Omaha Poker Rules
Omaha Poker is the second most popular form of poker, right after Texas Hold'em. It’s known for featuring bigger hands and bigger pots than Texas Hold'em, so you’ll find an interesting mix of poker fans and action junkies at the Omaha tables.
The game looks nearly the same as Texas Hold'em except each player is dealt four hole cards instead of two. In addition to that, each player must use exactly two of his hole cards and three of the community cards when making a poker hand.
If you will remember back to Texas Hold'em, a player can use two, one, or zero of his hole cards to create a hand. This is not the case in Omaha poker. The additional two cards would make the game too wild and nearly unplayable if the players didn’t have to use exactly two of their hole cards.
This change, although minor, causes recent Texas Hold'em converts all kinds of trouble in the beginning. One of the biggest problems comes from hands that are formed with a lot of help from the board.
For example, if there are four spades on the board, a Texas Hold'em player would just have to have one spade in his hand to have a flush. But in Omaha, since a player must use two of his hole cards, he would have to have two spades in his hand to complete that same flush.
Blinds and Dealer
Omaha uses the same blinds system as Hold'em. The player to the left of the dealer must pay the small blind, which is a forced bet equal to half the lower betting limit. The player sitting to the left of the small blind must pay the big blind, which is equal to the lower betting limit.
For example, in a $2/$ Omaha game the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2.
The position of the dealer moves one space to the left at the beginning of each hand. This is done so that each player must pay both blinds once per orbit. If the game uses a full time dealer, a small disc, called the dealer’s button, may be used to represent the position of the dealer at the table.
Once the blinds have been paid, each player is dealt four cards face down. The deal begins with the player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise around the table. Each player is dealt one card at a time until each player has four cards.
The first betting round then begins with the player to the left of the small blind. This player may call the minimum bet to stay in, raise, or fold. The betting then continues clockwise around the table.
Next, three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These are the first community cards and they may be used in combination with any two of the player’s hole cards to create the best possible five card poker hand.
Another round of betting begins, but this time it starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer. This player may check, bet, or fold. The betting then continues clockwise.
Another community card is dealt face up next to the flop. Next, another round of betting begins with the first player to the left of the dealer. From here on out, all bets are made in increments of the upper betting limit.
One final community card is dealt face up next to the turn. A final round of betting takes place in the exact same manner as the previous round. If there is more than one player remaining after this betting round, the remaining players go to a showdown.
The remaining players now reveal their hole cards. The player with the best five card poker hand, using any two of his hole cards and three of the community cards, wins the pot.
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