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How to Play Courchevel Poker
Omaha Poker has long been a gambler's game.
It's a staple of high-stakes games worldwide and has produced the largest pots in history.
5-Card Omaha was later introduced as a game to take action to another level.
Its popularity ultimately led to the creation of the ultimate Omaha game, Courchevel.
Four Betting Rounds with a Twist
Courchevel is a 5-Card Omaha game with one important, unique twist:
The first community card is exposed pre-flop and before the first betting round.
After blinds are posted, players receive their hole cards and the first flop card is dealt face up.
Action begins with the player to the immediate left of the button. He can either call the big blind, raise or fold.
This continues around the table until players have either folded or matched the largest pre-flop bet.
Once the first round of betting is completed the remaining two flop cards are dealt.
Action begins with the active player closest to the button and continues through the remaining active players.
After flop betting is completed the fourth community card known as the turn is dealt.
Action begins with the player closest to the button and continues through the remaining active players.
Once turn betting is completed the final community card or river is dealt.
One final round of betting ensues and the remaining players reveal their cards. The player with the best five-card hand rakes the pot.
As in all forms of Omaha the best hand is made using two hole cards and three community cards.
Door Card Makes Courchevel a Game of Big Hands
With the first flop card, also known as a door card, always exposed, pre-flop Courchevel immediately becomes a game of big hands.
As in normal 5-Card Omaha you want to focus more on "nut" hands (the best possible hands) than in typical Omaha Poker.
Also, be mindful of potential draws. It will still be correct for many players to stay in hands with big drawing hands such as Q-J-10-9, 7-8-9-10, A-K-6-7 double suited and similar.
They are going to look to crack hands that started with trips and failed to improve.
Next, don't overvalue trips with little redraw potential. An example would be a hand such as Jd-Jc-7s-2h where a jack is the door card.
You have trips but not much else. In this spot you need to fill up or the board to come very dry to throw in a lot of money on the flop.
Courchevel is also offered in Hi-Lo format like every other form of Omaha.
In Courchevel Hi-Lo a qualifying low hand can take half of the pot.
A qualifying low hand is five unique cards eight and under. Straights and flushes do not count against your hand.
An example of a low hand would be 7s-6d-5c-2d-As. Low straights and flushes can play for high and can potentially scoop the entire pot.
Be mindful of your door card with low hands. A high door card will require that the other two flop cards come out low in order for you to reasonably proceed to low.
Also, stay away from chasing second- and third-nut-low draws in this game. Players are much more likely to have the nut low in this game and you're just giving away chips.
PokerStars will be your best bet for learning Courchevel. Both variants are offered in both Limit and Pot-Limit formats.