The Basic Rules of Omaha Poker
Omaha poker for beginners
Omaha is a form of community poker where some cards are dealt face up on the board. These are known as community cards and all the players share these cards. The community cards are used along with the player's own cards to make up a winning hand. In Omaha, hands are played out in the same manner as Texas Hold'em, but you get to choose from a total of nine cards dealt during various stages of play.
There are many poker gambling sites where you can play Omaha as most online poker sites now offer Omaha poker. In Omaha, four cards are dealt to the player face down, unlike two being dealt in Texas Hold'em. These are the hole cards. Then a round of betting will follow. Then there will be dealt three cards face up on the table, known as the flop. A second round of betting follows.
The next is the single 'Turn' card, again dealt to the table followed by a third betting round. Finally, the last or 'River' card is dealt to the table and a final betting round takes place. Players must form a hand consisting of five cards by taking exactly two of their hole cards and three community cards. Here it is important to keep in mind that the cards on the table, i.e. community cards are visible to all players and everyone can share them.
Omaha rules state that players must, without exception use two of their own cards to make up a hand, unlike as in Texas hold'em where you can "play the board". So, even if there are 5 diamonds on the table, you need to have 2 diamonds of your own to get a flush. To qualify for a winning pot, players must show all the four cards. Just showing two and discarding the other two will cause you to forfeit your claim to the pot.
With so many cards and with so many players, it is quite possible to be beaten by a hand of better valued cards at the final showdown. If you are not confident of a good hand after the flop or the turn, it is a good idea to fold and wait for the next hand. Omaha poker is played as Omaha Hi-Lo, where the players are required to make one 5-card high hand and one 5-card low hand. Here, the pot is divided between the high hand and the low hand winners.
There will always be a high hand in Omaha Hi-Lo but not necessarily a low hand. In such a case, the player with the winning high hand will take the entire pot, which is known as "scooping the pot". The "Cards Speak" rule applies in Omaha. This means that even if a player mistakenly speaks out the wrong value of cards, the dealer at the casino must read the correct value of the cards irrespective of what the player has said.
The original game of Omaha was known as Omaha High. Omaha High game variations are classified according to the betting limits. In Limit Omaha High, there is a definite betting limit for each game and for each round. In Pot Limit Omaha High, the player can bet whatever amount is in the pot, while the No Limit Omaha High lets the player bet all his chips at any time.