What is the Big O Poker Game?

Big O Poker game is a variation of Omaha Poker that’s known for its strategic complexity. It adds more cards to players’ hands, making decision-making more challenging. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the Big O rules, strategies, and how it differs from other poker games.

What is Big O Poker?


Big O Poker is a variation of the popular Omaha Poker game. What sets it apart is the number of hole cards dealt to each player. While Omaha typically deals four hole cards, Big O ups the ante by dealing five hole cards to each player. 

This means players have more options and potential combinations to work with when forming their final hands. The additional card adds depth and complexity to the game, requiring players to adapt their strategies accordingly.

Why Is It Called Big O?

Big O Poker gets its name from the additional hole card dealt to each player compared to traditional Omaha Poker. The “Big O” refers to this extra card, emphasizing the increased size of the starting hand in this variant. 

The letter “O” symbolizes “Omaha,” indicating that Big O is a variation of the Omaha Poker game. So, the name “Big O” serves as a straightforward way to highlight the distinguishing feature of this variant and differentiate it from other forms of poker.

How to Play Big O Poker? Main Rules

Playing Big O Poker follows similar rules to Omaha Poker but with the addition of an extra hole card per player. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to play Big O:


Big O Poker is typically played with a standard 52-card deck. Determine the dealer using any method you prefer, such as drawing cards or using a dealer button.


Before each hand begins, the two players to the left of the dealer must post the small and big blinds, mandatory bets that initiate the betting action.


Each player is dealt five hole cards face down.

Betting Round 1 (Pre-flop)

Starting with the player to the left of the big blind, each player has the option to fold, call (match the big blind), or raise. Betting continues clockwise around the table until all players have acted.

The Flop

The dealer reveals the first three community cards (the flop) face up on the table.

Betting Round 2 (Post-flop)

The second round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer button. Players can check (if no bet has been made), bet, call, raise, or fold, depending on the action.

The Turn

After the post-flop betting round concludes, the dealer reveals the fourth community card (the turn) face up on the table.

Betting Round 3 (Post-turn)

Another round of betting occurs, starting with the player to the left of the dealer button.

The River

The dealer reveals the fifth and final community card (the river) face up on the table.

Betting Round 4 (Post-river)

The final round of betting takes place, following the same pattern as the previous rounds.


If two or more players remain after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. Players reveal their hole cards, and the player with the best five-card hand using exactly two of their hole cards and three community cards wins the pot.

Awarding the Pot

The winning player collects the pot, which consists of all the bets made during the hand.

Next Hand

The dealer button moves clockwise to the next player, and a new hand begins with blinds posted by the players to the left of the new dealer.

Remember, Big O Poker follows the same hand rankings as other poker variants, with royal flush being the highest-ranked hand and high card being the lowest. 

Players must use two of their hole cards and three community cards to make the best possible five-card hand

The Best Big O Poker Strategy

Here is Big O strategy to help you succeed:

Starting Hand Selection

With five hole cards, it’s important to be selective about the hands you play. Look for hands with strong potential to make nut hands or powerful drawing combinations.

Hands with pairs, suited connectors, and cards that can make high straights or flushes are generally favorable.

Positional Play

Position is crucial in Big O Poker. Players in later positions have more information about their opaponents’ actions and can make more informed decisions. Try to play more hands from late position and be cautious when playing from early position

Pot Management

Managing the size of the pot is critical in Big O due to the increased number of cards and potential combinations. Be mindful of the strength of your hand and the likelihood of improving on future streets before committing too many chips to the pot.

Drawing Hands

Given the abundance of possible combinations in Big O, players often find themselves chasing draws. However, it’s important to calculate the odds of completing your draws relative to the pot size and your opponent’s likely holdings. Avoid overcommitting to marginal draws unless the pot odds justify it.

Hand Reading

Develop strong hand-reading skills to deduce your opponents’ likely holdings based on their betting patterns and the community cards.

Pay attention to how your opponents play their hands and adjust your strategy accordingly. Look for betting patterns that indicate strength or weakness and use this information to make informed decisions.

Avoid Overvaluing Low Hands

While having multiple low cards in your hand can be tempting, be cautious about overvaluing hands that lack the potential to make strong high hands.

Low straights and flushes can be easily beaten by higher hands, so focus on hands with the potential to make high-ranking combinations.

Be Prepared for Variance

Big O Poker can be a swingy game due to the increased number of cards and potential combinations.

Be mentally prepared for variance and avoid tilting when things don’t go your way. Stay patient and stick to your strategy, making adjustments as necessary based on the flow of the game.

By incorporating these strategies into your Big O Poker gameplay, you can increase your chances of success and navigate the complexities of this challenging variant more effectively.


Key Differences: Big O Poker and Texas Hold’em Poker

  1. Number of Hole Cards: In Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two hole cards, whereas in Big O Poker, players receive five hole cards.
  2. Hand Strength: With five hole cards in Big O, players have more potential hand combinations and stronger starting hands on average compared to Texas Hold’em. This can lead to more action and larger pots in Big O.
  3. Community Cards: Both games use community cards, but the number of community cards used to form a hand differs. In Texas Hold’em, there are five community cards (three on the flop, one on the turn, and one on the river), while in Big O, there are still five community cards, but they are dealt all at once, increasing the potential for stronger hands.
  4. Hand Rankings: While the hand rankings in both games are the same (e.g., high card, pair, two pair, etc.), the prevalence of certain hands may vary due to the increased number of hole cards and community cards in Big O. For example, straights and flushes are more common in Big O compared to Texas Hold’em.
  5. Betting Structure: The betting structure in Big O is typically fixed limit, meaning there are predetermined bet sizes for each round of betting. In contrast, Texas Hold’em can be played with various betting structures, including no-limit and pot-limit.
  6. Strategy: Due to the differences in hand strength and the increased complexity of potential combinations, the strategy for playing Big O Poker differs from Texas Hold’em. Players must adjust their starting hand selection, betting patterns, and hand reading skills to adapt to the nuances of Big O.

Big O Poker Game: Start at the World Series of Poker

Big O made its debut at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 2015 as part of the Dealer’s Choice mix. 

The following year, in 2016, a new Omaha Mix event was introduced, featuring three distinct Hi-Lo Omaha variants: Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, and ‘Big O’.

Final Thoughts of Big O Poker game

In conclusion, the Big O Poker game offers more choices and strategy than traditional poker. Its unique rules attract players of all levels to events like the World Series of Poker.


What is a Big O Poker game?

Big O Poker is a variation of Omaha Poker where players are dealt five hole cards instead of four, increasing the complexity and strategic depth of the game.

How is the Big O Poker game  different from Texas Hold'em?

In Poker Big O, players receive five hole cards instead of two in Texas Hold’em, leading to stronger starting hands and more potential combinations.

What are the basic rules of Big O Poker?

Players are dealt five hole cards, followed by four rounds of betting and the revelation of five community cards. Players must use exactly two of their hole cards and three community cards to form their best five-card hand.

What does "Big O" stand for in Big O Poker?

Big O refers to the additional hole card dealt to each player, emphasizing the increased size of the starting hand in this variant.

Is Big O Poker played with a fixed betting structure?

✅ Yes, Big O Poker typically follows a fixed betting structure, where there are predetermined bet sizes for each round of betting.