Omaha Hi Poker Rules

Omaha is not as popular as Texas Hold’em but the only reason for this is because of how television coverage of poker evolved. It is fair to say to Texas Hold’em only gained massive popularity due to coverage of the WSOP on TV with the ability for viewers to see the players’ hole cards. Back then, the TV producers could not come up with a way to fit the 4 hole cards which Omaha uses on the screen and so never televised it. Omaha is gaining in popularity nowadays as good holdem players find they have a better edge at Omaha.

If you don’t like gambling then you won’t like Omaha where there are way more bad beats in Holdem. If you can stand the variance, however, you may just find that you make more money playing it. Omaha has been described as a game of “the nuts” because usually you will need the nuts to win the pot at showdown.

Basic Omaha Hi Poker Rules

The rules of Omaha are the same as Hold’em but as follows:

1)      Instead of having two Hole Cards, each player is dealt four cards face down before the flop

2)      The flop, turn and river are dealt as normal with the same betting rounds

The big difference comes here:

3)      At showdown, each player’s hand is made from three of the community cards (you MUST use exactly three of the community cards) and two of their hole cards (you MUST use exactly two of your hole cards)

This can become very confusing when it comes to making flushes and you can regularly find players online who think they have made a flush when they haven’t! If there are four suited community cards e.g. four diamonds and in your hole cards you have one diamond, you DO NOT have a flush. You need to have 2 diamonds in your hole cards to be able to play a flush.

Pot Limit Omaha or PLO

Omaha Hi is usually played with the Pot Limit Betting Structure. This means that instead of having the ability to bet whatever you want, as in no limit poker, the maximum bet is the pot size. This does not mean that you always have to raise the size of the pot, the minimum bet is the same as in no limit – whatever the big blind is.

For example, if the pot contains $200, the most a player can bet is $200. The next player can either fold, call $200 or raise anything between $200 and the maximum bet (the pot size). In this example the maximum bet is $800 – the raiser would have to first make a $200 call, this brings the size of the pot to $600 and then raise $600 more, making a total bet of $800.

No Limit Omaha

It is possible to find some no limit Omaha games online, for example at Full Tilt Poker Bonus,  where players can bet up to all of their chips. This is a very scary game and if you are new to Omaha you would be wise to stick to pot limit.

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