18/07/2023 | Statname Team

How to switch from Holdem to Omaha: beginners mistakes

It would seem that poker is poker! But in reality, everything is much more complicated: yes, you can meet similar rules, the same cards, but experienced players recommend that you prepare for the fact that you will play as a beginner when switching. Because these games have radically different dynamics, conditions, strategies.

How is Hold'em different from Omaha?

The main difference is the number of closed cards. If in Hold'em you get only 2 cards and use them for combinations, in Omaha the dealer gives you 4 closed cards, but only 2 of them can be used. Unplayed cards can be used as blockers to eliminate the possibility of them falling out in the hands of your opponents.

Just like Omaha, Hold'em provides players with 5 common cards that are revealed as the game progresses. It would seem that the rules are similar!

However, in Hold'em, the player is able to build a combination of all 5 common cards and 2 in the hand. When moving to Omaha, this point confuses even the pros, because here you have to combine 2 pocket cards and only 3 common cards. These rules bring more variation and at the same time more strategies that you can use to win.

But strategies can easily fail! Is the game really that cruel?

Let's consider a situation: you dominate the pre-flop stage and are almost certain of winning, as you would in Hold'em. After the cards are revealed, it turns out that your opponent has a straight or a better hand. In Omaha, these odds are multiplied, which means that the method of card counting and strategies change dramatically.

Top 5 mistakes of beginners when switching to holdem omaha

No matter how long you've been playing Hold'em, it's important to discard all past notes, strategies, and ways of playing the game. Get ready to learn anew and pay attention to what chips poker players carry over and why they fail.

We've compiled the top 5 mistakes you may encounter:

  • Bluff. A working trick in Hold'em, but practically useless in Omaha. Here players have more variations for cards, more strategies, their hand can be many times stronger than yours and it will be difficult to calculate it, especially in the first games.
  • Lack of bankroll management. Often people come to PLO because of a weak field and immediately proceed to high limits, even after a little bit of mastering the rules. Don't be fooled! Yes, the field is indeed weaker, but do not forget about the variance, which is many times higher here. The best option is a slow but steady progression with at least 100 buy-ins.
  • Every hand is in play. At first it may seem that since there are more pocket cards, you should play your hand more often. No! As in Hold'em, in Omaha you should immediately determine how good the cards are. Ideally, they should be interconnected with each other so that you have the opportunity to realize more combinations.
  • Aggressive strategy. When playing PLO, it is preferable to play tit for tat - your opponents know that they may have a stronger hand, and they can also use unplayed cards as blockers. Tight play will allow you not to overestimate your hands and to be cautious even with passive players.
  • AA Re-evaluation. Two Aces in Hold'em is a great combination of pocket cards, but in Omaha you shouldn't overestimate their importance. Often the other two pocket cards will be more important to you if you can realize them correctly.

Remember that PLO is an action game, which is why poker players especially love it. The variance is higher, which means it is much easier to make a fatal mistake, but this does not mean that it is worth gambling and believing in successful situations. Winning in Omaha directly depends on your skills, style of play, ability to calculate the hands of opponents.


Just keep in mind that there is more variability here, which means that you will have to spend time figuring out which hole cards are the most powerful, in what situations it is safe to take risks, and when it is better to fold.


For a smooth transition to PLO, carefully study the rules and watch how other poker players compete. Over time, you will understand how to properly strategize and become a strong player in a weak field at high stakes.