While Texas Hold’em is the most popular hold’em poker game in the world right now players should be aware of Omaha hold’em which is a game similar to Texas hold’em but with a few rules variations that make it a welcome and exciting change. Omaha poker is usually played in limit or pot limit formats and can be spawn some of the craziest action you will ever see in poker! This article will outline the basic rules and game play of Omaha and point out the important differences between it and Texas hold’em. Omaha high is not a part of H.O.R.S.E poker but it is included in many other mixed poker games such as HA Poker. Check out our Omaha poker strategy article if you want to improve your skills.
Set up, deal and first betting round in Omaha Poker
Omaha poker is set up identically to Texas hold’em. There is a dealer button followed by a small and a large blind. The small blind is equal to half of the small bet in the game and the large blind is equal to the small bet in the game. For the purposes of this article, we will assume you are playing in a $4/$8 game of Omaha. Once the blinds have been posted, all players are dealt four cards face down and a round of betting takes place. The player to the left of the large blind has the option to call the blind, raise or fold. Play then continues around the table in a clockwise motion until all players have acted.
|Bovada - #1 U.S.poker site in 2013 - Horse race betting with 7% rebate!|
|BetOnline.ag - #2 U.S. poker site in 2013 - Live dealer casino & 10% horse track rebate!|
|Pokerstars - Largest online poker site and the best place to play mixed poker games!|
Once pre flop action is over the dealer places three cards in the middle of the table. This is called the flop and players can use these cards to construct their hands. After the cards are placed on the table a round of betting takes place, keep in mind that during this phase all bets and raises must be at the lower betting level. So for our example game, all bets and raises would be in $4 increments.
The turn and river
After the flop, the dealer places one card face up on the table, this is known as the turn. Now players must bet at the higher level, so in this game it would be $8. After the turn has concluded the dealer places a final card face up on the board. This is called the river and it is the last time players will have a chance to bet before the showdown. Bets on the river are at the higher betting limit. Once all players have either called or folded there is a showdown. The player with the best five card hand wins the pot.
Important differences between Texas hold’em and Omaha
For the most part the games play very similar to each other but there are a few rules that you must know or you’ll find yourself in trouble. Of the four cards you are dealt in Omaha you may actually only use two of them to construct your five card hand. Additionally, of the five cards on the board, you may only use three of them. Here are a few examples:
If you have four diamonds in your hand and there is one diamond on the board, you do not have a flush. You can only use two of the diamonds in your hand to construct your best hand. If you have three aces in your hand you do not have trip aces. Unfortunately you can only use two of them and your chances of getting another one on the board are reduced! If there are four clubs on the board and you have one club in your hand, you do not have a flush! Remember, you can only use three of the cards on the board, so the fourth club on the board is not yours to be used.