Recently, Alex Weldon of Part Time Poker wrote about Drawmaha Poker and how Andrew Barber had been playing the game frequently this summer in Las Vegas. Drawmaha is an interesting poker variant that combines Omaha and Five-Card Draw.
In each hand of Drawmaha Poker, half of the pot goes to the best Omaha hand and the other half goes to the best Draw hand. There’s no qualifier for either hand, meaning that there will always be a split pot
If this sounds like an insane action game to you, that’s because it is. Continue reading to learn more about this fascinating Five Card Omaha variant.
Rules of Drawmaha
Drawmaha starts out like your standard Five Card Omaha game. Each player gets five cards, a round of betting occurs and the flop is dealt. After the flop betting round, players get a chance to exchange cards.
Afterwards, the hand continues like any other community card game. At showdown, the player with the best Five Card Draw hand wins half of the pot while the player with the best Omaha Hi hand wins the other half.
A scoop occurs when a player is able to pull out both the best Draw hand and the best Omaha hand. Due to the nature of the game, scoops at showdown are going to be rarer than in other split-pot games.
Starting hand selection is very important in this game for obvious reasons. A number of hands that you might push hard in Omaha will not work that well for the Draw side of the pot and vice-versa.
As such, you are going to be looking for hands that give you the best shot at scooping but hands that will lock up either side of the pot are ideal as well.
Scoop hands are going to start with straights. These provide excellent wrap opportunities in Omaha and will give you the best chance of scooping.
Starting hands with two big pair and a coordinating card are excellent as well. Hands like a suited or double-suited K-K-Q-Q-10, A-A-Q-Q-J or similar will give you two big pair for Draw and a lot of drawing possibilities for Omaha.
Afterwards, you next best hands going to be those that play well to win the Draw side o the pot. Two pair with an uncoordinated dangler, three of a kind, flushes, full houses and quads or higher are going to usually be one-way hands.
Sure, you might get luck and catch a flush on board with a five-card flush in your hand or draw out to a straight or flush with your three 10s with coordinated cards. However, on average these will win you only the Draw pot.
A big pair with coordinated cards is next on the list but it is going to be vulnerable on the Draw side unless you improve on the draw. There are going to be many times where you’re going to hold this type of hand when you flop a monster draw or a pat hand and try to take down the Omaha side.
Finally, your other standard Omaha hands are at the bottom of the list for those you’re looking for. That is because you are going to be drawing both ways from the start. The majority of the time you’re probably only going to take the Omaha pot.
Playing After The Flop
After the flop, this is where you make your most important decision. Where do you stand in the hand? Unless you already have a pat hand for Draw, what are your chances to draw for the scoop on the Omaha side?
If you are in position, pay close attention to your opponents and the number of cards they draw. This is what draws normally mean in a standard Five-Card Draw game:
- One Card – They have two pair or are drawing
- Two Cards – Trips or a pair with a big card or ace
- Three Cards – A pair or maybe two big cards
- Four Cards – They have an ace
- Five Cards – They want to give you their money
You can use the same general rules in this game but due to Omaha element, there are going to be times where your opponent might flop a solid Omaha hand and could be drawing to try to scoop.
For example, the flop falls 7-8-9 and your opponent is holding J-10-3-4-5. They might draw three and hope to catch lucky. Another example is a flop of Ac-Ad-9c with the opponent holding something like Ah-10c-8c-7s-6d. This player might draw one card hoping to catch a nine for a straight and a full house. A club is a nice consolation draw as well.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bully With a One-Way Hand
In Drawmaha, don’t be afraid to bully your opponents when you have a strong one-way hand or you’re confident you’re freerolling. In many split-pot games, some players won’t push their hand when freerolling because they will “only get their money back.”
That type of thinking is counterproductive because in many cases, you may be able to push out your opponents and scoop the whole pot. Let’s assume you’re dealt a wheel and after the flop of 7-9-10 rainbow, your opponents drew two to three cards each.
Unless someone drew very lucky, you have the Draw pot locked up and need to start betting. You stood pat and they know you have draw locked up. However, they don’t know whether you have a straight or a flush and if you have a straight, did you just flop the nut Omaha straight too?
Unless they have a big hand or a monster draw on the Omaha side, many opponents are going to get out of your way assuming you have nuts or a monster wrap. This type of aggressive betting is necessary to push out weaker players in this game and maximize your half of the pot when multiple players chase for half the pot.
Game of the Future?
Who knows whether or not Drawmaha Poker will be the next big thing in poker. A few years ago, nobody had ever heard of Pineapple Open Faced Chinese Poker and now it is among one of the most popular non-Hold’em variants among pro players.
Even if this game never becomes mainstream or a major part of WSOP events, it doesn’t hurt to learn new poker games. This helps keep you fresh and gives you new options for home games. Should this game become popular, you will have an edge on those trying to learn “the next big thing” in poker.