How the Different Games can Enhance a Player’s NLH Game

Although No Limit Hold Em is considered the “Cadillac” of poker and is by far the most popular version of poker all around the world, many other versions of poker exist even though they are usually overlooked. There is Omaha, where each player has 4 cards instead of 2. Then there is Stud, which used to be the most popular poker game a few decades ago. All three games are different versions of poker and the rules are very different. However, learning games like Omaha and 7-card Stud can actually help them become better No Limit Hold Em players. This is because there are a few concepts that are shared in all 3 games, and might be more important in the other games than it is in No Limit Hold Em. Playing the other poker games can therefore help players master these concepts faster than if they just play NLH.

Omaha

Pot-Limit Omaha is an action game. There is lots of betting and raising and not much checking and calling. Since all players are dealt 4 cards, the winning hand, on average, is going to be much better than the average winning hand in a No Limit Hold Em game. For example, in Omaha, if the board is paired, most likely at least one player is going to have a full house, maybe more. The basic rule of Omaha therefore is only to chase a draw if a player is sure that he will have the best hand when he hits the draw. The main concepts that can be taken from Omaha, then, are reading the board and playing draws. Playing draws in Omaha is a major part of the game, a lot more so than No Limit Hold Em. Therefore, if a player can become a good Omaha player, he will certainly be a master of playing draws, and can then take that skill to No Limit Hold Em.

Stud

When playing 7-card stud, a player is going to be playing on 5 different streets, whereas in No Limit Hold Em there are only 3. A major skill in Stud, therefore, is to learn how to see free cards. This is because if a player could not see free cards, he may have to call as many as 5 bets to chase a draw for example. The way players see free cards is by learning when to check-raise, depending on how their opponent plays. Although it is not as important in No Limit Hold Em, learning how to see a free turn card can be very valuable when playing drawing hands.