Omaha Poker Rules

How to Play Omaha Poker in 20 Easy Steps

1. Two Differences between Hold'em and Omaha

  • Every player gets four cards in Omaha (instead of two in Hold’em)
  • You MUST use two of them to make your best poker hand

2. How to Win a Hand

Omaha is a community card game with two to ten players at one table. You win chips by winning pots and winning pots in two ways:

  1. All the other players fold their hands, making you the only player left in the pot.
  2. You have the best hand at the showdown.

3. Draw for a Dealer

If you have 2-10 players, each with a chip stack on the table, you can start. The first thing you need to do is draw a high dealer card.

Give each player an open card. The player with the highest card (high ace) starts as a game dealer. If both players have the same high card, share the second card with both players or use the color on your card to determine the winner. (The poker suit sequence takes place in alphabetical order from the worst to the best: cross, check, heart, spade)

4. Put Out the Dealer Button

If you have a dealer, give the player a dealer button (usually a white disk) to track the current dealer in his hand. This player must shuffle the cards and prepare for the first hand.

5. Put Out the Blinds

Before cards are dealt with one hand, the two players to the left of the dealer must install a curtain. The player to the left of the dealer places the “small blind” and the player to the left of the small blind plays “big blind”.

6. Deal the Cards

After the curtain turns off, the dealer can handle the card. Start with the player to the left of the dealer (small blind) and move clockwise around the table. Each player receives one card (face down), while all players have exactly four cards.

7. Start the First Betting Round

Once the last card is dealt and every player has four cards face down, you are now in the first betting round known as “preflop.” A betting round ends when two conditions are met:

  1. All players have had a chance to act.
  2. All players who haven’t folded have bet the same amount of money for the round.

In poker only one player can act at a time, starting at the player to the left of the big blind. This player has three options:

  • Fold: Can pay nothing to the pot, throw away his or her cards and wait for the next deal to play again.
  • Call: Can  match the amount of the big blind.
  • Raise: Can raise the bet by at least doubling the amount of the big blind. A player may raise more depending on the betting style you are playing.

Action flows clockwise.

8. Continue the Action Clockwise

After the player acts to the left of the big blind, the action moves clockwise around the table. Every player has the same options: fold, call or raise.

The number of calls or salary increases always depends on the amount of the last bet made.

For example, to call the first player, it must match the size of the big blind. If he takes off, this must be double blind. If it’s a raise, the next player must add the entire amount of Blind + Large increase to the call.

9. Big Blind is Last to Act Before Flop

When the action returns to the small blind, he can bend, call or pick up like everyone else. If an increase to 50 is made and the small blind has paid 5 ¢, he only needs to add 45 ¢ to make a call.

If there is no increase and the current bet is still the same as the 10 original big blinds, the big blind can check and proceed at hand. When the race has started, the amount reduced to the original 1010 ¢ must be added

After everyone has a chance to trade and everyone who still holds his hand puts the same amount of money, the betting round before the failure is over.

The first three cards are flops.

10. Deal the Flop

After the pre-failed bet is completed, the failure is handled. In the community cards that come to Omaha, there are a total of five community cards for each hand that comes to the screen. Failures are the first three of the five cards dealt.

The dealer tosses the top card face down (this is called a burning card) and then offers three cards face up in the middle of the table.

11. Start Next Betting Round With Player Left of Dealer

After the failure has been dealt with, the next betting round starts with the first player to the left of the dealer who still holds his hand (the player with the hand is called “direct player”).

This player is in the same situation as the big blind pre-flop. He can check or bet. Players do not need to add money to calls and must not refuse. Bets in this round are usually the same as the big blind.

12. Continue to Next Player to the Left

Action moves to the next live player to his or her left with the same options available: check (if no bet before), call (match a previous bet), raise (add another bet on top).

13. Deal the Turn

After completing the flop betting round, it’s the dealer’s turn. The card above the deck is thrown down (another shoot card) and a card is dealt face up to the top.

Each new card is followed by a betting round.

14. Start Next Betting Round

After this is finished, the next betting round begins.

The betting round in turn is exactly the same as failure, with one exception. Single round bets already use a higher betting limit. Usually, the bigger bet limit is twice the size of the big blind.

Sometimes, especially for convenience reasons, the big bet limit is slightly larger than the double big blind. This is most common in games like the $ 2- $ 5 limit game.

15. Deal the River

Once the turn betting round is complete the final community card is dealt. The dealer discards one final card face down, followed by one card face up.

16. Start Final Betting Round

Once the river is dealt the final betting round of the hand begins.The river’s betting round is identical in all ways to that of the turn.

17. Enter the Showdown

When the betting round ends, all other direct players enter the showdown. The concept of pointing is simple: the best hand player wins the pot.

18. How to Determine the Winning Hand

Evaluating a winning hand in Omaha is slightly different than in Texas Hold’em.

The first thing you need to know is still the same though – the poker hand ranking order. Some guidelines for evaluating an Omaha poker hand:

Lay ’em out to see who wins at showdown.

