Know the Basics

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sta_pic_0It may seem very trivial to many people but simply knowing the rules of the game is an area that many poker players don’t even bother with at sites like 888 for example.

The rules of poker differ somewhat and they certainly differ from game to game with huge differences in how various forms of poker are conducted.

For example I have run across many players who struggle when moving across from say no limit hold’em to Omaha based on the fact that in Omaha then you have to use two cards in your hand and three from the board.


The game rules in Omaha confuse many a novice player and this can be easily highlighted for example with the following hand.

Let us say that in four card Omaha you get dealt the Kc-Jd-10h-8s and the final board is 9s-9d-8c-4h-8h. In hold’em then you would have a full house of nines over eights because you can play one card from your hand.

However in Omaha then the rules state that you must play two cards and so you only have one eight from your hand plus one other card! For you to be able to make a full house here then you need to have a four in your hand or a nine or possibly a pair of fours.


A-A is not as BIG pre-flop in PLO as it is in Hold’em

Another example could be if the final board is 9-9-4-4-9, taking your previous hand then you still do not have a full house.

Remember that you must use only three cards from the middle and so the three nines must combine with two cards from your starting hand. Seeing as you do not hold a pair then you cannot have a full house.

You would be amazed at just how many players I have seen commit huge errors in this area and even experienced players who should know better often misread their hand in Omaha. Just like in any form of poker then not knowing the rules of the game can really hurt you where it hurts the most…….in your pocket.

I have been trialling SNIPER in PLO lately and the early signs are VERY encouraging. In fact we will have to watch this space because I wouldn’t be surprised to see SNIPER achieve a better earn rate in this form of poker.

3991Carl Sampson is a professional poker player that plays online at 888poker and can now be seen at Poker Player and Bluff Europe Poker Magazines


About The Dean

A full-time professional poker player, coach and backer
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