6 Card Omaha Poker
Looking for more action and bigger payouts? 6 Card Omaha poker might be the perfect game for you. 6 Card Omaha poker is an action-packed variation of Pot Limit Omaha Poker that is played with six hole cards instead of four.
The game originated in the United States in the mid-2000s and was first introduced in casinos of Minnesota where they called it Minnesota Hold’em. It eventually spread to other regions including Las Vegas and has since become a staple in card rooms worldwide.
6 Card PLO has enjoyed worldwide attention especially due to its thrilling gameplay and massive payouts. Intense action and creation of bigger pots are common occurrences in 6 Card Omaha poker due to the presence of six hole cards. If you wish to be a part of this action today, let’s dive right in and learn what the game’s all about.
Like its counterpart,4 Card PLO, the objective of 6 Card PLO poker is to make the best five-card combination by using exactly two hole cards and three community cards that are dealt on the felts. The five-card combination follows the universal poker hand rankings. Players bet chips in a series of rounds based on their hand strength to win the pot.
The pot is made of the total sum of all bets made by the players in a hand. These bets are placed in the form of poker chips which is the standard currency used for a poker game.
There are two scenarios involved when players try to achieve this game objective.
1. Make the best five-card poker hand to win the pot in a showdown. This is done by players revealing their hole cards after completing the betting rounds to decide the winner.
2. OR if the current bet made by a player goes unmatched by all other players during the course of a hand, that player wins the pot without showing his cards.
How Does Omaha Hands Work in 6 Card PLO?
The hand rankingsfor 6 Card PLO are identical to Texas Hold’em poker and 4 Card Omaha Poker. However, the way you form a five card hand in this poker variant differs due to the possession of six hole cards.
Since we already mentioned that only two hole cards can be used to make the best five-card hand, an example of this would look like this.
Let’s say you are dealt six hole cards namely A♠,K♦,Q♠,J♥,10♥,9♥. This is a strong starting hand in 6 Card PLO. The five community cards on the board read A♥,Q♣,4♥,5♦,2♣.
At first glance, your starting hands might already look like a broadway straight. However, remember you can only use two hole cards, so that isn’t the case at all. When the board reveals these five cards, it appears that you have hit a flush hand of Hearts.
That is not the case either since you can use exactly two hole cards. So, you need one more card of Hearts on the board to complete a flush draw.
What you really have when all five cards are revealed on the board is Two Pair. This includes a pair of Aces and a pair of Queens.
Difference between 4 Card PLO and 6 Card PLO
Both 4 Card PLO and 6 Card PLO are variations of Omaha Poker. The basic rules and gameplay remain the same for all three variations of poker. The key difference in 6 Card Omaha rules is that six hole cards are dealt to players in this variation as opposed to four hole cards in 4 Card PLO and two in Texas Hold’em.
Due to the difference in the number of hole cards, the frequency and probability of hitting bigger hands is much higher in 6 Card Omaha. This means that each player has more potential combinations and one can make stronger hands, making it a more action-packed game.
This also implies that the variance experienced by players is significantly higher in this game variant. Therefore, players need to carefully assess and select their hole cards when playing a certain hand.
How to Set Up a 6 Card Omaha Game?
In a poker game, a dealer button, also known as the Button, is a small disc or marker that is used to indicate the player who is currently acting as the dealer. The Dealer Button rotates clockwise around the table after completing a hand so that each player takes the turn of being the Dealer.
The dealer button is important because it determines the order in which the cards are dealt. It also indicates the player positions and the order in which betting takes place in each round of Poker.
Before the cards are dealt in the game, the Small Blind and Big Blind place their bets, known as blinds. Blinds are compulsory bets that the two players on the dealer’s left make to create the pot and initiate action in the game.
As per Omaha poker rules, the amount of the Big Blind is usually twice the amount of Small Blind in a poker game. Since the position of the Dealer Button moves one place left of the Dealer, each player gets the turn to place the blinds.
Once the blinds are placed by the first two players on the Dealer’s immediate left, the dealer then deals six private cards to each player before a hand begins. These private cards are known as Hole cards.
Five cards are dealt face up by the Dealer in a series of four betting rounds as per 6 card Omaha rules. These five cards are known as Community cards and can be shared by all players to make their best five-card hand combination.
How to Play 6 Card Omaha Poker?
