Omaha game rules
Sooner or later some poker players, playing Texas Hold'em, start being interested in other types of poker, less popular but no less interesting and exciting. Today we will tell you about the rules of Omaha, which is the second most popular kind of poker.
Before you start, it will be useful to learn about the rules of Texas Hold'em, since Omaha game rules are based on them.
Origin of the game
It is believed that Omaha appeared in the seventies for the first time. Exactly then, there was a popular game in Detroit, which is now called five-card Omaha. The game was quickly becoming famous and soon spread to other states.
It is curious that the transition from 5 pocket cards to 4 has occurred by the will of the casino. Owners of gambling houses did not like that 8 people max could sit at the table, and that became the reason for changing the rules.
How to play Omaha
The rules of Omaha are similar to the Texas Hold'em rules. The betting rounds and poker combinations in Omaha are the same as in traditional Texas Hold'em; however, there are some differences:
- Players get 4 pocket cards (two more than in Hold'em)
- The player's combination must include 5 cards: two on his hands plus three community cards of the board.
How to determine the winning combination in Omaha
If you are already familiar with Hold'em rules, you can quickly master Omaha as well. Combinations in this game are identical to Hold'em, but players must use two of their pocket cards to make the combination.
For a better understanding, we’ll give an example:
Player 1: K ♥ Q ♥ J ♦ 9 ♦
Player 2: A ♥ 10 ♣ 5 ♣ 4 ♦
Board: 10 ♥ 5 ♥ 4 ♥ 7 ♥ 3 ♦
Player 1 wins with a heart flush to the king, Player 2 has collected two pairs of tens and fives. Player 2 loses though he has 5 hearts with an ace, but he has only one pocket card of hearts.
Omaha betting structure
- The maximum bet is limited by the size of the existing pot.
For example, there is $10 in a pot on a flop, if no one has shown aggression before you, then you can make a bet as big as the size of the pot – $10.
- The minimum allowed re-raise is twice more than the previous bet.
For example, there was a raise of $10 before you act, then in order to make a re-raise, you need to bet $20.
- You can choose any size between the maximum and minimum raise.
We suggest that you watch a video on how to play Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) from the well-known poker professional Daniel Negreanu:
Fixed Limit Omaha
- The size of bets is limited
For instance, a game with a limit of $10/$20. The minimum bet is $10 and the maximum bet is $20. The blinds will be $5/$10 in this game.
- It is possible to make a minimum bet on the pre-flop.
In our example, it is $10 and a raise is $20.
- It is possible to make a max bet on the turn and river
In our example, it is $20, and a raise is $40.
The fixed limit Omaha implies the maximum number of re-raises (cap). The most common limit is three re-raises but some rooms have a cap of four re-raises.
In this format, the player can put all of his chips in the center of the table on any of the betting streets.
Variations of Omaha
Five-card Omaha. It differs from the usual one only by the number of pocket cards (there are five cards instead of four).
Omaha Hi-Lo. The highest and the lowest combinations win (the lowest one should be in a range from an ace to eight).
Features of Omaha Hi-Lo game rules:
- Winning combinations of the high category in Omaha high-low are absolutely identical to the usual Omaha.
- Combinations of the low category must conform to certain requirements in order to win half of the pot. To win a low pot, your hand must consist of 5 unpaired cards from ace to eight. Aces are considered as one in low.
- Flushes and straights are not taken into account in low-combinations. This means that the best possible low-hand is A 2 3 4 5.
- Low combinations are counted from the highest card to the youngest one. Example: A 2 3 5 6 beats A 2 3 5 7.
- Any hand with a pair or with a card higher than eight cannot win a low-pot.
Courchevel poker is a variation of five-card Omaha. Its main feature is that the players see one common card on the preflop besides their 5 pocket cards. After the pre-flop betting round, two more cards are dealt, which finally form a flop and then cards (the turn and river) are dealt unaltered.
You have familiarized yourself with the basic rules and variations of Omaha. This game is full of exciting dynamics and fun. You can also get acquainted with the basic strategy of Omaha in our dedicated article. In the meantime, you can get deposit-free bonuses on 888Poker and start mastering Omaha completely free of charge!