Omaha poker or Omaha hold’em is a derivative of Texas hold’em and likewise is a community card poker game. Even if you haven’t already read our How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker guide, Omaha poker is just as easy to learn so don’t worry!
We’ll be going through the basics below so you will be equipped with the core knowledge needed to understand how the game is played.
The Basics of Omaha Poker
You’ll probably find that there are different variants of Omaha poker in itself such as pot limit Omaha poker and no limit Omaha poker. However, they all generally play off of the same basic rules so it’s easy to get into any of them. You’ll find that most of the different phases of Omaha poker matches Texas Hold’em poker. It’s the betting structure which varies but don’t worry, we’ll cover all this later on.
Typically four cards (also known as hole cards) are dealt to each player and each individual must create the best hand by selecting two of the cards in combination with three of the five possible open cards in the center. Betting begins with the player ‘under the gun’ and proceeds clockwise around the table.
Once each player has received their hole cards they have the choice to play their hand by calling or raising the big blind. The first player to make a move or the ‘live’ bet is the one to the left of the big blind. They are allowed to fold, call or even raise if they wish. After the initial play, betting from each round onwards continues until all players have agreed on an equal bet in the pot.
The flop is the term for when the dealer places the first three community cards in the center of the table which happens as soon as the first round of betting is completed. These are faced up and give the players an idea of the potential of their hand. The second round of betting then occurs starting with the player clockwise from the button.
After the betting round ends for the flop, the fourth community card is dealt face up on the table and this is known as the turn. Again, the betting game resumes with the player immediately clockwise from the button. The same rules and options apply.
We are now at the final community card reveal round. The river phase is where the fifth card is dealt face-up on the table and when the final betting round commences again starting with the player in the clockwise direction from the button. This is one of the most important rounds as you can gauge the potential of your hand and the chances of winning.
As the name suggests, this is the last round of an Omaha poker game and is where each player chooses their two representative cards from their hole cards to produce the best hand with three community cards of choice. If there are more than two remaining players after the river round then the last person who bet shows their cards first. If there were no bets then the player clockwise from the button reveals their hand. From this point there are two possibilities, either the highest value five-card hand wins the whole pot or in the event of a draw the pot will be divided equally between the winners.
Be patient and wait for four cards that have a relationship. Even having two Aces with two random cards won’t stand up to anyone with a four weak cards that still make relatively coordinated hand.
Variations of Omaha Poker
We previously mentioned that there were different variations of Omaha Poker. Omaha rules generally remain the same for pot limit Omaha, no limit Omaha and fixed limit Omaha but as per usual there are the few exceptions which are noted below:
Pot Limit Omaha Poker
➤ The minimum bet is the same as the big blind but they can bet as much as the size of the pot.
➤ If a player raises it must be equivalent or higher than the previous bet or raise (aka the minimum raise). For example, if the first player bets $10 and the second player opted to raise then it would have to be a minimum of $20.
➤ A player’s raise value is also capped by the limit of the pot.
➤ There is no limit to the number of raises permitted in a game.
No Limit Omaha Poker
➤ The minimum bet is the same as the big blind but players also have the choice to bet as many of their chips as they wish.
➤ The minimum raise is the same as in pot limit Omaha where the raise must match or exceed the value of the previous bet or raise.
➤ The maximum raise value is only limited by the amount of chips you hold on the table.
➤ Again there is no limit to the number of raises permitted in a game.
Fixed Limit Omaha Poker
➤ Betting occurs in fixed increments.
➤ During the pre-flop and flop phases, all bets and raises equal to the same amount as the big blind
➤ During the turn and river phases, all bets and raises double in value.
➤ Only four bets are permitted per player during each betting round.
Hopefully all this information gives you a good idea of how the game is played and what each round involves. Remember, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest rules and even learn all the different types of online poker games just to understand the mentality of players which will help you improve your game. Be sure to keep checking back on our Poker Guides page for more information!
A good way to get into Triple Draw or any type of poker game is to practice on play money online poker sites. You can find lists of OPA approved sites on our US Poker Sites Guide.
Omaha Poker Video Tutorial
If you’re more of a watch-and-learn poker player, check out the Pot Limit Omaha Poker video tutorial below: