While not as popular as Texas hold ’em, Omaha poker is still very well-liked among players. Like the various hold ’em games, Omaha poker is a game of community cards, meaning that the players have to comprise their hands from the flop and hole cards. The two games are very similar; in fact, the full name of the game is Omaha hold ’em. However, there are some key differences that you need to be aware of, which we will discuss here.
In Omaha poker, you have to use two of the four hole cards you were dealt, along with three community cards to make your hand. Another big difference between Texas hold ’em and Omaha is that with the latter, players are dealt not two hole cards, but four. This changes the odds and the number of players that can participate. Here’s a quick look at the basic game play method:
As is the case with other poker variants, Omaha poker is played with the regular fifty-two card deck minus the jokers. Blinds are placed, and the dealer gives four cards to each player. These are the hole cards, only to be shown to the player receiving them.
The pre-flop is the first betting round; betting starts with the player to the left of the dealer and goes in a clockwise motion around the table. Bets continue until all players have either folded, put their chips in or matched the amounts put in by other players.
After betting is over, the dealer puts the three flop cards on the table. These can be used by any player, in any combination in order to make a hand. After the flop, more bets are in order.
When the flop is over and all players have made a decision to fold, call or check, a turn card is dealt, followed by a third betting round. After that, a river card is dealt, followed by yet another round of betting. If there is more than one player left standing, a showdown occurs. An Omaha poker showdown is different from that in a Texas hold ’em game, because players have to use two hole cards and three community cards to comprise their hand.
There are two main variants of Omaha poker; high and high/low split. In Omaha high poker, the player with the best hand gets the pot. In Omaha high/low, the pot is divided evenly between the players with the highest and lowest hands. Low hands have to be 4/5/6/7/8 or less to be eligible.
Omaha poker is more complex than Texas hold ’em, but there are so many similarities that many players are lulled into a false sense of security. Here are some mistakes commonly made when playing Omaha poker.
Mistakes during the flush draw. With Texas hold ’em, a player has a potential flush if there are three+ suited cards on the table. To play the flush, a player needs two cards of the same suit in-hand.
3-of-a-kind on the table means that you need to be holding a pair in order to get a full house.
This is a quick intro to Omaha poker; it will take you awhile to completely understand the odds and learn the showdown process but once you pick up the game it can be very fun and profitable.