Omaha Poker Rules

Mastering the rules of Omaha Poker is quite simple, especially for people already familiar with Texas Hold'em. Because both versions of Hold'em are very similar, learning one when you know the other is quite simple. In addition it is fun to switch between these poker games if one starts to feel redundant. For all online poker amateurs who are making their first steps in the world of poker, we have a detailed explanation on how to play Omaha Poker. The game is played in the same mode both at online game sites and at traditional gaming destinations.

The Pocket

There are four pocket cards each active player receives before the game of Omaha begins. These cards are personal and dealt facedown by the dealer. They are for only the player to see. At the end of the game all participating players will be required to create their potentially winning hands precisely out of two of the four pocket cards, along with three community cards. This is unlike Texas Hold 'em, where players are not limited regarding the number and origin of cards in their winning hands, Omaha Poker is much stricter.

The Mandatory Bets

The mandatory bets are called Blinds. The blinds are put by two players seated to the left of the dealer before the action begins. In Omaha Hold'em, much like in Texas Hold'em, the blinds are placed before any cards are dealt. The Small Blind, posted by the player seated directly to the left of the dealer, is half the small stake (in fixed-limit games), and the Big Blind, posted by the player seated to the left of the Small Blind, is equal to the amount of the small stake. The purpose of these two mandatory bets is to fatten the jackpot.

The course of the game

After the two Blinds are placed, the dealer deals each active player four cards. These private cards are not to be exposed to other players. The first game participant to make a move is the one seated to the left of the Big Blind. His three options of action are either call, raise or fold. The rest of the players bet as well and until all of the Omaha poker players have made their move.

After the first betting round is over, the Omaha dealer places three exposed cards in the middle of the table. These are called Community Cards (just like in Texas Hold 'em) and they are to be used by all players. Each player gets an opportunity to bet following the flop. In the first two rounds of betting players use the low game stake for all bets and calls. In a $2/$4 game, for example, the lower stake amount equals $2.

After bets are made, the dealer places another community card next to the ones already dealt and new round of betting kicks off. The final two Omaha Poker rounds use the high game stake (in this case $4). The action is complete after all active players' bets are called. Finally, the dealer deals the fifth community card. This is the last card to be dealt face up and is followed by a final round of betting.

Showdown time

At the showdown, all the remaining players reveal their hands in order to establish the winner. The player with the strongest hand of five cards, with a mandatory two from their own pocket, lands the jackpot. It is important to remember you must use only two of your pocket cards with three community cards to make a hand. Make sure you understand the Omaha rules because a misplayed hand can be costly!