Many poker players want to discover more poker variations as they evolve as gamblers. Omaha poker is full of challenges and provides some of the best action on the poker table. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular variants of the game in the last decade.
If you want to learn how to play Omaha poker, you have come to the right place. Go over the following steps and you can find your seat at the poker table.
Learn the Game’s Rules and Basics
Mastering the basic rules and mechanics, first in theory, then in practice, are crucial to adopting any casino game. Knowing Texas Hold’em is a good basis for learning Omaha, but there are differences. For instance, each player is dealt four cards face down in Omaha, as opposed to the two cards that are dealt in Texas Hold’em.
The community cards in Omaha poker are dealt in 3 stages, and players bet after each stage. There are 5 community cards, which means each player receives a total of 9 cards (4 hole cards and 5 shared community cards).
The players must choose 2 of their 4 cards and are required to use both of them when constructing the best possible hand.
To be able to play, you must also memorize the hand rankings for poker. The hand rankings in Omaha poker are no different from Texas Hold’em.
The hand rankings in order from best to worst are:
- Royal Flush: 10, J, Q, K, and Ace in the same suit
- Straight Flush: any straight in the same suit
- Four of a Kind: 4 cards of the same rank
- Full House: 3 cards of the same rank + 2 cards of the same rank
- Flush: any 5 cards that are of the same suit
- Straight: 5 cards that are consecutive in rank
- Three of a Kind: 3 cards of the same rank
- Two Pair: 2 cards of the same rank + 2 different cards of the same rank
- One Pair: 2 cards of the same rank
- High card: any card, yet the higher the better (Ace rates the highest)
Understand the Objective of the Game
What makes Omaha special is the fact that the player must use 2 hole cards and 3 community cards to create his final 5-card poker hand.
So, the objective is to make the best possible 5-card hand in this way, always keeping in mind that it is not permitted to use more or less of 2 hole cards.
Community cards are dealt face up on the table and are available to all players. The player with the best 5-card hand wins.
Acknowledge the Big Blinds & Small Blinds
In the Omaha poker game, there are two bets placed at the start of a session. The player immediately to the left of the dealer button places the Small Blind. The player to their left places the Big Blind.
This occurs before any cards are dealt. Small Blind and Big Blind have the purpose of forcing everyone to bet if they want to stay in the round.
First Betting Round (Pre-Flop)
At the start of the round, each player receives four cards face-down (hole cards). The player to the left of the Big Blind starts. There are several actions available. A player can:
- Call (match the last bet placed in the current betting round)
- Raise (increase the previous bet by first calling and then increasing the bet amount)
- Fold (forfeit and discard all cards)
There are no community cards in the game yet, so the decision is made based on the hole cards. The round continues with each player calling, raising or folding.
Second Betting Round (Flop)
At the start of the second betting round, the realer placed 3 cards in the center of the table. These are community cards, shared by all players. They are placed face-up. All the players who haven’t folded can now bet again.
The Turn Followed by the Third Betting Round
The dealer places one additional community card called the Turn. At this point, there are 4 community cards on the table. Remaining players bet again. They have three choices – to call, raise or fold.
The River Followed by the Final Betting Round
The final community card is placed on the table, known as the River. There will be no more community cards. The remaining players can select an action one last time in the round.
At this point, all the cards are distributed and the players must decide on their best 5-card poker hand.
When the action cycle is complete and there are at least two people maintaining their hand, the round enters the Showdown. At this stage, the remaining players must show their 5-card poker hands.
They must contain 2 hole cards and 3 community cards – precisely. The player with the highest-ranking poker hand wins. The game can move onto the next hand/session.