To learn how to play 6 Card Omaha poker, it is crucial to understand the various betting actions and different betting rounds that take place during a hand. Once you learn these actions and betting rounds thoroughly, you can start playing right away.
What are the Betting Options for Players in 6 Card PLO?
A player can use either of the four betting options in 6 Card Omaha Poker namely, Check, Call, Raise and Fold. Players can take these actions during the betting rounds of a hand. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Check: This option is available when no new bets have been made in the current round. In this case, you can choose not to bet any chips and pass the action to the next player.
Call: To call means to match a current bet placed by a player who acted before you. You need to call a bet if you wish to stay in the hand and play further.
Raise: To raise is to increase the current bet size or amount placed by another player during a hand. You do so by adding more chips in the pot than the previous bettor.
Fold: To fold means to quit playing the current hand in progress and give up the chips you have bet in the pot so far. When you fold, you muck your cards and cannot act further in this hand.
All-in: In Omaha poker games, players can choose to bet a maximum amount of chips that equals the current pot size of the hand in play. When you go All-in, all players need to match the All-in bet to stay in the hand. Any more bets made by other players will create side pots.
As per 6 Card Omaha Poker rules, when you go All-in, you can only win the main pot which includes all the chips that were in play before the All-in bet.
What are the Betting Rounds in 6 Card Omaha Poker?
Just like standard PLO poker games, 6 Card Omaha poker consists of four betting rounds known as Pre-flop, Flop, Turn and River. They take place in a clockwise direction starting from the player to the dealer’s left and ending with the button. All players have the option to check, call, raise and fold in each of these rounds.
Let’s understand them one by one in succession.
This is the first round of betting that takes place in 6 Card PLO. After the hole cards are dealt, the player positioned on the immediate left of the blinds acts first. The rest of the players take their turns in a clockwise direction.
After all players have acted in the first round, the dealer deals three face up cards on the table called the “Flop”. A second round of betting starts with the first active player to the dealer’s left. Any player who chooses to fold his cards is out of the current hand in play and cannot make any more bets.
After the 2nd round of betting is over, a 4th community card is revealed face up by the Dealer and placed next to the Flop. This card is called the Turn. The active players continue to place their bets in a clockwise manner.
The final community card is revealed at this point. This card is known as the River. Action begins for the final round and all players make their final bets according to the 6 Card Omaha rules.
After all four poker rounds of betting are over, it's time to decide the winner of the hand. At this stage, all players reveal their hole cards to compare their five-card hand. The player with the strongest five card hand combination according to the poker hand rankings wins the pot. In case two or more players have an identical hand, the pot is split between them.
This surmises the basic gameplay and the poker rules players must follow to play 6 Card Omaha poker. Once you memorize them and play a few games, you shall be rolling in no time.
6 Card PLO Strategy: Winning Practices and Tips
In order to win in Six card Omaha poker, a total of six hole cards are dealt out of which players must use exactly two of them to make their best hand. Keeping in line with this key feature of the game, it is obvious that the Omaha starting hands tend to be much stronger than Hold’em or even 4 Card PLO.
Therefore, your 6 Card PLO strategy should ideally follow a very nuanced approach and employ a variety of strategies in order to win. Here are a few strategies and winning tips you may employ and experiment with to solidify your 6 Card Omaha game.
Be Highly Selective with Starting Hands
In 6 card Omaha, it's all about carefully selecting your starting hands. It is wise to pick cards that coordinate well with each other and have the potential to create strong hands post-flop. Look for high rank double suited hands to hit a strong Flush, high ranking connected cards to make bigger Straight draws and high pairs.
However, do consider the table dynamics. If you are playing against loose and aggressive opponents, you may want to play tighter and wait for a stronger hand. If your opponents are tight and passive, you can exploit their caution and play more hands with aggression.
A-A-K-K-Q-Q, A-A-J-T-9-8, K-K-Q-Q-J-T and A-A-K-K-J-T are some of the best starting hands in 6 Card PLO poker.
Adjust Your Game According to Position
Position is extremely crucial in 6 Card PLO games. It is wise to play only marginal hands from an early position and keep things tight. With more information about your opponents in late position, you can widen your range and play more hands with aggression.
6 Card Omaha can be an extremely swingy game. Do not overcommit with weak hands out of position and avoid chasing draws with huge pots. It is advisable to take control of the size of the pot from position in order to manipulate your opponent’s game effectively.
