Omaha Poker Rules
Poker (also called Omaha Hi) Poker is similar to Omaha Hi/Lo and a variant of Texas
Holdem where the game is played with community cards that are
dealt as a Flop (the first 3 cards) a Turn (the fourth card) and River (the
fifth and final community card). Omaha Hi differs from Omaha Hi/Lo in
the basic fact that only the highest hand wins the pot. No low hands
are eligible, therefore, the whole pot is won with the best HIGH five-card poker hand. Since nine cards are used to make a five-card
poker hand, the resulting combinations tend to produce stronger
hands (such as straights and flushes) versus other poker games in
which the hands are formed from a lesser amount of cards.
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The overall game play is as follows:
There is a button that is moved clockwise around the table that
indicates who the "dealer" is. The actual dealer deals the cards
starting with the player seated to the immediate left of the button,
also known as the small blind. The person 'on' the button gets their
cards last, exactly as if they were dealing the cards themselves.
The Dealer's position at the table changes after every hand played.
This effectively occurs by the button moving one player to the left
after every hand. The players to the left of the Dealer button post
the small and big blinds, respectively. The concept of the Button is
exactly the same as in Holdem.
Blinds are forced bets made by the two players to the left of
the Dealer button. The player adjacent to the Dealer button (first
player left of the button) posts what is called the small blind and
the player next to him (2nd to the left of the button) places the
big blind. The small blind is usually half the full bet while the
big blind is a full bet. Example: At a 10/20 table (where $10 is the
first full bet and later rises to $20 for the last two cards) the
small blind would place $5 and the big blind would be the full $10
Now that Dealer Button and blinds are explained, the game play is
Four pocket cards are dealt to each person. The player to the
left of the big blind acts first during this round and can call,
raise or fold (The betting is capped at one bet and three raises per
player.) The action continues clockwise around the table until the
Button player acts. If no raise is made before the Big Blind, then
the Big Blind has the option to raise over his forced bet or just
call. The Small Blind has to equal the amounts of the bet or fold
giving up the forced bet. There are three subsequent rounds of
betting, just like in Hold'em, namely the Flop, Turn and River.
In the second betting round, three community cards are dealt, called
the Flop. A round of betting follows and players can either bet,
check, fold, call, or raise.
In the third betting round, the fourth card is turned up which is
called the Turn. A round of betting follows and then for the fourth
round of betting, the fifth and final card is turned up which is
known as the River. The remaining players then use two of their four
pocket cards and three of the five community cards to create the
best five-card high poker hand possible. The player with the best
high hand wins the pot. In the event of a tie, the pot will be split
between the players with the matching high hands. (Note: It is much
more common to split a low hand in Omaha Hi-Lo than a high hand in
As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the primary difference
between Omaha High versus Texas Holdem is that any winning OMAHA
hand must consist of TWO pocket cards and THREE community cards. One
cannot make a hand from just one pocket card and four community
cards or just the five community cards, as can be done in Holdem.
Some tips to improve you chances of winning:
If you have a strong hand after the flop, play aggressively though
to the end of the hand to force other players s to "pay" for chasing
a better hand.
Since nine cards are used to make a five-card hand, it is best to
play with four cards that have a good chance of making a straight or
high flush (such as Ace or King high). Pocket pairs and low flush
draws can be very costly since you have only a limited amount of
cards to make a strong hand and low flushes are many times beaten by
the Ace-high and King-high flush. With pocket pairs you need to hit
the third card (to get three-of-a-kind; "trips") on the flop in
order to even consider continuing with the hand and hope for the
board to pair by the end to give you a full house. Otherwise, many
times you will see trips or two pair lose to straights and flushes.
To summarize, Omaha Hi is a complex poker variation. Players must
remember to distinguish this form of Omaha from the others. It is
especially important to remember that you are not looking to make a
low hand, do not get confused with Omaha Hi/Lo. You need to see high
cards or cards that are suited to consider playing an Omaha Hi hand
before the Flop.
We hope that you have learned something by reading our Rules of
Omaha page and have a deeper appreciation for some of the
differences between Omaha High, Omaha Hi/Lo and Texas Hold'em.