Poker School

How to play Omaha Poker

Omaha Poker is very similar to Texas Holdem Poker. So if one is familiar with the rules of Texas Hold'em poker, it is very easy to learn Omaha Poker. Just like Texas Hold'em, Omaha poker also consists of "Flop", "Turn" and "River". However, unlike Texas Hold'em each player is dealt with four "hole" cards instead of two. Out of these four cards, two cards must be combined with any three cards to make the strongest 5-card hand.

How to Play Omaha Poker

Cards

Once the "hole" cards have been dealt, each player is then dealt with five "community" cards in the following rounds. These "community" cards are dealt face-up on the table to all the players. "Community" cards are dealt in three different rounds during a game. The first three cards are called "Flop", the fourth is called the "Turn" and the fifth or the final card is called the "River". As mentioned earlier, each player tries to combine these "community" cards with two of their "hole" cards to make the strongest hand.

Position and Blinds

Once again just like in Texas Hold'em, each hand in Omaha Poker starts with two blinds. Blinds are the forced bets made by the first two players to the left of the dealer for the sole purpose of stimulating the game. The first blind is called the "Big Blind" and the next blind to its left is called the "Small Blind". The "Big Blind" puts in chips equal to the minimum bet whereas, the "Small Blind" puts in chips that is equal to the half of minimum bet.

Actions or Acts

The player next to the "Big Blind" is known as "First to Act". Just like the name suggests, he or she is the first player at the table to make a move. The rest of the actions at the table depend upon the action made by the "First to Act" position. The "First to Act" player has three move options: Call, Fold, and Raise.

By clicking the "Call" button, the player pushes the forced bet made by the "Big Blind", which is the minimum bet at the table. By clicking on the "Fold" button, the player folds his card without calling on the bet. The "Raise" button is used when the player intends to make a bet larger than the "Big Blind". These three options are available to all the players at the table except for the "Big Blind" player. If no other player at the table makes a raise on the minimum bet, the "Big Blind" player is offered with an extra fourth move option which is called "Check".

A check made by the "Big Blind" initiates the "Flop", the first three cards on the table from the total 5-table cards. Once "Flop" is dealt faced-up on the table, all of the above acts will be available for the player making the first move.

Showdown

Once the betting for the fourth round has been finalized, the showdown takes place. The four cards of every player who still remain in the game will be shown to everyone. Among the remaining players, the player holding the strongest hand wins the whole pot. In case two or more players have hands of equal strength, the pot will be 'split' equally among the players in tie.

However, if the final betting round is not finalized, as in the case, when one player made a bet or did a raise and no one called, the pot will be awarded to the player who made the uncalled bet. If this happens in the previous rounds, the player wins the pot right away and no more community cards are dealt at the table.

At times scenarios arise where the players run out of chips even before the betting rounds are over. In such situations, one or more side pots will be created and will be distributed to the concerned player. Even if a player push All-in pre-flop, the game continues till the showdown if much higher raises and bets are made.

Since in Omaha Poker two out of the four hole cards must be involved in the best 5-card hand, playing the board is not possible in Omaha Poker. In case if all the players are playing the board, the pot will be split equally among the players at the table.

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