28 Aug

Learn to Play Omaha Hold’em Poker

Beginner’s Guide: Learn how to play Omaha Poker.

How to Play Omaha Hold'em PokerIf you already know how to play Texas Hold’em, learning Omaha Poker will be a cinch. If not, don’t worry. Our beginner’s guide will teach you everything you need to know.

Omaha is just like any other 5-card poker game, except that you actually get to use 9 cards to make up your 5-card poker hand. You’ll have access to 4 hole cards and 5 community cards. From them, you must select exactly 2 hole cards and exactly 3 community cards to develop your final hand.

Throughout this basic tutorial, you’ll learn to play Omaha Hold’em poker and assess hand values. It is most often played with a Pot Limit betting structure, known as Pot Limit Omaha, or PLO. However, we won’t be getting into the specifics of any betting limits here. For that, you can visit our previous guide to betting structures:

How to Play Omaha Poker

Omaha Hold’em is played with a single, standard deck of 52 cards (without jokers). It can be played by 2-10 players. Note that with 10 players, a game that goes on long enough to see the river card will use 48 of the 52 cards.

There are three designated player positions in Omaha. One is the Dealer, signified by the passage of a Dealer Button. The other two are the Big Blind and the Small Blind, seated left of the dealer, respectively. These positions rotating left one seat with each new hand dealt.

The big and small blind players will each post a compulsory bet, according to the stakes of the game, before any cards are dealt.

  • The Big Blind player will post an initial bet equal to the low-end stakes.

  • The Small Blind player will post an initial bet equal to the half of the low-end stakes.

For instance, with stakes of $2/$4, the Big Blind is $2, and the Small Blind $1.

Dealing the Cards

After shuffling the cards, the dealer will start with the player to his left, dealing one card at a time, face down, to each player until everyone has 4 cards. These are the Hole Cards. Players may look at their own hole cards, but may not show them to anyone else. Remember that when assessing your final 5-card poker hand, exactly 2 hole cards must be used—no more, no less.

Betting Round #1

The first betting round of begins. The big blind better has already posted a compulsory bet, so the action starts with the small blind better, who must add enough chips to his current bet to call the big blind, raise, or fold. Each player in turn will do the same – call, raise or fold – until all players have called or folded their hand.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Once a player folds, they are no longer active in the hand. At any time during a hand, if all players except one fold, the remaining active player instantly wins the pot. The dealer button moves to the left one spot. The new dealer will shuffle the cards. Big and small blind bets are placed, and a new hand is dealt.

The Flop

One card is burned from the top of the deck. This card is placed to the side, face down. The first three community cards—the Flop—are then dealt face up in the middle of the table.

Omaha Poker Flop

Players will assess their hand based on their hole cards and the flop, then proceed to…

Betting Round #2

The second betting round begins. This time, the player in the big blind position will start things off. This player may check or bet. To check is to place no bet, but remain active in the hand. Check is only available if no previous bets have been placed in the current betting round. So, if this player checks, the next player may also check or bet. If a bet is placed, all active players must call (or raise) that bet to stay in the hand.

The Turn

Another card is burned from the top of the deck. The dealer will then place the fourth community card—the Turn—face up in the center of the table.

Omaha Poker Turn

Again, players can take a moment to assess their hand value before the next betting round begins.

Betting Round #3

A third betting round takes place, similar to the last.

The River

Another card is burned from the deck. The dealer then places the fifth and final community card—the River—face up in the middle of the table.

Omaha Poker River

Betting Round #4

The fourth and final round of betting ensues.

The Showdown

It’s not uncommon for a game to end before this point, should all other players fold, resulting in an instant winner. If two or more players remain active in the hand, the showdown takes place. All active players will reveal their hands. Each player, using exactly 2 of their hole cards and 3 of the community cards, will show their best 5-card poker hand. The player with the highest-ranking hand (see below) wins the pot.

Should two or more players have the exact same hand, the result is a tie. Those players will evenly divide the pot between them.

Winning Omaha Hold’em: Hand Ranks

Omaha Hold’em rules apply the traditional method of ranking poker hands. When two players have the same hand, such as three of a kind in Kings, the next highest card in each player’s hand (i.e. the Kicker) will decide the winner. The following list depicts all possible poker hands by rank, highest to lowest.

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • Two Pair
  • Pair
  • High Card

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