OBJECTIVE OF OMAHA POKER: The objective of poker is to win all the money in the pot, which consists of bets made by players during the hand. Highest hand wins the pot.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-10 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52-card decks
RANK OF CARDS: A,K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2
TYPE OF GAME: Casino
INTRODUCTION | OMAHA POKER
Omaha Poker is the second most popular variant of poker played, after Texas Hold ‘Em. It is very similar to Hold ‘Em in that it is a community-card game. If you know how to play Texas Hold ‘Em, these instructions should be familiar. If you would like to learn how to play Texas Hold ‘Em, click here. The main difference between Omaha Poker and Hold’Em is that players are dealt four (as opposed to two) cards in Omaha and they must use at least two of those to form their hand.
Omaha poker typically is played without an ante but there are blinds. These, like an ante, are forced bets. There are usually two: a small blind and a big blind. The player left to the dealer pays the small blind, and the player to their left pays the big blind.
Omaha Poker is overwhelmingly played with a pot limit, often abbreviated as PLO.
THE DEAL & THE PLAY
Draw for Dealer
To pick a dealer, pass out a single card, face-up, to each player. The player with the highest card deals first. Aces are the highest card. In the event of a tie, suits are used to determine high card. Spades are the highest ranking suit, followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs. This is the North American standard. The player who becomes dealer often puts out the white dealer button, however, this is optional. The dealer shuffles the cards and prepares for the first deal.
Put Out the Blinds & Deal
Before the dealer passes out the cards, the two players left of the dealer must put out the blinds. The player immediately left of the dealer puts out the small blind while the player to their left puts out the big blind.
Once the blinds are put out, the dealer begins passing out cards. Starting with the player directly to their left and moving clockwise, the dealer hands each player four cards, one at a time, face-down.
After all the cards have been dealt, the first round of betting begins. This round is called the “preflop.” The betting ends when
- Every player has had the opportunity to act
- Players who have not folded all bet the same amount
Starting with the player to the left of the big blind, betting begins. There are three ways a player can act:
Fold, pay nothing and forfeit the hand.
Call, place a bet that matches the big blind or previous bet.
Raise, place a bet at least double of the big blind.
Play moves clockwise from the big blind.
The amount to call or raise is dependent on the last bet placed before it. For example, after the big blind a player decided to raise. The next player to act must bet the big blind + raise in order to call.
The big blind is last to act before the flop.
The Flop & Betting Round
The flop is dealt after the first round of betting. In community-card poker like Omaha, five cards are dealt to the table – the flop is the first three cards.
The dealer burns the card at the top of the deck (discards it) and proceeds to deal three cards face-up on the table.
Once the flop has been dealt betting begins with the player directly to the dealers left with a hand. The first player to bet may check or bet. Bets during the flop round are typically equal to the big blind.
Play moves left, players may check (if there was no previous bet), call, or raise.
The Turn & Betting Round
After the previous betting round concludes, the dealer deals the turn. This is one more card, face-up, added to the table. Before the dealer deals the turn, the deal burns the top card.
Once the turn is dealt another round of betting ensues. This proceeds much like betting on the flop but uses a higher minimum bet. Typically the betting limit is slightly larger than double the big blind.
The River & Final Round of Betting
Following the turn, the final community card is dealt to the table- the river. The dealer burns a card then places the final card face-up on the table. After the river is dealt, the final round of betting begins. Betting on the river is identical to betting on the turn.
Of the players remaining, the one with the best hand wins and takes the pot.
Omaha poker uses traditional Poker Hand Rankings. Using at least two cards from the hand dealt to you by the dealer and up to three community cards, make the best hand possible.
Board: J, Q, K, 9, 3
Player 1: 10, 9, 4, 2, A
Player 2: 10, 4, 6, 8, J
Player 1 has a straight using two cards in their hand (9,10) and three community cards (J, Q, K), for 9, 10, J, Q, K
Player 2 has a pair. J, J, 8, 6, 10
Player 1 wins the hand and the pot!
Omaha high-low is often played so that the pot is split between the players with the highest hand and the lowest hand. Low hands typically must have an 8 or lower to qualify (Omaha/8 or Omaha 8 or better).
Played identically to traditional Omaha but players are dealt five cards secretly.
Six-card Omaha (Big O)
Also played just like traditional Omaha except that players are dealt six cards privately.