Odds Shark Top Poker Sites
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

PokerStars Fuses Hold’em, Omaha in Brand-New Poker Variant

PokerStars Fusion Poker

PokerStars went back to the drawing board for a new poker variant called Fusion Poker that launched this week.

Over the last few years, poker sites have been getting more and more innovative when it comes to offering new games for their customers but Fusion Poker is somewhat more traditional with elements of Hold’em, Omaha and even Crazy Pineapple thrown into the mix.

In Fusion Poker, players receive two cards pre-flop (just like Hold’em) but then get another card on the flop and another on the turn. That means by the river each player will have four cards, just like Omaha. And just like Omaha, they must use two of those cards to make a five-card poker hand.

Fusion Poker is essentially a drawing game where your odds get better the longer you stay in a hand. It’s also played with a Pot-Limit format to keep players from just shoving pre-flop.

It could also be a dynamic learning tool for players looking to start playing Omaha, as the first round of betting is exactly the same as Hold’em. It’s also a unique way of combining the two most popular poker games in the world.

New Strategies for a New Game

One big positive for new games on PokerStars is that they help level the playing field between new players and longtime grinders.

Countless resources have been dedicated to playing a perfect game of No-Limit Hold’em but everyone is starting on the same page with Fusion Poker this week.

The game does, of course, incorporate strategic elements from Hold’em and Omaha but the drawing aspect of Fusion Poker provides some unique situations. Suddenly players are essentially drawing two more cards, which makes things like flush and straight draws much stronger.

Relative hand strength is a little different than Hold’em as well as you’re going to run into bigger hands thanks to the infusion of extra cards. One thing worth noting is that you MUST use two of your hole cards to form your hand, which is just like Omaha and in direct contrast to Hold’em.

It all adds up to a game that has a little more action (and variance, most likely) than Hold’em.

Fusion Poker is already live in the PokerStars client so players can head over and start developing their own strategies right now.

Will Fusion Poker Outlast Other Experiments?

PokerStars has been churning out unique poker games over the last few years but has had trouble getting many of them to stick.

One variant that actually did stick around is the five-card Omaha variant called Courcheval, which has a small but dedicated group of players. It’s even played live in some casinos.

History hasn’t been quite as kind to some of the more audacious PokerStars concepts.

In 2018 alone PokerStars has already cancelled Showtime Hold’em (where all folded cards are shown) and Unfold Hold’em (where players got a chance to play their folded hands in a separate pot). Of course the limited availability may be part of the overall PokerStars strategy of keeping things fresh.

Here’s a look at every poker variant that PokerStars has launched since 2010:

GameGameplayYear IntroducedCurrent Status
Zoom PokerFast Fold-style poker2012Still active
Courchevel5-card PLO with one flop card exposed2013Still active
5-Card OmahaPLO with five cards2013Still active
Split Hold’emHold’em with two boards2018Defunct
Showtime Hold’emFolded hands are shown face up2018Defunct
Unfold Hold’emPlaying a separate pot with folded cards2018Defunct

It’s unclear if Fusion Poker is designed to be a temporary offering but if it gains enough popularity, it seems like it would be a good bet to stick around.

There are also rumors that PokerStars will add high-stakes favorite Short-Deck Hold’em to its client in the near future.

It doesn’t sound like the online poker giant is going to stop trying new formats any time soon.

“We want to give our players games that they have never played before and bring a unique offering to the table,” said Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations.

“Fusion mixes two well-loved formats together giving an exciting twist to the game. We eagerly await player feedback and look forward to seeing everyone joining the tables, and giving Fusion a try.”