WSOP: Omaha (1983 to present)

[SS] “Rod, why are you always going all Peyton Manning on us in the side game?” Stan the Stat joked, referring to the Dealer’s Choice cash game that ran after the monthly tournament had shed enough players to free up a table.

[RR] “What do you mean? Because I play so well?” Rod suggested.

[FF] “I think he means because you’re so old you should retire.” Figaro the Fish jabbed.

[SS] “No, I mean why do you always call ‘Omaha, Omaha, Omaha’?”

[RR] “I just really like the game. I can never hit a hand in Texas Hold ‘Em, so having four hole cards instead of two really helps. It’s fun to make some straights and flushes and full houses for a change.”

[SS] “I’m sure you also like the certainty that comes with holding the nuts, something that happens way more often in Omaha. And Peyton Manning was certainly the nuts back in 2013 when he threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns.”

Game Name Omaha
Game Type Flop
Game Limits Limit or Pot Limit
High or Low High or Hi/Lo (a.k.a. Omaha 8 or Better)
WSOP Years 1983 to present
Buyins $1,000 to $10,000
Largest Field 3,250 High (2018 $365 PLO Giant), 1,036 Hi/Lo (2014 $1,500 event)
Notable Champions Daniel Alaei has won four bracelets in Omaha; Scotty Nguyen and T.J. Cloutier have each won three.
Basic Rules Omaha is played exactly like Hold ‘Em except that each player is dealt four hole cards, of which they must use exactly two to make their hand. In Hi/Lo, the low hand must contain five cards Eight or lower; 5432A is the best low as flushes and straights are ignored.
History Omaha is a fairly obvious variation of Texas Hold ‘Em, but it didn’t become popular until Bill Boyd began spreading the game as Nugget Hold ‘Em at the Golden Nugget Casino in 1982.2
Notes Big O is an Omaha variation in which each player is dealt five hole cards, but all other rules remain the same. With each player holding ten possible two-card combinations instead of six, stronger hands abound.


  1. Peyton Manning yelled “Omaha” as an audible extensively during the 2013-14 NFL season.
  2. Casino executive Robert Turner deserves the credit for introducing Boyd to the game, which was also known as Nine Cards, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma before players agreed on Omaha, already the name of the Texas Hold ‘Em variant that required both hole cards to be used.

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