Omaha has five community cards with a flop, turn and river and the betting is the same as Texas Hold’em.
Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em, but there’s a twist.
In Omaha, players receive four ‘hole’ cards (instead of two) and can only use two cards from their hand along with the three community cards. Also, everyone plays right to the end.
Omaha has five community cards with a flop, turn and river and the betting is the same as Texas Hold’em. The player with the best high hand at showdown wins.
How To Play
To play a game of Omaha poker you’ll need a 52-card deck of French cards. Also, unless you are in for an old-fashioned game with beans, buttons, and pennies, you’ll need also some poker chips, a dealer button, and two blinds buttons.
A game of Omaha poker needs two to ten players to begin.
Like in other poker games, the action of a hand of Omaha poker includes several betting rounds and a combination of private (‘hole’) and community cards (‘the board).
The first thing you want to remember when it comes to learning how to play Omaha poker is the name of the different phases that compose a hand.
- The pre-flop: The initial betting round. Some players (the ‘Blinds’) are obliged to place a bet while the others can decide wether to call, fold, or raise.
- The flop: The second betting round. The players still in the hand decide how to act once the dealer places the first three community cards on the board, face up.
- The turn: The third betting round. The players still in the hand decide how to act once the dealer places the one more community card on the board, face up.
- The river:The last betting round. The players still in the hand decide how to act once the dealer places the last the five community cards on the board, face up.
- The showdown: The players still in the hand reveal their cards.
The Big Blind (BB) and the Small Blind (SB) place their bets on the table so the action can start.
The dealer distributes four cards to each player, all face down. As we will see later, this is one of the key differences between Omaha and Texas Hold’em poker.
As soon as all the cards reached the respective players, the first betting round begins. The first player to act is the one at the left of the Big Blind (table position: ‘Under the Gun’ or UTG).
The action continues clockwise until it reaches the Big Blind.
All players have the following options:
- Call: They place a bet equal to the size of the Big Blind (or to the highest bet that was placed before them, in case someone in the hand decided to raise).
- Raise: They increase the bet making it more expensive for other players to stay in the hand.
- Fold: They give back the card and leave the hand.
The dealer places three cards on the board, all face up. These are the first of a series of five that the players need to use to build their final poker hand.
As soon as the three cards are on the table, a new betting round begins.
The Flop betting round is identical to the previous one.
The dealer places one more card on the board, again face up. All the players still in the hand enter a new betting round that develops exactly as the previous one.
The dealer places the last community card on the table, face up, and a new betting round follows.
If there are still two or more players in the hand, the action continues to the final chapter (the ‘Showdown). It most player fold, the hand goes to the last-one standing.
The players in the hand turn their hands over, and use at most two of their hole cards in combination with any of the five on the board to build a five-card poker hand.
The player with the highest poker hand is the one who wins the hand and takes down the pot.
And here’s where most beginners get in trouble.
Players that are just starting to learn how to play this game and are not too familiar with the Omaha poker rules tend to make a lot of mistakes when it comes to building five-card hands.
The most common PLO poker mistake people make when they learn how to play Omaha poker is to forget they need to use at least two of the four hole cards to build their final hand.