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Understanding Different Poker Game Variants: NL Hold’em, PL Omaha & PL Omaha 5

Demystify & enjoy the thrill of different poker game variations. Start playing popular poker variants like NL Hold’em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha 5 online to improve your skills.

If you have played poker even once, you would realize that it has something for everyone – right from the fun element, to the thrill, to the unexpected twists and turns, and the plethora of opportunities to enjoy the sweet taste of victory. Hence, the poker game is played by a variety of players – be it the casual ones who play for recreational purposes or the professional ones who play it as a competitive sport. This explains the immense popularity that this game has managed to garner across the globe. 

With it being possible now to play poker online from anywhere, any device, and at any time, its popularity has only grown by leaps and bounds. And the number of poker variations are so many, that you may take a lifetime to learn all of them. Do remember that every poker variant puts your poker playing skills to test in some or the other way. One of the most popular online poker variations is Texas Hold’em, which gets played in two major formats – Limit Hold’em and NL Hold’em (or No Limit Hold’em). Another popular poker variant is Omaha poker, which gets played in different formats like PL Omaha (or Pot Limit Omaha) or Limit Omaha.

In this article, let us take a closer look at the popular poker variations NL Holdem, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha 5.

NL Holdem

This is one of the most popular types of poker games. The objective of No Limit Texas Hold’em poker is to form the best possible five-card hand that can enable you to win the pot at the final showdown (or before that by making all your opponents fold their cards at the poker table). You need to be well aware of the poker hand rankings as per which you will form your hand. The ‘No Limit’ term indicates that there is no cap or threshold for the bets that you can place in this game (up to all of the chips that you possess at the table).

Here, you get dealt with two-hole cards (face down) at the start. It is followed up with three community cards on the flop, one community card on the turn, and the final community card on the river. All the community cards are dealt face-up on the board. You need to form your best five-card poker hand using any combination from these seven cards.

Before the hole cards are dealt, the forced bets are placed into the pot in NL Holdem poker. The first forced bet is made by the small blind, who is seated immediate clockwise to the dealer (button). The second forced bet is made by the big blind, who is seated immediately next (clockwise) to the small blind. Remember, because this is a ‘No Limit’ version, you are allowed to go ‘all-in’ at the pre-flop stage (which is not permitted in case of Limit Hold’em poker).

PL Omaha

Pot Limit Omaha is fast emerging as one of the other popular poker variants in comparison to NL Hold’em. The ‘pot limit’ term indicates that you can place a bet (when it is your turn to take action) which is equivalent to the size of the pot for that game. While most of the things are quite similar between Omaha and Texas Hold’em poker, there are few critical differences as under:

  • You receive four-hole cards (face down) in case of Omaha, instead of the two-hole cards that are dealt in case of Hold’em.
  • You can form more number of hands in Omaha poker, and hence your hand range will be much broader as compared to Hold’em poker.
  • You have to form your best possible five-card poker hand using only two of the four-hole cards. Your five-card hand needs to comprise of exact two-hole cards and three-hole cards in case of PL Omaha. This is not the case with NL Holdem poker, where you can make use of any number of hole cards (0, 1, or 2) and any number of community cards (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) from the ones dealt to you.
  • The different variations of poker for Omaha can be Omaha High and Omaha Hi-Lo (or Omaha 8-or-better). In case of Omaha High poker, you can win the pot if your five-card hand is the best as compared to all other players on the table. In case of Omaha Hi-Lo, the pot is split into two halves, with half pot being allocated to the player who has the best high hand and the second half pot being allocated to the player who has the best low hand (five different cards which are possibly ranked 8 or lower). Yes, you heard it right. You can win with the best possible low hand as well in PL Omaha.

Most of the other rules, including blinds, the different stages to place bets, etc. remain identical to Hold’em poker.

PL Omaha 5

This online poker variant is exactly same as Pot Limit Omaha. The only difference, in this case, is that you are dealt with five-hole cards face down at the start instead of four-hole cards. You still have to form the best possible five-card poker hand using exactly three community cards and only two-hole cards. 

Final Thoughts

NL Holdem and PL Omaha are two of the most popular poker variations that you can play online. PL Omaha 5 is derived from Pot Limit Omaha. You can register on a MPL Poker and start playing the different types of poker games. This will help you to hone your Poker skills better and fast-track your journey towards becoming a poker expert.


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