No longer do people romanticize cowboys sitting around a table holding their cards close to their chests and drawing to gutshots. Now, poker players’ fantasies are all about winning huge amounts of money in tournaments such as the $10,000 Main Event at the World Series of Poker.
The game played? No-limit Texas hold’em, of course.
If you log onto PokerStars New Jersey and you click on the “Cash Game” tab, most likely all you will see is a list of no-limit hold’em games. However, if you click on the drop down menu located under the title “Game,” the software will give you the opportunity to choose other games you may be interested in playing.
Common types of online poker games in NJ
At the time of this writing, PokerStars offered a total of 29 different games.
Some of the less popular games may be difficult to play due to lack of player interest, but you can find several tables of games such as limit stud running during peak gambling hours (5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.). If five card draw is your thing, you may be out of luck.
At the height of the poker boom, after Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP of poker back in 2003, the only game anyone wanted to play was no-limit hold’em. Now that things have died down a bit, a few other games have been gaining in popularity. Most notable of these games is pot-limit Omaha.
Pot-limit Omaha is the second most popular version of poker behind no-limit Texas hold’em. You can always find games of pot-limit Omaha running on PokerStars and WSOP. In fact, if you want to play for higher stakes, you will find $5-$10 pot-limit Omaha going more often than its no-limit hold’em equivalent.
It is true that there is a limit on the amount you can bet in pot-limit Omaha and this is sometimes a detraction to new players, but it shouldn’t be. In most no-limit hold’em games, players don’t bet larger than the size of the pot anyway.
The average pot size in pot-limit Omaha is almost always larger than the average pot size in no-limit hold’em. To top it all off, pot-limit Omaha requires much of the same skill set as no-limit hold’em in order to be a winning player, and the best players win at a much higher rate.
How is pot-limit Omaha played?
So how is the game played? It’s easier than you may think.
If you are familiar with Texas hold’em and know how no-limit betting works, you already know almost everything you need in order to play the game. Pot-limit Omaha is played exactly the same way as no-limit Texas hold’em with a couple of distinct exceptions.
First and foremost, instead of being dealt two cards in the hole, like you are in Texas hold’em, you are dealt four cards. You can’t use any combination of the four in your hand and the five on the board in order to make your hand.
You must, MUST, use two cards out of your hand and three on the board.
The easiest way to understand this concept is to take a look at flushes. If you have the ace of spades in your hand and there are four spades on the board, you do not have a flush.
If you have three spades in your hand and there are two on the board, you do not have a flush. You must use two cards out of your hand and three on the board with no exceptions. So, the ace of spades along with another spade and three or more spades on the board makes your hand.
No-limit betting vs. pot-limit betting
The difference between no-limit and pot-limit betting is not as great as you would imagine. If there is $50 in the pot, the max that you can bet is $50.
Keep in mind, however, that your call is counted as part of the pot. The amount you can bet escalates very quickly.
If there is $50 in the pot and your opponent bets $50, to figure out the size of the pot, you match the $50 that he bet and then match the size of all bets. So in this situation, you would be able to raise to a total of $200 (don’t worry, the software does these calculations for you).
So next time you are looking to play some poker at either PokerStars NJ or WSOP NJ, give pot-limit Omaha a try. You will find that it is every bit as enjoyable as Texas hold’em and there is a good chance, after playing it a few times, no-limit hold’em will feel like an inferior game.