Omaha Hold’em, also simply called Omaha, is an entertaining poker game that is remarkably similar to Texas Hold’em, even though it has a range of variations that make it stand out. Unlike Texas Hold’em, a game in which no-limit is the chosen betting structure, Omaha’s most common betting structure is pot-limit.

Games of this kind are known as Omaha pot-limit, abbreviated as plo poker.

The first major distinction that you can quickly know by playing plo poker instead of keeping them is that each player gets precisely four hole cards instead of two. Players, though, don’t use all four hole cards to make a hand, because they can use just two. In fact, players need to make a five-card poker hand using precisely two of their hole cards, along with three of the group cards.

How to play Omaha poker

Simple strategies

In pot limit and no limit Omaha games, the games are referred to by the size of their blinds (for example, there is a small blind of 0/1/2 omaha game and a major blind of 0). Betting then starts on the big blind from the player on the left.

The big blind is the same as the small bet in fixed limit Omaha games and the small blind is usually half the size of the big blind, but can be bigger depending on the stakes. In a limit game, for example, the small blind is 01 and the big blind is 02. In a limit game, the small blind is about 110 and the big blind is about 15. Per team is now dealt the four hole cards. Betting movement moves around the table clockwise, starting with the player under the pistol (immediately from the big blind in clockwise direction).

Pre-flop

Each player now has the option to play his or her hand by calling or raising the big blind, after seeing their hole cards. The action starts in the major blind to the left, which is called a ‘live bet on this round. The player has the option of folding, calling or raising. For eg, if the big blind were ambi, calling would cost around 2, or increasing at least. Play then moves round the table in clockwise direction.

Remark: the betting structure varies with various game combinations. Explanations of betting activity can be found below, in limit Omaha, no limit Omaha, and pot limit Omaha.

Betting proceeds on each betting round until equivalent bets are made in the pool by all participating players (who have not folded).

The flop

After the first betting round is over, the ‘flop is played face-up on the surface. The flop is the first three cards open to all participating players in the game. Play starts from the button immediately in clockwise direction with the active character. Another betting round ensues. In fixed limit Omaha, all bets and raises arise in small bet amounts (for example, in a amb2/4 game, for example).

The turn until the betting action for the flop round is done, the ‘right’ on the board is played face up. The switch is the fourth group card in a game with Omaha. Play continues directly from the button in clockwise direction with the active player. Another betting round ensues. In fixed limit Omaha, bets and rises on the turn are in broad bet increments (e.g., some 4 in a game of some 2/4).

The river

The river is played face-up on the board as betting play is done for turn round. The river is Omaha poker’s fifth and final group game. The final betting round starts immediately in clockwise direction from the button from the active player.

The showdown

If there is more than one remaining player after the final betting round is complete, their cards are seen by the last person to bet or collect, unless there was no bet on the final round in which case the player displays their cards first in clockwise directly from the press.

The player with the better hand in five cards wins the pot.

Remember: in Omaha, players must match two and only two of their four hole cards with precisely three of the board’s cards. In the case of similar hands, the pot will be split evenly between the better handed teams.

A new game of Omaha poker is ready for play after the pot is won. Now the button goes in clockwise direction to the next player.

Omaha rules

  • Each player is dealt four face-down cards, in comparison to the two cards dealt in Texas Hold’em. This is the first of these variants.
  • It then gives out five group IDs.
  • The second notable change from Texas Hold’em is that the players are allowed to pick two of their four cards and use each of them to make the best hand possible. You can use any combination of your two hole cards in Texas Hold’em, or leave one out entirely. You can use four community cards and one card from your hand, or two cards from your hand paired with three cards from the community board.
  • Omaha is even more complicated. When shaping your best hand you must use 2 of your hole cards. If all the hearts appear on the deal, and you have an ace of heart and a king of diamonds, you’d have a flush in texas hold’em. You will actually keep an ace high hand while playing omaha, as all cards must be used.

Omaha bets

Pot limit

Omaha styles the minimum bet in pot limit Omaha is the same as the large blind size so players should still bet up to the pot size.

Minimum raise: the amount paid in the same round must be at least as high as the previous bet or raise. For eg, if the first player to act bets  then the second player must lift a minimum of 5 (total bet of 10).

Total raise: the pool size, which is specified as the sum of the active pot, plus all bets on the table, plus the amount that the active player must call first before rising.

Example: if the pool size is 100 and there is no previous betting round activity, a player can bet a limit of 100. After that bet, the action turns clockwise towards the next player. The player may either fold, name. There is no ‘ban’ in pot limit Omaha on the amount of raises permitted.

No limit Omaha

The minimum bet in no limit Omaha is the same as the size of the big blind, but players can still bet up to all their chips as much more as they wish.

Minimum rise: the raise number must be at least as high in no limit Omaha as the previous bet, or increase in the same round. If the first player to act bets then the second player must lift a minimum of 5 (total bet of 10).

Full raise: stack size (your table chips). There is no ‘ban’ in no limit Omaha on the amount of raises permitted. Omaha betting fixed limit in fixed limit Omaha is in set, standardized numbers. Pre-flop and all bets and raises on the flop are in the same number as the big blind. The scale of all bets on turn and river raises doubles. Up to 4 bets per player are permitted in limit Omaha during each betting round. This includes a gamble, rise,  re-raise, and  end raise fee.

Game variants

Omaha Hi – exactly as it looks, in this version the top five card hand takes the pot.

Set limit – in this version a pot can only be raised up to a maximum of four times, and the bet or raise must be equal to the size of the blinds. Not a lot of folding happens in this iteration, as remaining in the game is comparatively inexpensive.

Omaha Hi/Low – a common variant, the pot is divided between the top and bottom of the hands. An example of a low hand is one in every other game and will be a loser. If you have a 7 of hearts and a 6 of diamonds, for example, and pair those with a 4, 3, and 2 of every suit on the side, you will have a very good low hand. In Omaha hi/low, the best hand possible is one in which both the highest and lowest hands are held concurrently by the same player, thus winning the whole pot.