Introduction to Omaha Poker
by Greg Cavouras  

Derived from Texas Hold’em, Omaha is a very similar game, but involves a slightly different approach. The main differences between the two games are:

a) In Omaha, each player receives 4 hole cards, as opposed to Texas Hold’em where each player only receives 2 hole cards


b) A player’s hand in Omaha requires that he/she use EXACTLY two of their hole cards, and EXACTLY three of the community cards, forming a 5 card poker hand from the 9 available cards. A player’s top hand must meet these two requirements, so unlike Texas Hold’em you may not “play the board”.


The action in Omaha starts off the same as Hold’em, with the two players to the dealer’s left placing the small and big blinds. Each player is dealt four hole cards face down, and the initial round of betting commences, beginning with the player to the big blind’s immediate left. Betting proceeds around the table and once all bets have been settled, one card is burnt and three community cards are displayed face up. As in Texas Hold’em, this set of community cards is known as the flop. After this is done, another round of betting occurs, this time starting from the dealer’s immediate left. Once this round of betting is concluded, a card is burnt, and the fourth community card- the Turn- is dealt face up. Another round of betting occurs, again beginning to the left of the dealer, and upon conclusion, another card is burnt, and the final community card- the Flop- is displayed. At this point, the final round of betting takes place, and after all bets have been settled, the remaining players compare hands and determine who wins the hand.


The winner in Omaha is the player who forms the best five card hand comprised of exactly two of their hole cards, and three of the community cards. Hands are ranked in the standard poker fashion, with High Card being the lowest, and a Royal Flush being the highest. Note that as in Texas Hold’em, only the player’s best FIVE card hand counts, and the value of the unused two hole cards will bear absolutely no influence on hand ranking- however if Kickers apply within the five card hand, they will of course determine the victor from two equally ranked hands.

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