What is a ‘Wraparound’?
‘Wraparound’ is a phrase which describes a specific kind of hand in the game of Omaha Hold’Em poker. It refers to a straight made on the flop, which could become a winning straight if the player manages to find a qualifying ‘out’ in the turn and river stages. A ‘wraparound’ hand has a very strong chance of success, as a number of cards can replace a hole card or form an end to the straight.
Omaha Hold’Em is a variant of Texas Hold’Em with some very significant differences. Players receive four cards to their hand (or ‘in the hole’) as opposed to the standard two – yet there are still five community cards on the board. The usual flop, turn and river stages are played, leaving players with a total of nine cards from which to make their best hand. However, Texas Hold’Em players are permitted to use as many or as few of the hole cards as they choose. Omaha Hold’Em players are strictly bound to use two cards from their hand, and three from the table. This makes a big difference to strategy, as players are often forced to abandon a strong set in the hole, based on how the table cards fall.
In this style of game, players might refer to a ‘wraparound’, or a ‘wraparound hand’. This is a hand that contains three or more consecutive cards out of the four available hole cards – for example, a 8-9-10. If the flop comes up with 6-7, the player has achieved their straight: however, under Omaha rules it cannot play until the hand is made from one less hole card and one more community card. Therefore, the player needs a matching value or one of the ends of their straight to appear in the turn and the river. This creates a large amount of ‘outs’ for the hand – and makes it a very good hand to bet on.