  • There are no other hands used in Omaha than the hands listed in this chart. For example, having three pairs is actually only “two pair” with the highest valued two pairs making your hand.
  • In Omaha players must use exactly two cards from their hand and three cards from the community cards to make the best hand possible.
  • The player can use any two of his or her four cards and any threeof the five community cards. For example: 
    • if the board is 2♥ J♣ Q♣ K♠ A♦
    • Player 1 holds 10♠ 9♣ 9♥ 2♦
    • Player 2 holds 10♣ 2♣ 3♥ 4♥In this pot only Player 1 has a straight (9♣ 10♠ J♣ Q♣ K♠). Player two must use two cards from his hand giving him no more than a pair of twos (2♣ 2♥ A♦ K♠ 10♣).
  • If all remaining players have nothing, no pair or anything stronger, the winning hand is the hand with the highest valued single card, meaning:
  • A♣ 3♥ 4♦ 6♠ 7♠ is a better hand than K♠ Q♠ J♣ 9♣ 8♦
  • A♣ J♥ 9♠ 8♦ 6♥ is a better hand than A♥ J♣ 9♦ 8♣ 2♠

Because of having to use two cards out of your hand, if the board is a straight (A♦ 2♣ 3♥ 4♦ 5♣) you will need two of your own cards to fit into that straight to have a straight as your hand.

For example: 6♠ A♣ K♥ K♠ does not have a straight – the best hand they can make would be a pair of aces. 2♥ 3♣ Q♠ Q♦ does have a straight, being able to substitute their 2 and 3 for the 2 and 3 on the board.

  • Suits are never used to evaluate the strength of a hand.

19. Push the Pot to the Winner

Once you have discerned the winning hand, that player wins the entire pot. When a pot is won the hand is complete.

20. Pass the Dealer Button to the Left; Start Over!

After the hand is finished, the dealer passes the donor button to the player to his left.

At this point you start the next game with two players to the left of the new dealer and put your curtain down.

Omaha Poker Betting Rules

Omaha is played in a limit or pot-limit betting structure. Omaha should not be played without restrictions as a game. The game is inherently action-packed, so a tight betting structure helps maintain order in the game.

Omaha can also be played as a halo split game. For more information about playing Omaha Hi Lo, visit our Omaha Hi-Lo special page:

  • How to Play Omaha Hi-Lo: Rules and Strategies.

Players who want to play a strong Omaha game will choose Pot-Limit as their peg structure.

Pot-Limit Omaha

The popularity of the Omaha pot-limit has increased lately, making this version of Omaha the most widely played poker variant both online and live. In fact, it is not uncommon for 100% of high-risk online shares to be stored online through the Omaha table.

  1. Betting proceeds clockwise from the button. The player to the left of the button is the small blind and the player on his left is the big blind. The player on his left is under the gun, and acts first.
  2. His options are to call the big blind, raise or fold.
  3. Your minimum bet is equal to the size of the big blind (this is assuming no players have bet before you on this betting round).
  4. To determine the maximum bet, count all the money in the pot and all the bets on the table, including any call you would make before raising. (It sounds more complicated than it really is.) Two examples for you:
    • You’re first to act on the flop with a pot of $15. You have the option to check or bet. You can bet anywhere from as little as the amount of the big blind, to the full amount of the pot ($15). Any bet in between is a “legal bet.”
    • You’re second to act on the flop with a pot of $15. The first player bets $10. You now have the option to fold, call ($10) or raise.
  5. Your minimum raise is equal to the amount of the previous bet. In this hand your minimum raise is $10 ($10 + $10 for a total bet of $20).
  6. Your maximum raise is the amount of the pot. To figure this out, add up the pot + the bet + your call ($15 + $10 + $10 = $35). You are allowed to bet that total amount in addition to your call, meaning your total bet is $45 ($10 for the call + $35 for the size of the pot).
  7. You can raise any amount in between the minimum and the maximum raise amount.
  8. The size of the game is determined by the blind size. The buy-in is usually minimum 20 big blinds and maximum 100 big blinds.

How to Play Pot-Limit Omaha: Video

Fixed-Limit Omaha

  1. In Limit Omaha the betting limits are fixed.
  2. The size of the game is determined by the bet size. For example, in a $4/$8 game the small bet is $4 and the big bet is $8. The blinds would be $2 and $4.
  3. Play proceeds as it does in any community card game, with the blinds to the left of the button and the play proceeding clockwise.
  4. Betting and raising are done in increments.
  5. Before the flop betting works in increments of the small bet; $4 in our example. A bet would be equal to $4, a raise would be to a total of $8.
  6. On the turn and river betting works in increments of the big bet; $8 in our example. A bet would be equal to $8, a raise would be equal to $16.

The limit betting structure limits the amount of salary increases. Most facilities allow maximum usage and three upgrades, but in some rooms a maximum of four increases are permitted.

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