Newbies to the online poker scene routinely ask the following question: What is the most difficult poker game of all? The rationale behind this is twofold: Either these players want to avoid the most challenging poker game, or they are eager to study up as much as possible before diving in the shark tank. Several games come to mind, including Omaha Hi-Lo, Texas Hold’em, Stud Poker, Razz and Badugi. The latter two games are the lesser-known poker variants, and players are tasked with forming variations of low hands. Whether you play poker online, or poker at a bricks and mortar establishment, there is little variation in game rules.
The most challenging poker game truly depends on the individual player. It could be any of several variants such as Omaha Hi-Lo, Texas Holdem poker online in pot limit, fixed limit or no limit formats. Some folks believe that Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Poker is one of the most challenging games. In this variant, players are dealt 5 cards and 3 discards are permitted during the hand. Players who form flushes or straights are penalized and the strongest possible hand you can compile is 2, 3, 4, 5, 7. What makes this game particularly difficult to play is that there are no community cards as there are in games of Omaha High Low or Texas Holdem.
How Challenging is Texas Holdem Poker?
Texas Holdem poker is not a difficult game to play, but it’s a challenging game to master. This 5-card poker game requires players to compile the strongest hand given the 5 community cards (Flop, Turn and River) and/or the player’s 2 pocket cards. In Texas Holdem poker, the objective is to form the highest-ranking poker hand. This is possible by using any combination of hole cards and community cards. The issue of ‘difficulty’ is a subjective one to answer. Players can improve their poker game by avoiding common traps that greenhorns fall into. These include the following:
- Going on Tilt – emotionally-based poker play will ruin your game, regardless of the poker variant you’re playing
- Strategic Perspective – provided you make the right decisions in poker games, it doesn’t matter whether your short-term outcomes are negative. Long-term, you will reap the rewards of strategic gameplay. Think of it this way: skilled poker players will always get the better of unskilled poker players over the long-term.
- Intuition Versus Logic – many greenhorns readily admit to playing poker based on how they feel about the hand, or the table. This is completely subjective and is bound to result in failure.
- Going Gung Ho – Play a maximum of 25% of the hands you’re dealt. That’s the most important tip for newbies to remember. If you play too many hands, you lose too much money. Only play premium starting hands and avoid the rest – they are not worth the risk.
888poker strategists advise that online poker play is best achieved when you follow sensible advice and assess the implications of your actions. Decisions should always be based on reality, not perception. The psychological component of poker games should always be considered in addition to the fall of the cards. It’s okay to lose a few games over the short-term if you are working towards a long-term strategy. The best example of this is the early stages of a tournament where aggressive players will bait newbies with raises, re-raises, and all-ins.
By taking the bait, you are allowing other players to call the shots. Deep stack players tend to outmuscle their opponents and fatten their bankrolls as they advance through different stages of the contest. The strategic approach would be to sit out as much as possible, while still staying in contention to reach the latter stages of the tournament. Be prepared to lose the battle to win the war.
How Challenging Is Omaha Hi-Lo Poker?
Omaha Hi-Lo is a different kettle of fish to Texas Holdem. For starters, you’re dealt 4 pocket cards, and there are 5 community cards. The betting structure is identical to Texas Holdem, except that you are required to use precisely 2 hole cards and 3 community cards to compile your 5-card poker hand. In Omaha Hi-Lo, otherwise known as 8 or better, the best high hand and the best low hand spit the pot 50-50. If there is no low qualifying hand, then the high hand wins it all.
Sounds simple enough, but Omaha Hi-Lo is one of the most challenging poker variants. Analysts state that there are some 16,000 starting hand combinations in this game. The best starting hands are Ace-2 combinations, even better than a pair of pocket rockets. In Omaha Hi-Lo, connected cards are better, since you and your opponents have plenty of cards, and this helps you to win. The rules of play for this game are markedly more difficult, and too many newbies try and play high hands, forgetting that these will not do well against low hands. To answer the question of the world’s most challenging poker game, it really depends on your playing preferences, bankroll, and strategic ability.