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Double-Board Omaha May Be on the Way to PokerStars

PokerStars will soon spread an Omaha variant with two full flops, turns and rivers.

Poker players looking to add a little spice to their four-card sessions on PokerStars will soon have just the ticket, as the operator plans on rolling out Split Omaha as its latest novelty game, according to a recent report by PokerFuse.

Split Omaha appears to be the latest in a string of outside-the-box poker games introduced by the team at PokerStars, which started last spring with Split Hold'em.

The latest game to hit the client has been 6+ Hold'em, a version of the popular short deck game that's been spread for several years in high-stakes Asian games but has started to filter to more rooms across the globe over the past year or so.

It's unknown at this time if Split Omaha will replace 6+ Hold'em or appear in the client alongside it.

Split Omaha

As the team at PokerFuse and Poker Industry PRO has done in the past, they dug through the latest graphics added to the PokerStars client in a system update and found one for Split Omaha.

The graphic bears a strong resemblance to the ones that powered Split Hold'em, with a large crack through the center of the table that splits it in half, with each half housing a full five-card community.

Split Hold'em
Split Hold'em was the first game innovation in a recent run of trials on PokerStars.

That will likely be the essence of Split Omaha as well. Just as Split Hold'em was simply double-board hold'em, wherein the best hand on each board took half of the pot, Split Omaha should follow suit except with players holding four cards instead of two.

Of course, with four cards to play, it's much easier to make strong hands on more than one board, meaning the two-board, split-pot mechanics fit a little better with Omaha than with hold'em. For example, a player with {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{7-Spades} could make strong hands on wildly differing boards where a hold'em hand like {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds} usually needs two similarly-textured boards in order to make strong hands.

Double-board Omaha can be found in some home games, and according to PokerFuse, it's also been spread in some rare cases in Las Vegas live games.

PokerStars' Latest Curveball

Since last March, PokerStars has introduced a slew of new poker games meant to shake things up and give players a chance to branch out from their hold'em roots. Most of the games — Split Hold'em, then Showtime Hold'em, then Unfold, then Fusion before the addition of 6+ Hold'em — had clear bases in hold'em.

Split Omaha will break from that mold by starting off with "the great game" from the start and attempting to make the action-heavy game even more wild.

Each of the previous novelty games introduced by the world's leading online poker operator lasted about two months in the client, give or take a few days. Because of its popularity and apparent staying power — even the World Series of Poker is on board — some speculated that 6+ Hold'em could be a permanent addition to PokerStars. It arrived right in the middle of January.

If recent form continues, stay tuned around mid-March to see what happens with a possible switch to Split Omaha.

The Stars Group owns a majority shareholding in iBus Media.

Sharelines
  • Double-board Omaha may replace 6+ Hold'em in March if PokerStars continues its recent scheduling.

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