Playing Omaha Poker: Basics

March 27, 2017


Omaha Poker, or simply Omaha, is the Hold’em’s variation where four hole cards are played, not two. Like most of the poker games, a standard deck of 52 cards is used to play Omaha, and it is shuffled before the hand. The winning hand at the showdown is the one that has the best five-card combination where two hole cards are from the player’s hand, and three cards are from the board. Thus, in Omaha you may use only three cards from the board, not more.  As for the blinds and betting, those are just like in Hold’em.

When playing, each hand has four hole cards. And along with a big blind and small blind, there is a betting round. 

Each player in a pot-limit game can bet any amount starting with a minimum up to the pot size. In Pot Limit of $5/$10, the small blind amounts to $5 and the big blind to $10 respectively. The big blind can be called by the first player (here, it is $10), or the amount can be raised up to the pot size. Each time the raise must be equal or exceed the bet called before. In case with this pot limit, the size would go up to $25, which is $5 small blind + $10 big blind + $10 call. This means the third player can bet up $35. If this third player raises the pot amount, the pot size becomes $ 50.

If the following player wants to go with the hand, they should call $35, the bet size of the previous third player. If they decide to raise the maximum, their bet would be $120 because it must equal the pot size of $50 plus $70 (which is the total of $35 call and $35 raise).

Just like in Hold’em, when the first round is over, the dealer puts out a flop of three cards. Then goes a round of betting. In the given example, $10 is the minimum bet (the big blind size) and the maximum bet is the pot size.All the following raises in the next rounds go the same way.

The dealer puts out the fourth card or turn, followed by the round of betting. The dealer puts out a fifth card or river, followed by the round of betting.

Finally, the winner is determined. The player, who makes the best possible combination of five cards using only two cards from their hand and three cards from the board, gets all.

An important note: unlike in Hold’em, in Omaha you have to play with two cards from your hand, not just one, and you also can’t play the board.

Let’s say, you have the following hand: Ah Kc Qc Jc and the board is: 3h 4h 5h 6h 7h. You CAN’T play a straight flush from the board, and you DO NOT make an ace-high nut flush. The best hand you can make using just two cards from your hand will be Ah Kc 7h 6h 5h. So, this is the case when it is better to fold.

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