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Learn Omaha Poker Rules (Omaha High)

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Omaha High Introduction

Omaha is a community card game, similar in style to Texas Hold'em, but each player receives four cards on the initial deal as opposed to two cards in Texas Hold'em. Due to the extra number of hole cards the hands played in Omaha can be much higher than in Texas Hold'em.

To make a five card poker hand you must use 2 of your 4 pocket cards with 3 of the 5 community cards.

There are two variations of the game, Omaha High and Omaha Hi/Lo. This guide covers Omaha High.

Playing Omaha High

The rules of the game are fairly easy to learn. Limit Hold'em has structured betting, and the lowest limit you will usually find in most casinos is a $2/$4. Other limits you may find are 5/10 or 10/20 or higher. I will be using the 2/4 game as an example in this book. That means the minimum bet is three dollars during the first two rounds of betting and the minimum bet is six dollars during the last two betting rounds. These same limits are used when you raise as well.

1. Blinds
Blind bets are posted to generate a starting pot. The player to the left of the dealer must place a small blind which is half the minimum bet (£1 in a £2/4 game) and the next player to the left must place the big blind which is the minimum bet). After each hand the dealer (indicated by the dealer's button) moves one place to the left (to ensure everyone eventually pays the blinds).

2. Cards Dealt
Beginning with the person left of the dealer everyone receives 4 cards face down (one at a time).

3. 1st Betting Round
Based on their 4 cards, players must then place their bets. Beginning with the player to the left of the two who posted the blinds. On their turn players can:

  • Call (match the current bet)
  • Raise (increase the bet)
  • Fold (give up & forfeit any bets placed)

This continues all round the table until all the players who wish to stay in the game have the same bets on the table.

4. The Flop (3 community cards)
After the first betting round, the dealer discards the top card of the deck (this is called burning the card) and is done to help prevent cheating.

The dealer then flips the next 3 cards face up on the table. These cards are called "the flop" and are community cards which can be used by all players (note there will be 5 community cards at the end of the game).

5. 2nd Betting Round
The player to the left of the dealer (the button). Begins another round of betting, during this and all future rounds of betting, on their turn players can:

  • Check (if no one has raised, the player can keep their bet as it is)
  • Call
  • Raise
  • Fold

This continues all round the table until all the players who wish to stay in the game have the same bets on the table.

6. The Turn (4th community card)
The dealer burns another card and plays one more face up card onto the table called the "Turn" (also referred as "Fourth Street").

7. 3rd Betting Round
As in stage 5, but the minimum raise is now increased to the higher limit i.e. £4 in a £2/4 game.

8. The River (5th community card)
The dealer burns another card and plays the final community card, the "River" (also referred as "Fifth Street").

9. Final Betting Round & Winner
Players can now use any combination of seven cards, the 5 community cards and their 2 hole cards (known only to them) to form the best possible five-card Poker hand.

The 4th and final round of betting starts with the player to the left of the dealer (using the higher minimum limit). Usually a three or four raise maximum during all betting rounds except if the play becomes heads to with two players. Then the raises are unlimited. After the final betting round, all players who remain in the game reveal their hands. The first person to show their cards is the last person to bet or raise.

The best hand using 2 hole cards and 3 community cards will win the pot. In some rare cases the best hand will be the five cards on board. In such a case the pot is split between the active players. A sixth card is never used to break a tie.

Examples

1.
Player's pocket cards
Community cards

The best hand is 3 of a kind (sevens).
Note that the full house of 3x sevens & 2x sixes cannot be made because you can only use 2 of your pocket cards

2.

Player's pocket cards
Community cards

The best hand is 3 of a kind (Queens).
Note that the full house of 3x Queens & 2x nines cannot be made because you can only use 3 of the community cards

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