Similar to both Omaha Hi/Lo Poker and Texas Hold’em, Omaha Poker requires its 2 to 10 Players to create the best five-card combination from a total of nine cards – the strongest combination winning the pot. As the nine cards are made up of four pocket cards and five community cards, the resulting combinations are stronger than those in other Poker games.
1. The Players to the left of the Dealer begin the game by posting blind bets. The Player on the Dealer’s left posts a small blind bet, and the Player on the Small Blind’s left posts a big blind bet.
Note: The Dealer’s position at the table changes after every game. The dealer button (D) shows the Dealer’s position at the table.
2. Four pocket cards are dealt with each Player.
3. In the first round, the Player to the Big Blind’s left plays first and can either:
Note: In the first round betting is capped at one bet and three raises per Player.
4. In the second round, three community cards are dealt. This is called the Flop. A round of betting follows and Players can either:
5. In the third round, a fourth community card is dealt. This is called the Turn. Another round of betting follows.
6. In the fourth round a fifth and final community card is dealt. This is called the River Card. The final round of betting follows. The remaining Players then use two of their pocket cards and three of the community cards to create the best five-card high hand possible. Winning hands must consist of two pocket cards and three community cards.
In Omaha poker, each player is dealt a total of nine cards, four of which are dealt face down (known as “hole cards”) and five of which are dealt face up (known as “community cards”) To win the pot, they must use these cards to form the best possible five-card poker hand.
The player must use exactly two cards from his hole and three cards from the community to make his ultimate 5-card poker hand.
The most common mistake that inexperienced Omaha players make is thinking they have a really good hand, only to discover that they are using more than two hole cards to construct it, which is not permitted. If you can wrap your head around this, you’ve figured out how to play Omaha.
“What’s so difficult about that?” you might ask. If a player is dealt four aces in their hole cards, they can only use two of them in their hand. A player cannot have a flush if they are dealt three hearts and two more hearts fall into the community pile. Got it? Okay, let’s move on…
In addition to the Dealer Button, there are the Blinds.
Omaha, like Texas Holdem, uses a dealer button to determine the order in which players act during a hand. The dealer button is passed to the person to the player’s left after each hand is completed.
Every hand starts with two mandatory bets called the small blind and the big blind. These bets are placed prior to the start of the hand.
Before any cards are dealt, the player to the dealer’s immediate left must place the small blind. The small blind is frequently equal to the lower end of the table stakes (for example, stakes of $1/$2 equate to a small blind of $1).
Big Blind: The player who sits two seats to the left of the dealer and to the immediate left of the small blind makes this bet before any cards are dealt. It is usually equivalent to the higher end of the table stakes (for example, if the table stakes are $1/$2, the big blind would be $2).
Each player is dealt four cards face down at the start of each hand. These cards are known as the “hole cards.”
Prior to the Flop – The First Round of Betting Prior to the Flop
After placing the dealer button and wagering the small and large blinds at the start of each hand, each player is dealt four cards that are hidden from view. These cards are known as their “hole cards.”
The first round of betting will begin as soon as all of the players have their hole cards, with the player to the left of the big blind making the first wager.
Each player, in turn, is responsible for selecting the course of action they want to take from the options listed below.
You can check to see if no other players have placed a bet in the current round of betting. Checking means you don’t put any money into the pot, but you keep your hand. This option is unavailable during the first round of betting because the Big Blind has already placed a wager that must be matched in order for play to continue.
In a betting round, bet means to put the first chip into the pot. In poker games, bets are placed. When the game begins, the large blind is the first wager placed into the pot.
- Call: To match the bet made at the end of the current round of betting.
- Raise: To increase the previous bet by calling first and then increasing the bet amount, which other players must call in order to stay in the current hand. A player must first call before raising the bet amount.
- Folding means giving up the current hand and losing any chips you have already contributed to the pot.
- All-In: An all-in bet can only be placed in no-limit games, or when a player has just enough chips to call, bet, or raise in a game with fixed or pot limits, but not enough chips to do any of those things. To make an all-in bet, first stack all of your chips in a separate pile close to but outside of the pot. A player may only win from other players an amount equal to or less than his own All-In stake (hence the need for separation).
When the action reaches the players holding the small and big blinds, they can call the current bet by putting an amount into the pot equal to the difference between their blind bet and the current bet. If no previous raise has occurred, the player in the big blind position will be given the option to “check” or “bet.”