Omaha High (Omaha) is similar to Texas Hold’em, but has a greater variety of possibilities thereby making for some extremely exciting games.
You will find Omaha poker right across the world at land-based gambling venues, while you will also see it at online poker operators such as Pokerstars, 888 Poker and American Cardroom.
This article will guide you through how to play Omaha poker and what the best places to play it are.
Online Omaha poker
Omaha is commonly found at online poker sites like Pokerstars and 888 Poker, which both accept players from most countries with regulated gambling. You will also find that popular US-facing poker suppliers will also have Omaha; basically, if you want to play this variety of poker online you will be able to.
Online poker can be played on your PC, tablet, hand-held device and any other platform you can possibly think of. If you have never played before, keep reading below to learn how.
Omaha poker rules & gameplay
Omaha is a community card game and is played the same as Hold’em with the following two exceptions:
- Each player receives four face-down cards (pocket cards) to start.
- At the showdown each player must use exactly two of their four pocket cards and combine them with exactly three boardcards.
- The dealer deals each player their own four cards face-down (pocket cards)
- First betting round
- Dealer turns over three community boardcards (the flop) face-up
- Second betting round
- Dealer turns over 1 more community boardcard (the turn)
- Third betting round
- Dealer turns over 1 final community boardcard (the river)
- Final betting round
At the showdown players MUST use exactly two of their pocket cards and three board cards with the best possible combination by a player winning the hand.
Omaho poker betting rounds
As you can see from the description of action above, there are four betting rounds in a complete game of Omaha.
Each bet and raise during the first two rounds is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $5/$10 game, all bets and raises are $5 for the first two rounds (after pocket cards are dealt and after the flop).
Betting and raising during the last two rounds is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. In the same example, all bets and raises are $10 for the last two rounds (after the turn and after the river), following accepted poker rules.
The maximum allowable number of bets per player during any betting round is four. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can’t be raised further.
Once capped, players will have only the option of calling or folding. Most poker operators follows common poker rules in this regard. Generally there is no cap to the number of raises in No Limit and Pot Limit games.
The button and blinds in Omaha
Omaha games use a flat disk, called the dealer-button (or simply “the button”) to indicate the theoretical dealer of each hand.
After each hand has been completed, the button moves clockwise to the next active player and this player will be considered to be the button for that game. The player to the left of the button is first to receive a card and is required to post a small blind. The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded up to the nearest dollar. The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the big blind. The big blind is equal to the lower limit bet.
Both the small and the big blinds are considered live bets and therefore have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting action comes back around to their position. After the flop and after each subsequent betting round, the first active player left of the button is first to act.
When a player first sits down at an active table, they will be required to post the equivalent of the big blind. All players have the option of sitting out and waiting to become the actual big blind before starting to play. This rule is in place to ensure fairness to all players. The rule stops potential abuses to the system by preventing players who may otherwise constantly enter games in late position and then leave before they are required to post a big blind.