Omaha poker is starting to become almost as popular as Texas Holdem poker in casino poker rooms, online poker sites and live poker tournaments. Omaha poker rules are similar to Texas Holdem rules. In both poker variations the dealers deals community cards, which can be shared by all the players.
However, Omaha poker and Texas Holdem poker are different games and they certainly require using different strategy. Omaha poker can be played as fixed limit, no limit or pot limit. In addition, Omaha poker can be played as high or high low split. Here you can find introduction to both Omaha high and Omaha high low rules.
Omaha High Rules
The play begins with the player to the dealers immediate left who posts the small blind, usually the amount of half of the minimum bet. For example, in a 4/8 dollars limit game, the small blind will be 2 dollars. Then, the player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind, which is the size of the minimum bet, 4 dollars according to this example.
After the blinds are posted, the dealer deals each player four face down cards, starting from the small blind and continuing clockwise. The first round of betting begins with the player to the big blind left who can choose between calling, raising or folding. If he chooses to call, he has to place a bet equal to the size of the minimum bet, if he raises, he places a bet double the amount of the minimum bet, and if he chooses to fold, he forfeits his hand.
The first round of betting continues until it gets to the player who posted the small blind. If he chooses to call, he can place only half of the minimum bet, which together with the small blind will complete the amount of the minimum bet. Afterwards, the round of betting gets to the big blind who can either raise or check.
After the first round of betting is complete, the dealer places three face up cards in the center of the table. These are known as community cards and this stage of the game is called the flop. After the flop, the second round of betting begins with the player to the dealers left. The minimum bet remains 4 dollars.
When the second round of betting is done, the dealer places a fourth community card in the center of the casino table, known as the turn. Then, begins another round of betting in which the minimum bet raises to 8 dollars. This round of betting starts with the player to the dealers left. After this betting round, the dealer will place the last community card in the center of the table, which is called the river. The river is followed by the final round of betting with a minimum bet of 8 dollars.
After the last round of betting, all the remaining players are exposing their hands, known as the showdown. Each player has to use two cards of his four cards and three of the five community cards to form the highest possible five cards hand. In an Omaha high game, the player whose five card hand is the highest wins the pot.
Omaha High Low Rules
Omaha high low is played exactly like Omaha high until the showdown. In Omaha high low, the pot is split between two winners: the player who had formed the highest hand and the player who has the best low hand. If none of the players has a qualifying low hand, the player who holds the highest hand wins the entire pot.
Omaha high low is also referred to as Omaha 8 or better. It means that in order to qualify as low hand, the hand cannot contain any 8s or cards of higher value. The best possible low hand is called the wheel. A, 2, 3, 4, 5. Ace value can be either high or low and flushes and straights are disregarded.
It sometimes occurs in Omaha high low poker game that the pot splits between more than two players. It can also happen that one player, who holds both high and low hands at the same five card poker hand, wins the entire pot.