How to Play Omaha
Omaha Poker, a derivation of Hold’em, has fast become one of the most popular games in the poker scene. All the betting options and structure mirror Hold’em, so learning this game is fairly quick and easy. Before diving into this version, it’s best to familiarize yourself Texas Hold’em first.
As the betting options and structure mirror Hold’em, what’s the derivation? In Omaha, you are dealt four hole cards but, the catch is, you must only use exactly two of them to help form your best five-card hand. Similar to Hold’em, when playing Omaha you will see five community cards dealt during the round. Of those five cards though, you only use three of them. Those three cards, coupled with the two hole cards you’ve decided to use will form your best 5-card hand. Still a bit confused? Let’s see how to play. In Hold’em you can use one of your hole cards and four of the community cards to make a flush. You can also rely on the 5 community cards to form your best hand. This won’t work in Omaha though, as you must use exactly two hole cards and three community cards to form the best five card hand.
What you could do with remembering is that in Omaha, with four hole cards being dealt to every player, the probability of hitting made hands is increased. For example, there is a higher likelihood of hitting trips or a set in Omaha; it’s also not that unusual to win with a straight. Basically, be mindful of what might be considered a strong hand in Hold’em may be much easier to make (and, therefore, less premium) in Omaha. There’s also a bigger possibility of chopping pots. Hand rankings in Omaha are identical to Hold’em and can be viewed by clicking here. There are two popular variations of Omaha. * No-Limit Omaha means you can bet any amount greater than the big blind – you can even go all-in if you want * Pot-Limit Omaha is slightly different though, as the bets must be greater than the big blind and equal to or less than the size of the pot.
Both varieties of Omaha (Pot-Limit and No-Limit) have small and big blinds. If it is your turn to post one of the blinds, it doesn’t matter about the quality of cards you have; the blinds must be paid. When the round is over, the small and big blinds move clockwise to the next players. Once the small and big blinds are posted, the four hole cards are dealt to each player, clockwise. The player with the big blind always takes their turn last, so the player directly to the left of the big blind (the “under-the-gun” position) acts first.
The Flop refers to the first three community cards dealt face up. Once these three are on the tables you can start to figure out which two hole cards can help form the best five-card hand. Starting with the small blind position, players place their bets. Betting will continue to move clockwise until all active layers have placed their bets.
Once again, the top card is discarded (burnt) and the next card is then dealt to complete the fifth and final of the community cards. This card is called the river, and is the final round of betting. If all but one player folds, then that last player remaining wins the pot. If there is a round of betting, and subsequent calling of the bet or raise take place then we have a showdown. There is also the possibility of the hand being checked down to the showdown.