Read Your Opponents
To be able to read your opponents is an important skill in Poker. You must pay attention to their betting patterns and read their actions to figure out what they hold. Pay attention to their bet sizes. For example, small bets often indicate a weak holding in 6 Card Omaha. Conversely, strong hands will often see big raises in this poker variant. Try and notice any visible patterns in their betting to make more informed decisions.
Because there are four more cards in play as opposed to Texas Hold’em, it can be a little harder to narrow down the range of your opponents. Take the time to develop this skill as this will pay off plenty in future.
Bluff with Caution
Bluffing in 6-card PLO poker can be effective if done right. However, this strategy should be used sparingly and with caution taking into consideration your opponents' tendencies, the community cards, and your own hand strength. Take advantage of specific situations such as when you have a good read on your opponent and believe they are likely to fold. Or maybe when the community cards suggest that your opponent’s hand might be weaker than yours.
Patience is the Golden Rule
Not many will tell you this. Patience is key to winning in 6 Card PLO poker. If you are new to this poker variation and especially switching from Hold’em to Omaha, you may have to fight off the temptation to play more hands. This is natural because starting hands tend to be much stronger in 6 Card PLO.
That said, this can be a recipe for disaster as playing too many hands can lead to losing a lot of chips really quickly. You may need to exercise discipline consistently and wait for the right opportunities and stick mostly to strong starting hands to win the pot.
6 Card Omaha Poker FAQs
In 6 card PLO, a player needs to make the best possible five card poker hand using any combination of the six hole cards and five community cards on the board. The most effective ways to make a winning hand in 6 Card PLO are mentioned below.
- Select Your Hole Cards Wisely
- Consider Your Community Cards
- Observe Your Opponent’s Actions
Check your six hole cards closely and identify the ones that can work together to form the strongest possible hand. For instance, if you have two pairs, you may want to focus on making a Full House or Four of a Kind.
Consider the community cards on the board to know how they can help you complete your hand. Look for cards that can add to your pairs or sets, or connect with your straight or flush draws.
Compare your hand strength with your opponent’s hands based on their bet sizes and specific betting patterns. In 6 Card PLO, the texture of poker hands can change quickly as the community cards unfold. So, you need to be flexible and adjust your strategy as the hand develops.
PLO 6 is a complex game compared to PLO 4 and PLO 5. Due to the addition of one extra card in 6 Card PLO, the possible hand combinations are too many to count and high ranking hands are common and achievable easily. This also results in frequent swings. Both wins and losses are equally great in 6 Card PLO. As such, players must proceed with caution when investing in the pot and select their starting hands carefully.
The order of poker hand rankings in PLO 6 are identical to all popular games of Poker including Texas Hold’em, 4 Card PLO and 5 Card Omaha. Here’s how each hand is ranked in strength in 6 Card PLO poker.
- Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit.
- Straight Flush: Any five consecutive cards of the same suit.
- Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank and one different card.
- Full House: Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank.
- Flush: Any five cards of the same suit.
- Straight: Any five consecutive cards of different suits.
- Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank and two different cards.
- Two Pair: Two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank and one random card.
- One Pair: Two cards of the same rank and three random cards.
- High Card: If no player has any of the above hands, the player with the highest card wins.
Winning in 6 Card PLO Poker demands a careful and disciplined approach. Players must take the time to understand the game, analyze one’s opponents and be aware of the possible hand combinations during a hand to grab the best opportunities of winning the pot.
- Play tight and be selective with your starting hands.
- Always draw to the nuts. Avoid focusing on small pairs and low ranking straight hands.
- Pay attention to the board at all times.
- Play strong hands from position with aggression and only few hands with caution when out of position.
- Use bet sizing strategically to take control of the pot and manipulate the odds in your favour.
- Play within your bankroll and ignore weak hands at all costs to keep your chip stack afloat.
There are many advantages to playing 6 Card PLO poker. Some key benefits include:
- More opportunities to make strong hands like flushes and full houses increase your winning chances.
- More starting hands possibilities make this game more dynamic and exciting.
- Great emphasis on post-flop play due to six hole cards. Thus, players with strong post flop skills can gain added advantage.
- Variance in PLO 6 is much higher compared to its counterparts. This can appeal to players who enjoy the thrill of big swings.
- PLO 6 is a refreshing take on Poker due to its increased complexity and high number of possible combinations. Players who have a knack for challenging and strategic games might find PLO to be the perfect choice.