Based on Texas Hold’em, Omaha is a poker variant that requires players to make a five-card hand that can win the pot. The starting hand in Omaha comprises four cards, of which players have to use two to make the final hand. The other three in the five-card hand are from the community cards. The hand rankings in Omaha are the same as those in Texas Hold’em. The best hand you can make is a straight flush, of which the royal flush is unbeatable.
Omaha Poker Player decisions
Based on the strength of your hand, you can fold, bet, call, raise and check. If the hand is a weak one, you can fold; however if it is strong, you can bet, call, raise or check, depending on available options. This is based on the decision taken by the player before you. The only option that is always open is folding.
Omaha Poker Pre-flop
Once the hole cards are dealt, players have to decide whether the starting hand has the potential to improve on the streets that follow to make a strong hand that can win. The player to act first is the one to the left of the big blind. Action proceeds clock-wise until all players announce their decision.
Flop in Poker Omaha
After the first betting round ends, the first set of community cards is dealt face-up at the center of the table. This is called the flop, or the third street. The first player (still in the pot) to the left of the dealer makes the first move.
Turn and River in Omaha
Once all players make their bets on the flop, the next community card is dealt. This stage of the game is called the turn, or fourth street. Betting action begins the same way as on the flop. Once all bets are made, the game will move to the fifth street, also called river, where the game-play is the same as on the turn.
Showdown in Omaha Poker
If more than one player remains in the game after the fifth street, the player who made the last bet in the round has to reveal his hand. If none of the players bet in the round, the one seated to the left of the dealer shows their cards. Other players show their hands after this. All players’ hands are compared, and the best five-card hand gets the pot. If more than one player has the same hand, the pot is split between them.
Omaha is played with different betting structures, of which Fixed Limit and Pot Limit are widely-used. Pot Limit Omaha (PLO): In the past few years, PLO has become extremely popular among veteran and new poker players (online and offline), giving it the place of the second most played variant of poker. Often all the action at an online poker room is at the Omaha tables. In this format, the minimum bet is the same as the big blind, if none of the players before you have bet. The maximum bet is the sum of the money added to the pot and all the bets, which include the calls made prior to a raise. For instance: if you are the first to make a move on the flop in a pot that has $25, you can either bet or check. The smallest bet you can make is the big blind and the biggest is the total amount in the pot, $25. Bets in the range are called ‘legal bets’. If a player before you bets $20, and you are the second to act, you can choose to raise, call or fold. Calling will require you to add $20 to the pot. Before you raise you should calculate the range for it. The minimum raise will be the sum of the amount wagered by the player before you, and the bets on the table. In this case, it will be $20 + $20, making a total of $40. Fixed Limit Omaha: The small and big bets are determined by the blind sizes. Prior to the flop, raises and bets are made in increments of the small bet. On the next two streets, bets and raises are in increments of the big bet.