How to Play Omaha Poker with Pro Poker Online

Omaha Poker is effectively a variation of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. While similarities exist between the two games (there are five community cards in both variations), the differences make Omaha Poker very appealing to some players. In this version, the players are dealt four cards and the five community cards are revealed at the same time. Players will then pick two of their cards and come up with the best possible hand using three of the community cards.

Omaha Poker is perhaps one of the most popular variations of poker because it offers the perfect blend of strategy and action. Those who enjoy Texas holdem poker will likely find a range of similarities between the two games, which makes it a comfortable transition for anyone looking to learn the rules of this game. Due to the subtle differences between the two games, however, it’s usually a good idea to treat this version of the game as if it were entirely unique.

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How to Play Omaha Poker

This game is played between two and ten people per table. One of the main differences between this and Texas Holdem is the fact that Omaha Poker is played with four cards to each player, instead of the two cards handed out in a game of Texas holdem. In order to put together a winning hand, players will need to use only two of the cards in their hand and then combine them with the community cards in order to come up with a winning combination.

Players will also want to keep in mind that suits do not play a role in ranking the winning hand in this game, either in a free poker game or during a real money poker game. This is particularly important to keep in mind during those rounds when two or more players find themselves in a draw.

The Five Rounds of the Game

Cards are usually dealt to the dealer’s left – and this is also where the small and big blind bets are placed. The players are then dealt four cards, facing downwards.

The “preflop” round begins when all players have their cards and the bets are placed. All players will begin to bet in a clockwise direction, and each player will have the option of choosing from one of three actions;

  • Folding: when a player throws his hand.
  • Calling: when a player matches the previous player’s bet.
  • Raising: when a player increases the amount of the bet. In the first round, this is done by doubling the amount of the big blind.

The “flop” begins when the “preflop” round comes to an end and the “flop” is dealt. This round requires that the dealer place three community cards, facing upwards on the table. It’s up to the House to determine whether they discard the topmost card on the deck, which is also known as the “burn card” and is usually discarded to prevent cheating.

The following betting round then begins, with players now having the ability to “check”, which means that they place no bet and they do not have to fold. The action will then continue to move around the table, in a clockwise direction.

The Turn begins when the next card is dealt, facing upwards, in the community card pile. Betting will then begin again.

The River then concludes the betting rounds, with the final community card being dealt, facing downwards, on the table. This will then result in the final betting round taking place.

The Showdown then concludes the game, with all the remaining players placing their bets. In this instance, unless the remaining players fold, the one with the best hand will win the pot.

Deciding Who Wins the Pot

Those who have played online poker before will likely find that Omaha Poker differs slightly from Texas Holdem when it comes to determining who holds the winning hand.

To decide who wins, players will be limited to using two cards from their hand and three from the community pile. In the event that a player finds they can make three pairs with the cards in hand, they will need to determine which two pairs will hold the highest value.

To determine who holds the winning hand, players will need to become familiar with the ranking order;

  • The Royal Flush: 10 to an Ace with all cards of the same suit.
  • Straight Flush: a straight of five cards of the same suit.
  • Four of a kind: four cards with the same rank. In instances where there is a tie, the player with the highest ranking fifth card takes the pot.
  • Full house: three cards with the same rank.
  • Flush: five cards in the same suit with the highest card determining the ranking.
  • Straight: five cards in a consecutive order in different suits. In this situation, the Ace can count as the lowest or highest card.
  • Three of a kind: three cards with the same ranking.
  • Two pair: two cards with the same ranking paired with another two cards of the same ranking. The highest of the pairs will determine the ranking of this hand.
  • One pair: two cards with the same ranking.
  • High card: in those cases where players do not hold any of the described hands, the player with the highest card wins the hand.

While the ranking of a hand plays a huge role in determining who wins the hand, it is not the only way for a player to win. This is where strategies such as bluffing can be really useful, particularly if a player has been dealt a poor hand. Bluffing is often used to convince the other players to fold or to increase their bets, depending on the aim of the player. When used effectively, a player can manipulate others to play the game in such a way that benefits him or her.

It’s important for players to remember that in instances where a player has lost the pot, they are not required to show their hand. Many professional players actually believe that this is detrimental to their game because it allows the other players insights into their game play and poker strategy. A losing hand can simply be tossed aside, with the player conceding the pot.

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Subtle Rule Differences

It’s important for players to keep in mind that rules can sometime differ between countries and establishments, depending on their versions of the game. The game of Omaha Hi-Lo, for example, changes the outcome of the game by changing how much of the pot is won at the end of the final betting round. In this game, the pot is divided between the highest ranking hand and the lowest qualifying hand. While this adds an element of intrigue to the game, it is imperative that players understand how this impacts their expectations of the outcome so that they can adjust their strategy accordingly.

When it comes to variants of this game, players can also expect to come across options such as Pot Limit Omaha Poker, which allows the player to bet what’s in the pot, No Limit Omaha Poker, which gives players the opportunity to bet any amount, and Fixed Limit Omaha Poker, where limits are placed on each round of betting, as well as the overall game.

The limits set in a game of poker will determine the type of players that join the game. Only those with large betting pools will be able to afford to play a game of No Limit poker well and anyone with a small betting pool will likely be setting themselves up as fodder by joining this type of game. On the other hand, it isn’t just those with smaller betting pools that enjoy the fixed limit games – the slower pace of this game is enjoyed by players the world over.

Omaha Poker is a game of skill and chance; the perfect combination for a pulse racing evening of entertainment. Whether a player is placing their bets in a brick-and-mortar establishment or trying their hand at a free poker game online, this variation of one of the world’s favourite gambling pastimes will keep a player on the edge of their seats for hours on end.

Glossary

  • A-A-x-x: referring to the starting hands that contain two A’s and two unrelated cards.
  • Bare Aces: a hand containing two A’s, which greatly increase the player’s chances of winning.
  • Blockers: a hand contains blockers when a player holds two or three important cards an opponent needs to make a winning hand, particularly a flush.
  • Bet the Pot: when playing limit Omaha Poker, the betting size ranges from a match of the big blind to the entire pot.
  • Cap-Limit Betting: this is specific to the Full Tilt version of the game and occurs when a cap is placed on each hand.
  • Dangler: a card that doesn’t suit the other three cards in the hand and decreases the overall strength of the starting hand.
  • Double Suited: the starting hand that contains two suits, which potentially allow the player to make two different flushes on the river. This greatly increases the overall value of the hand.
  • High-Only Hand: the hand with no possibility of forming a low.
  • OOP (Out of Position): acting before an opponent after the flop, which puts players at an enormous disadvantage in a game of Omaha Poker.
  • Wheel: a term describing a specific hand in a game of Omaha Hi-Lo (A-2-3-4-5), which is the best possible low hand. This hand, which is a small straight, has the potential to win the high side of the pot.

logoPlay Now!Got the hang of it yet? Try our FREE Online Poker App for Windows, Android and iPhone. You get an unlimited supply of poker chips, there’s no signup fee & it’s perfect if you want to get in some practice.