Omaha Hold'em

Omaha Hold’em

Omaha Hold’em is one of the most popular games in the poker industry right next to Texas Hold’em. The game requires a little bit more experience at playing poker than Texas Hold’em due to the amount of cards that are drawn to each player. It is uncertain when and where it was originated, but it is a fact that this is a variation derived from Texas Hold’em. However, Omaha is not that known by the small player and the tables, especially online, are mostly inexperienced players who are trying to find out how the game works. This particular fact makes the amount of money and hence winnings at the table are somehow higher than in other poker games.

Basic Rules of Omaha Hold’em

In Omaha Hold’em each player receives 4 cards facing downwards. It is part of the game group known as community games as it share the same Texas Hold’em 5 community cards. These community cards are drawn in the center of the table and are placed facing up for everyone to see and use. However, unlike Texas Hold’em were you have to make the best possible combination of the 7 cards on the table; at Omaha you must use 2 of your 4 cards and 3 cards of the community cards. This is a mandatory rule. Due to this some players confuse a bit when they think they have a good hand using 1 or 3 of their cards. The normal poker hand rankings are used in this variation of the game, also known as Omaha Hi. There are other variations of the game but the most popular is Omaha Hi/Lo that you can find here.

Table Positions

Just like in Texas Hold’em the positions in the table determine 3 players that are the identifiers of the action in a game. There is a dealer, which is normally identified by white button chip with a “D” on top. From this position, the next 2 players clockwise will be described as small blind and big blind, respectively. The blinds are mandatory bets to force the action into the tables. Once a hand is over, the dealer button will be moved to the left one space as well as the blinds. The idea behind this is forcing each player make a bet and avoids players from folding continuously without placing action.

Betting Rounds

Opening: This is the starting round of the game, each player in the blinds positions are obligated to place them in front of them. Once this is done, each player receives 4 cards, starting by the small blind and moving clockwise until the dealer and the rest of the player in the table receive the 4 cards. These cards are to be seen by the player only. As soon as each player has their hole cards, a betting round starts based on the strength or decision of the player. Since the blinds are placed, the minimum amount to play is defined by the big blind; therefore, the following player to the left of the big blind will be the first to act. Once there are no further increasing bets, the action continues with the next round.

Flop: This is the second betting round of the game. 3 cards are drawn and faced upwards in the middle of the table. These are the community cards and are to be used by everyone that is still in the hand. Once again, it is important to know that 2 of your 4 cards are to be used to make the best poker hand out of 5 cards. Here starts a betting round starting with the small blind, in case he is no longer in the hand the following player clockwise will be the one who starts the action. Once all players have made their plays, the following round can start.

Turn: This is the third betting round of the game, 1 additional card is taken out of the deck and is placed in the middle next to the flop. Just like the cards next to them this card is to be used by all players and it’s facing up. Once the card is drawn, the betting action starts just like in the flop with the next available player to the left of the small blind or the small blind if the player in this position is still playing. Once the bets are over and the players involved decide their curse of action, the final round can start.

River: This is the fourth and last betting round of the game. A final card is taken from the deck, and place just next to the flop and the turn, completing the community cards and is to be used by all players still in the hand. A betting round starts and once it is over it is time to declare a winner If necessary. The showdown is the part of the game where the players must show their hands, the player with the strongest ranked poker hand in the table wins the pot. In the event several pots are in the hand, the players competing for a specific pot will face each other to get the chips in such pot; therefore, several winners can be declared in a single hand.

If at any moment only one player is left with action before the showdown, he is awarded with all chips in the pot and he is given the option to show his cards or not. If he chooses not to, it is known as mucking.

Table Limits (Stakes)

Just like in Texas Hold’em there are stakes that define the minimum, and in some cases the maximum bets at an Omaha game. The limits also define the blinds to be placed by the players in this position during the opening round. The small blind is half the amount of the lower limit and the big blind is half the amount of the upper limit. The limits are present in lower and upper divided by a “/”. For example a $1/$2 table, where the blinds are going to be $0.50 (small blind) and $1 (big blind). They also estipulate the minimum bets at a table. Opening and flop go by the lower limit and the turn and river go by the upper limit.

Betting Limits

There are several limits that are used at Omaha, although the most common one is Pot Limit.

Fixed Limit: The minimums and maximums are set by the table limits, you can bet the lower limit during the opening and the flop. You can bet the upper limit during the turn and the river.

Pot Limit: In this modality of the game, you can bet a minimum defined by the stakes and a maximum up to the pot at the moment of your action.

No Limit: During this type of game, you can bet a minimum set by the table stakes and a maximum up to the amount of money you hold in the table.