Do you like novelty cash games from PokerStars? Because you are going to get another novelty cash game from PokerStars. The online poker room has made no mention of it and there is no set date that it will launch, but evidence in the latest PokerStars software update points to a new game called “Split Omaha” that may be ready to go.
If you have PokerStars.com installed on your computer, you can drill down into the various folders and find two named “splitomaha.” Drill down further and you will see images that will be used when the game launches, including a purple table graphic and the game’s logo. This is how we know that Split Omaha is or is possibly on the way.
Name Likely Tells All
Assuming Split Omaha is what we think it is, it should be what is often referred to as Double Omaha (or Double Board Omaha High, as a High/Low version of this game would be migraine-inducing). It’s fairly simple in concept. It is a regular Omaha game in every way – four hole cards, make your best five-card hand with two from your pocket and three from the board – EXCEPT that two sets of community cards are dealt. Players then try to make their best hand using either set of board cards or if they are really rockin’ out, both sets of board cards.
If someone has the best hand with both sets of community cards, that person wins the entire pot. In most cases (assuming the hand goes to showdown), the pot will be split, with half going to the player who wins with one set of board cards and the other half going to the player who wins with the second set of cards.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Last spring, PokerStars introduced Split Hold’em, which is the same game, just with Hold’em instead of Omaha.
Novelty Game History at Stars
When Split Omaha launches, it will be the sixth novelty cash game introduced by PokerStars in approximately the past year. The previous games were Split Hold’em, Showtime Hold’em, Unfold Hold’em, Fusion, and 6+ Hold’em. Each of the first four existed for about two months before PokerStars removed them from the lobby. 6+ Hold’em is still active, having begun in mid-January. Thus, if the pattern holds, it will go away in the next two weeks or thereabouts. 6+ Hold’em looked like it was originally intended to be a permanent addition to the cash game lobby, but it was recently indicated that it is a temporary game just like the rest of them.
And then, if the pattern continues to hold, we will see Split Omaha about a week and a half later.
These novelty cash games inject some fun into what can sometimes become routine in poker. A lot of people like to play them just for the craziness and, well, novelty, while others work to see how they can exploit that and come up with a sound strategy to actually profit.