Omaha is a game that is quite similar to Texas Hold’em. Although, if you have never played Texas Hold’em before, you could find yourself in for a bit of a difficult learning period! Omaha is another community card game, although there are subtle variations in the rules of this game, when compared to Texas Hold ‘em. Nobody really knows where the game came from, but what is known is that it made its way into Las Vegas, and from there, spread to other areas of the globe. Although, not as popular as Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha is frequently offered in most online poker rooms.
Placing your bet
Just like in Texas Hold ‘em, players must first place their bets in the Ante marker. When playing alone against the dealer, there are no blinds. The dealer will then deal each player four hole cards, instead of the two dealt in Hold ‘em. From these, the player must initially decide whether to fold, or call. After this initial phase of betting has been completed, the dealer will then deal the flop to the center of the table, known as the community cards that all players share.
How to play the game
The player must again decide whether to raise, call or fold, based on the four cards in their hand, and the three community cards. After this, a fourth card (known as a turn card) is dealt, and another round of betting ensues. Finally, a fifth card (the river card) is laid down on the table, and a final round of betting occurs. The player can only use only two of their four cards to combine with three community cards, and form the best five card hand that they possibly can. Unlike Hold ‘em, which will allow you to use only one of your hole cards if you wish, in Omaha, you must use two. The player with the best hand will win.
The ranking of the hands
The standard poker hands are used to play Omaha. In order of the least value: a High Card is followed by a Two Pair and Three of a Kind. These hands can be beaten by Straights, Flushes, Full Houses, or a Four of a Kind. If the player has a Straight Flush or a Royal Flush, they are virtually unbeatable. As long as you know the standard poker hands, you won’t have any trouble building your hand in Omaha.
Split pots and variants
Omaha also has a number of variants out there. You can opt to play simply against the dealer, and when this happens, the dealer usually has to qualify in order to compete. You are also paid from a pay-table in this version of the game. Similarly, there are is also a game known as Omaha High/Low, and Omaha Split. In these variants, the pot is split between the best high hand, and the best low hand.