranges has been extremely helpful.
4) Hand strengths go way up in Omaha. Hands like two pair are quite strong in Hold ‘Em. They are not in Omaha. If a lot of money starts going into the pot post-flop, more often than not, you will need a five card hand to win. Straights, flushes, and full houses are much more common. Quads and straight flushes show up frequently as well. Your Ten high flush is most likely no good if your opponent is eager to swell the pot.
5) Play tight at first. I’m slightly a winner right now in the small stakes limit Omaha game at my local room. I can relatively cheaply get into a hand and see it to the river. Even when I’m making newbie mistakes, sometimes you get lucky and catch your card on 5th street.
Obviously, I’m going to need to log a lot more hours to become proficient at Omaha. My goal is eventually to lean the HORSE mix.
One step at a time.
Hope you run good and see you on the felt.