Omaha poker is one of the most exciting poker variants derived from Texas Holdem. However, there is one stark difference between the two. Unlike Texas Holdem, where players are dealt two-hole cards, in Omaha game, players are dealt four-hole cards, and they have to choose any two along with the combination of three community cards to make five-card poker hands.
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Omaha Poker game types
There are mainly two variants of Omaha poker. They are Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Low
- Omaha Hi – In this version, the player with the highest five-hand card takes the pot.
- Omaha Hi/low – The pot is split in an Omaha Hi/Lo game between the highest and lowest hands. In this poker game, the best possible hand is when the same player holds both the highest and lowest hands. As a result, that player wins the full pot.
The Rules of Omaha Poker
One of the basic rules to know about poker games is the betting limit. Like any other poker game, the betting limit in Omaha is divided into three types.
No Limit Omaha
In this No-Limit Omaha Game, a player can bet any amount up to all their chips.
Fixed Limit Omaha
In the Fixed Limit Omaha type, a player can bet upto a specific limit in each game and each round of betting.
Pot Limit Omaha
Pot Limit Omaha, also known as PLO Poker, is the most popular form of Omaha game. In this poker game, the maximum a player bets is the amount in the pot. For example, if the pot is Rs.100, a player can wager Rs.100.
Omaha Poker Basic Structure
In any game of poker, the dealer button indicates the dealer’s position. This button is indicated by the symbol ‘D’ in online poker games. The button moves one place to the left once a player has completed the hand. The first two players sitting on the left of the dealer will act at the start of a new hand. These players are called small and big blinds.
Before the cards are dealt, the small and big blinds must place their bets to create the pot and begin the action. As per poker rules, the big blind is twice the amount of the small blind. Since the position of the dealer button moves one place left, every player gets a chance to place their blinds.
How to play Omaha Poker
Omaha is played with a standard deck of 52 cards with 2 to 9 players. In the first betting round, each player is dealt four private cards face-down on the table. In addition, the dealer hands five community cards face-up during each betting round. Each player must use two of the four-hole cards and three of the five community cards to make five-card poker hands. The best possible hand wins the pot, or the player with the highest card takes the pot. Like all poker games, Omaha consists of betting actions and rounds.
Check – A player can choose this action when no wager has been made in the current round. This means the player doesn’t add any chips (cash value) to the pot.
Call – This action indicates that a player wants to match the wager placed by the player before them to stay in hand and continue playing.
Raise – This action means that a player wants to place a wager higher than the previous highest wager in the same round.
Fold – This action allows a player to discard all their cards and quit the game. They will also lose all the chips put in the pot.
All in – This action allows a player to put all their chips in one go. When this happens, the other players have to “call” to stay in the hand. If all players “call”, then a side pot is created.
Omaha game is a very simple game; before any cards are dealt, two players on the left of the dealer must place a wager to begin action. These are called the small blind and Big blind (twice as small blind).
Pre-Flop – This is the first wagering round where two private cards are dealt face down. You can either call, raise or fold.
Flop – This is the second wagering round where three cards are dealt face up on the table.
The Turn – The third round of betting is called ‘the turn’. Here another card is dealt face-up on the table.
River – The final round is called River, where the fifth card is dealt.
Showdown – After all the rounds are complete. If two or more players are in the game, they have to show the cards in their hands, and the player with the best possible five cards in their hands wins the pot.
Also Read: Poker Game Actions
Omaha Poker Strategy
Omaha poker is a game of skill, and therefore you need to learn the basic strategies to excel in the game.
Learn the use of the hand – Using the right starting hand is very important in Poker. For example, in PLO, you should only play the best premium hands, such as A-A-K-K, A-A-J-T. Unlike Texas Holdem, a small pair won’t be a strong hand in PLO.
The importance of position – Many experts consider this one of the most important aspects of Omaha game. When you have a ‘position’ on your opponents, you can observe their behaviour and make decisions. One more advantage of being in position is that a player can control the size of the pot.
Be wary of Blockers –These are most visible in Omaha poker. Blockers are those cards that prevent your opponents from making specific hands.
The popularity of Omaha poker has surged in the last decade, so much so that many say that it is on the verge to surpass Texas Holdem. There are many online poker apps that offer Omaha. Join and get exciting bonuses on the first deposit. Put your analytical skills to the test and get exciting rewards.