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Play Poker » Poker Games » Omaha Poker

Aside from the game of Texas Holdem, playing Omaha Poker is the second most popular poker game amongst players and is beloved for the huge amount of action it creates.  Omaha has been around for a long time but has only really surged in popularity in the last 3-4 years as high stakes pros have embraced the game and made it the standard for online players.  One of the great things about Omaha versus Hold’em is that there are so many more hand ranges possible and because of this it requires a lot of analytical thinking to figure out what your opponents could have in their hand.  Omaha Poker is a game that we don’t recommend for beginners and we definitely suggest brushing up on hand rankings and other basic strategy if you are thinking of learning this game.  Below you’ll find the full rules and instructions on how to play Omaha Hi poker games both online and offline.  We suggest practicing at online poker rooms to start with as you can play for free until you get a grasp of the game.

How To Play Omaha Hi Poker

Although there are two main versions of Omaha Poker including Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi Lo in this article we are going to focus on the Omaha Hi version since it’s more popular and easier to learn.  Below we’ve given a listed overview of how a typical game of Omaha Poker would run along with the rules of play during the game.

To start with we should point out that Omaha is very similar to Holdem in that you use your cards in conjunction with 5 community cards to form the best five card poker hand that you can.  The main difference with Omaha is that instead of being dealt 2 cards as your hole cards you will receive 4.  With these hole cards you must use 2 of your 4 cards to make your hand along with 3 cards from the 5 community cards.

The game starts with players posting the small and big blinds and then the dealer starts dealing cards clockwise starting with the player left of the big blind until all players have four hole cards in front of them which are hidden from the other players.  At this point, players are allowed to evaluate their hands and the action starts with the player left of the big blind who can fold, call or raise.  This continues around the table until all players have called or folded their hands at which point the hand commences with all remaining players.

Hole Cards

Next, the flop is dealt which is the first three of five cards dealt face up as the community cards.  Remember that in Omaha Poker you must use two of your four hole cards to complete your hand so unlike Holdem you can’t make a flush with one card and four community cards.  Once the flop is dealt, the player left of the dealer starts with the action and can bet or check their hand.  All remaining players in the hand can make the same decision and if there is anyone remaining after the flop next is the turn.

Flop

After the action on the flop is done, a fourth card known as the turn is dealt on the board and another round of betting commences with players remaining in the hand.  The rules are the same and players can either check (not bet) or raise depending on how they feel about the hand at that moment.

Turn

The last card is known as the river and is the fifth and final card that’s dealt on the board in the community cards.  If there are any players remaining in the hand at this point they are free to check, bet or raise and once the river action is done players in the hand will be forced to showdown their cards.

River

At showdown, players must expose their 4 hidden hole cards and the dealer will compare these against the community cards on the board to determine the winner of the hand.  The winner will take all the chips that have built up over the hand in the pot unless their was a tie in which case the pot is split.

Omaha Poker Tips

Now that we’ve learned the rules of how to play the game let’s take a look at a few points about Omaha that you’ll want to know before you risk your bankroll playing the game.  While Omaha is very fun to play and relatively easy to learn, new players should be weary since the pots often get big and it’s easy to get carried away.

Limits: In Omaha there are three variants that you will find at most poker sites including Limit Omaha, Pot-Limit Omaha and No-Limit Omaha.  In Limit, players can only raise in fixed amounts according to the blinds and in Pot-Limit players can only raise up to a maximum of the pot value at any given time; with No-Limit players are free to raise up to the full amount of the money they have on the table (their bankroll) at any given time.

Action: If you are looking for fast paced play and huge pots Omaha is definitely the game for you.  The reason that Omaha pots get so big is because since players have 4 instead of 2 hole cards the amount of possible hands is double throughout the flop, turn and river.  This means that you will always have opponents trying to draw and complete hands which makes for some large pots as you try to bet them off their draws.

Good Starting Hands: When it comes to Omaha the starting hands that are considered premium are probably different than what you are used to and this will take a little time to fully understand.  Some of the best starting hands would be things like Ace, Ace, King, Queen double suited or 8, 9, 10, Jack double suited.  The reason for this is that you want to start with hands that give you the largest amounts of draws, straight & flushes possible.

Good Hands

Bad Starting Hands: Now that we know the good hands let’s take a look at the bad hands in Omaha that you absolutely want to avoid at all costs since they have a very slim chance of winning hands.  Some of the worst hands in Omaha games include trips, for example Ace, Ace, Ace, 2 & completed related cards like 10, 2, 6, Queen. The reason these hands suck is because it makes it really hard to beat other draws & get a winning hand since your options are so limited in what kind of hand you can make against the board.

Bad Hands

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