You can make money playing Texas holdem, but it’s not always the version of poker where you can make the most money. So when I play poker, my first priority is to make as much money as possible.
If I can make more money playing Texas holdem than another version of poker, then I play Texas holdem. But I’ve learned that I can make more money playing less popular versions of poker.
This post lists three poker variations that can be more profitable than Texas holdem and explains why each version is better.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that any of these games are easy to beat. You still have to learn how to use poker strategy better than your opponents.
1 – Pot Limit Omaha High
Of the three poker variations in this post, pot-limit Omaha high is the closest to no-limit Texas holdem. Of course, pot-limit play isn’t exactly the same as no limit, but in action, it’s relatively close.
The main difference between Omaha poker and Texas holdem poker is you start with four cards instead of two when you play Omaha. You also have to use two of your four cards to form a hand.
These differences are the main reasons why pot-limit Omaha high can be more profitable than Texas holdem. Inexperienced players think they have a better chance of winning when they have four cards and forget they have to use two cards from their hand.
Most poker players start by playing Texas holdem. The players who decide to give Omaha a try usually play too many hands. While you do have a better chance of completing a decent hand when you start with four cards, the truth is that every player starts with four cards.
When every player starts with four cards, you have to have a better hand on average when you play Omaha than you need when you play Texas holdem if you want to win.
The rule requiring the use of two hole cards and three community cards to complete a hand seems simple. But Texas holdem players are used to using one of their hole cards and four of the community cards, or even all five community cards to complete a hand.
Pot limit is similar to no-limit poker, but pot limit gives smart poker players a better opportunity to control the pot size. The best poker players know how to use pot limit rules to minimize the pot size when they’re drawing to a better hand. They also know how to maximize the pot while keeping weaker players in the hand when winning.
All of the things covered in this section combined make pot-limit Omaha high a profitable game for smart players. Of course, you still have to play better than most of your opponents if you want to win, just like when you play any other poker variation. But this all boils down to learning and using strategy.
Pot limit play can make mistakes costly, just like no-limit play. If you’re a good Omaha player, pot-limit high is your best choice. However, if you’re still working on your strategy skills, limit Omaha high low is a better option. You’re going to learn more about limit high lo Omaha in the next section.
2 – Limit Omaha High Low
When you play any form of poker against opponents, most of your profit comes from your opponents’ mistakes. So if you’re able to make fewer mistakes than your opponents, the odds are that you’re going to make a profit.
You can use several different strategies and tools to limit your mistakes. You can even use some strategies that help weak opponents make more mistakes.
The most important strategy or tool you can use when you play Omaha poker is math. And the high-low version of Omaha gives you more opportunities to use math.
When you play Texas holdem, you start with two cards. When you start with four cards, you have twice as much information at the start of every hand. You have more information on the flop, on the turn, and on the river.
With the possibility of a split pot between the high and low hand, you have more possibilities and numbers to run during each hand.
Most poker players don’t know anything about odds, pot odds, and expectation. If you learn how to use odds, pot odds, and expectation, limit Omaha high low can be a gold mine. You can use these simple mathematical processes to gain an advantage at the poker table.
Omaha high low can be found in both limit and pot limit. When you master math when you play Omaha, you can win more playing pot limit. But there’s plenty of profit available at the limit tables. And the limit tables are the best place to work on your skills.
When you play limit Omaha high low, every decision you make can be dictated by math. Of course, it takes some experience to learn all of the math you need to use, but once you learn the math for Omaha, you can make a consistent profit at the limit high-low tables.
If you’re just starting to work on your Omaha skills, you can start at the limit high tables. You don’t have to work on your low-hand skills at these tables, and you can focus on odds, pot odds, and expectations without complications.
Once you master your strategy and math skills, you can quickly adjust your skills to include the high lo version of Omaha.
3 – 7 Card Stud
Believe it or not, seven-card stud was the most played version of poker before Texas holdem took over poker rooms. Now, seven-card stud is less popular than Texas holdem and Omaha.
Seven-card stud is on this list of poker variations that are better than Texas holdem because it’s not popular. Most players at the low limit seven-card stud tables are taking a break from Texas holdem and don’t know how to win.
One of the big reasons why Omaha variations are the first two games on this list is because your opponents are likely to make mistakes.
Players who try to play seven-card stud without knowing the best strategies are also more likely to make mistakes.
All poker games use math, and seven-card stud is no different. When you play, every decision needs to be based on the mathematical odds of winning the hand. Just like when you play Omaha, if you learn how to use math, you can play with an advantage over your opponents.
In seven-card stud, you know the value of your cards, and you know the value of all of the face-up cards belonging to your opponents. Using the information you have, you can determine the odds of completing a winning hand and make an educated guess about what hands your opponents have or are drawing to.
You should stick with Texas holdem if you’re unwilling to learn how to play seven-card stud well. But if you learn to play seven-card stud well, it’s easy to find tables filled with players who don’t know how to play well.
Most books about seven-card stud strategy are old because the game isn’t popular now. But the old books are still good learning tools, and you can pick them up used for a low price. You can also find good seven-card stud strategies online.
The good news is if you learn how to use the math skills needed to win playing any of the three games listed in this post, you can use the same skills in any poker game you play. The math skills will even help you win more money if you decide to go back to playing Texas holdem.
Texas holdem is popular, but every smart poker player focuses on finding the games where they can make the most money. So if you can make more money playing Omaha than you can make playing Texas holdem, you need to play Omaha.
Most of the money you make playing poker comes from mistakes your opponents make. The three poker games listed in this post give your opponents plenty of opportunities to make mistakes.
Make sure you don’t make the same mistakes, and your profits are going to improve. All you have to do is study and improve your strategy, so it’s better than most of your opponents.