Omaha poker is one of the easiest games to learn if you already know how to play Texas Hold’em poker rules. You can play the game as a port limit or limit, which makes it fundamentally a drawing game. In this Omaha poker guide, you are going to discover how to play Omaha poker.
Overview of Omaha Poker?
You can play Omaha poker with four hole cards, and five board (community) cards. And to win the game, you have to choose from 9 cards, to get the best hand.
However, you must use two of your own cards, and three of the board cards, and no other combination is allowed on Omaha poker.
Two to 10 players on a table can play it, and you win it by winning a pot. You can win the pot after other players have forfeited, leaving you as the sole player. Alternatively, you can win the game if you have the best hand at showdown.
A Guide to Playing Play Omaha Poker
Choose the First Dealer
Start by shuffling the deck, and the deal each player a card, face-up. The player with the highest card becomes the first dealer. In case there is a tie, use the suits of their cards to determine the winner.
A Poker suit is ranked alphabetically, where Clubs have the least value, and Spades the most value. You may also deal both players an extra card, instead of using the suits to determine the winner.
Once you determine who the dealer is, give them a button, (white disk used to keep track of the dealer). The dealer will then shuffle the cards, and deal the first hand, after two players on his left put out blinds.
Pay the Blinds
The player on the immediate left of the dealer is the small blind, while on their immediate left is the big blind. To start the game, the small blind pays (wagering the smallest chip, say $5. Next, the big blind wagers twice the value of the small blind, say $10.
Deal Player Cards
Once the blinds are paid, the dealer can deal each player a card, face-down. They have to start with the small blind, then the big blind, and go around the table in a clockwise manner. The dealer continues dealing each player a card in a clockwise manner, until all players have four cards.
Round One – Preflop
Once the last fourth card is dealt so that every player now has four cards, it is time, the game enters the first round or the Preflop round. This first round will end after all players have had a chance to act. That happens after all players who did not fold, have wagered the same amount.
During the Preflop round, the first player to act is the one on the immediate left of the big blind. Each player gets a chance to act in each round, and in Omaha poker, only one player can act at a time.
A play has three options when their time comes to act. They can Fold, Call or Raise. To fold means they can throw away (toss) their cards, pay nothing to the pot, and wait for the next deal to play again.
If the player Calls, then they have to wager an amount equal to the big blind’s amount. They may also choose to Raise, which means raiding the game’s bet by betting at least double the big blind’s amount.
That trend will continue clockwise until all players fold, call, or raise what the current wagered amount. When the action gets to the small blind, they can Fold, Call, or Raise the existing bet. However, when they Raise or Call, they do it by an amount that is less by the small blind amount.
The Big blind is the last to act before the Flop. The preflop round ends when everyone has had a chance to act, and every hand has the same wagered amount. The flop follows the preflop round.
Second Round – Flop
The Flop is a set of three cards dealt face-up on the middle of the table. They are dealt after the dealer discards (burns) the top card of the deck, face-down.
Once the Flop is dealt, the first player with a hand on the left side of the dealer is the first to play. All players with a hand are “live players.” The first player during the Flop acts as the Big blind, and they can choose to call, check, or bet. The player is not required to fold either.
The action moves in a clockwise manner. Other live players will do the same, until every player gets a chance to act. Most players will choose to wager an amount equal to the big blind, during the Flop Omaha betting round.
Third Round – Omaha Turn Card
After the Flop betting round is complete, the dealer burns another card, and deals another card face-up, next to the Flop. Another round of betting follows with options similar to the flop round, with one exception.
The exception is a single bet is limited to double the size of the big blind, or slightly more. Therefore, if the big blind bet is $2, the larger betting limit can be $4 to $5. Once the Turn betting round is over, the River card is dealt.
Fourth and Final – Omaha River Card
The dealer burns a card, and deals the River card, which is the final community card. The River card ushers in the final betting round of the hand. During the River betting round, the same rules of the Turn card betting apply.
The Omaha Showdown – How Does Omaha Poker Work?
After the River betting round, all the live players enter the Showdown. This is the final act of the Omaha Poker, where the player with the best hand wins. The player must use two of their best cards and three from the community cards to create a winning hand.
Determine Winning Hand
In Omaha Poker, the winning hand is determined in a manner that is slightly different from Texas Hold’em. That is, you only get to use the best two pairs of your own cards, and three from the community cards.
Therefore, even if you could get the best three pairs from your own cards, you cannot use all the three. You can only do the best two of those three.
Pot Limit Omaha – How to Play PLO
Maximum and Minimum PLO Bets
Pot Limit Omaha allows you to make a minimum bet that is equal to the size of the big blind. You can also make a maximum bet that is equal to the size of the pot.
Minimum PLO Raise
In PLO, the minimum raise must be equal to the previous Bet or Raise, in the same round. For instance, if the current bet is $10, then the next player must raise by at least $10. That brings their total bet to $20.
Maximum PLO Raise
PLO allows a player to bet a maximum bet of the active pot’s total, plus the sum of all current bets, and what the current active player must first call, before they raise. Therefore, if the current pot is $1,000, and the current player is the first to act, they can bet a maximum of $1,000.
The action then will move clockwise. The next player will then have an option to fold, call $1,000, or raise an amount that is between the minimum bet ($1,000) and maximum bet.
In this case, the maximum bet is $4,000 – whereby the player calls $1,000, which brings the pot size to $3,000, and then raises $3,000 more to make a maximum bet of $4,000.
How to Play Pot Limit Omaha
In PLO, a player is not limited on the “number of raises” they can make. They only have to limit themselves to the PLO maximum raise, on each raise.
You may use the formula: (3 * previous player’s bet/raise + pot before previous player’s bet/raise).
Omaha Hi-Lo Poker – How to play Omaha Hi Lo
The same rules of playing apply, except when it comes to the Showdown. In the Showdown, a player can play for a High, Low, or Both. However, they still must use two of their cards, and three of the community cards.
In Omaha Hi-Lo, the Low hands are determined using the same method as 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo. Flushes and straights do not count against the Low hand, and Aces rank lowest. And the Low hand is ranked from the highest card to the lowest.
Furthermore, Omaha Hi-Lo is played with an “8-or-better” qualifier, which requires a low hand to have five cards ranked eight or lower. The High/Low winner or winners then split the pot in half. Each half goes to the Low or High pot winner.
In case there are no qualifying Low hands, the High hand wins the entire Omaha Hi-Lo pot.
Conclusion – How Do You Play Omaha Poker?
You play Omaha Poker by playing in the Preflop, Flop, Turn, and River betting rounds. If you still have a hand after the River betting round, then you enter the Showdown.
In the Showdown, you must play your best cards and three community cards. The player with the strongest Omaha card hand wins the game.
Overall, variations of Omaha Poker are becoming as popular and widely played as the likes of Texas Hold’Em and Baccarat. It is relatively easy to learn for most players and is a fun and entertaining recreational game.
It is only time until you develop your own fruitful Omaha Poker Strategy and win some pots.
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