Omaha poker is an exciting game derived from Texas Hold'em. Each player is dealt four private cards (‘hole cards’) which belong only to that player. Five community cards are dealt face-up on the ‘board’. In Omaha games, all players use exactly three of the community cards together with exactly two of their hole cards to make the best five-card poker hand. No more, and no less. Follow this link to view the rankings of Omaha poker hands.
Below is a general explanation on how to play Omaha poker. The basic rules for all Omaha variants are the same, with the exception of the different betting structures between them. More details on these different betting structures follow.
In Pot Limit and No Limit Omaha games, the games are referred to by the size of their blinds (for example, a $1/$2 Omaha game has a small blind of $1 and a big blind of $2).
Betting then commences from the player to the left of the big blind.
In Fixed Limit Omaha games, the big blind is the same as the small bet, and the small blind is typically half of the size of the big blind, but may be larger depending on the stakes. For example, in a $2/$4 Limit game the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2. In a $15/$30 Limit game, the small blind is $10 and the big blind is $15.
Now, each player is dealt their four hole cards. Betting action proceeds clockwise around the table, starting with the player ‘under the gun’ (immediately clockwise from the big blind).
After seeing his or her hole cards, each player now has the option to play his or her hand by calling or raising the big blind. The action begins to the left of the big blind, which is considered a ‘live’ bet on this round. That player has the option to fold, call or raise. For example, if the big blind was $2, it would cost $2 to call, or at least $4 to raise. Action then proceeds clockwise around the table.
Note: The betting structure varies with different variations of the game. Explanations of the betting action in Limit Omaha, No Limit Omaha, and Pot Limit Omaha can be found below.
Betting continues on each betting round until all active players (who have not folded) have placed equal bets in the pot.
After the first round of betting is complete, the ‘flop’ is dealt face-up on the board. The flop is the first three community cards available to all active players. Play begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. Another round of betting ensues. In Fixed Limit Omaha, all bets and raises occur in increments of the small bet (for example, $2 in a $2/$4 game).
When betting action is completed for the flop round, the ‘turn’ is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in an Omaha game. Play begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. Another round of betting ensues. In Fixed Limit Omaha, bets and raises on the turn are in increments of the big bet (for example, $4 in a $2/$4 game).
When betting action is completed for the turn round, the ‘river’ is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in Omaha poker. The final round of betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button.
If there is more than one remaining player when the final betting round is complete, the last person to bet or raise shows their cards, unless there was no bet on the final round in which case the player immediately clockwise from the button shows their cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. Remember: in Omaha, players must use two and only two of their four hole cards in combination with exactly three of the cards from the board. In the event of identical hands, the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands.
After the pot is awarded, a new Omaha poker game is ready to be played. The button now moves clockwise to the next player.
If you like to play tournament poker, PokerStars offer Omaha tournaments as well.
Omaha rules remain the same for Fixed Limit, No Limit and Pot Limit poker games, with a few exceptions:
In the PokerStars software, it’s not possible to bet less than the minimum or more than the maximum. The bet slider and bet window will only allow you to bet amounts within the allowed thresholds.
In addition to Omaha poker, PokerStars also offers the popular variant of Omaha Hi/Lo. This version of Omaha splits the pot between the highest and lowest poker hands, giving the game a whole different feel.
If you want to learn how to play Omaha, then download the PokerStars software and join any Play Money games to compete online against other players. Unlike our real money poker games, since there is nothing at stake, you can be comfortable learning all the rules of Omaha.
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