50% more hole cards
On Tuesday, online poker giant PokerStars announced the debut of Pot Limit 6 Card Omaha to its game offerings. The Omaha variation is available in both cash games and tournaments. It is currently only in the lobbies of the .com, .eu, and .ruso clients.
each player is dealt six hole cards
6 Card Omaha is exactly the same as standard Omaha Hold’em, save for one significant difference: each player is dealt six hole cards. Players try to put together the best five-card hand using two of their six hole cards and three community cards.
While tables are open up and down the stakes spectrum, the only 6 Card Omaha games currently active at about 6:00 pm ET are at micro-stakes tables.
Action generates rake
The purpose of introducing 6 Card Omaha, especially when PokerStars already has Omaha and 5 Card Omaha, is to encourage action. The PokerStars blog confirmed that “let’s face it: sometimes, it’s all about the action.”
Increasing the number of hole cards to six boosts the hand possibilities even more. The more action in a hand, the larger the pots grow and the more rake PokerStars takes in.
a way to both attract and keep new casual players
As PokerStars continues to try to mold its poker environment to recreational players, 6 Card Omaha fits the pattern. Recreational players certainly try to win, but they tend to be more concerned with having fun in the limited time they have to play. Action games like 6 Card Omaha fit the bill and can be a way to both attract and keep new casual players.
PokerStars renowned for unique games
PokerStars has been known for launching new game types during the last couple of years. Most novelty games that the site introduces are meant to be temporary, but it appears that 6 Card Omaha may be a permanent addition to the lobby.
In November, PokerStars debuted a pair of novelty games: Deep Water Hold’em and PokerStars Tempest Hold’em. They are intended to be temporary, so one might guess that their run may soon be coming to an end.
Both games are Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em. They both add a Giant Blind, which is to the left of and double the Big Blind. Deep Water is a deep-stack game, with a minimum buy-in of 50 times the Giant Blind.
Tempest, on the other hand, is a severely short-stacked game. Permitted buy-ins are only 5 to 10 times the Giant Blind. On top of that, the only decisions players are allowed to make are all-in or fold. Deep Water is a game for those who want to play poker; Tempest is aimed at players who want to gamble.