Omaha Poker Basics
This lesson about Omaha Poker basics is taught as an alternative to
Texas Holdem prominently featured on TV and poker tournaments. Omaha
Poker is actually one of the most popular poker games in casinos and
tournaments, second only to Texas Holdem. Omaha Poker basics are not
that different from Texas Holdem, so players of one game can easily
learn the concept of playing the other.
The difference between the two is that Omaha Poker allows players to
create a hand out of nine available cards, whereas Texas Holdem allows
Often, Omaha is played as a Hi-Lo game where the best and lowest hands
in the game split the pot between themselves. This grants more
opportunities to win and convinces players to stay in a game that
would be unfavorable if it were Holdem.
The Hi-Lo game is also known as Omaha Poker Hi-Lo Spli
t or 8-Or-Better
Game Rules: Omaha Poker Basics
Omaha basics are not difficult to learn, since the standard rules apply
as to which hands are better or worse. Unlike Texas Holdem where
players are dealt two hole cards, players are dealt four in Omaha to
make the best hand.
Be warned, though--being dealt 4 cards does not give you 2 extra hands,
it gives you 6. You must use at least 2 of your hole cards and any 3 of
the 5 cards on board to make the best hand. Hands are ranked in the
same way as Holdem that being Royal Flush as top hand down to High Card
You will discover that Omaha can be volatile and bad beats can happen
Once you have learned Omaha Poker basics, you can try playing at a low
bet table until you become more familiar with the game. Play around
with Pot Limit and Fixed Limit tables, as well as Hi/Lo tables. Knowing
the foundation of the game is important, but because much of Omaha
Poker game play is based upon your fellow players, you need to learn
how to read them and when to bluff.
The Deal: Omaha Poker Basics
The dealer begins by dealing each player 4 hole/pocket cards. With
those cards in hand, each player will place a bet, often with a lower
limit because so much can change once the flop is down on the table.
The next cards to enter play are the first three of the flop. These are
community cards that each player will use to complete his or her hand.
Any player can use these cards to create a solid hand.
The second round of betting begins after the flop, and since there are
still 2 more cards to enter play, betting will likely stay low.
Another community card is turned over by the dealer. This card is
called the turn, and it will initiate a third round of betting, which
generally has a higher limit, since all but 1 of the cards in play is
either on the table or in players' hands.
One final community card is turned face-up, this one is known as the
river, and this card is often what makes or breaks a good hand at Omaha
Poker, just as it does in Texas Holdem.
The final round of betting follows the river, and this round has the
The Showdown: Omaha Poker Basics
In an Omaha Poker showdown, the players must use two of their pocket
cards and three community board cards to make their best five card
hand. The player holding the best five-card hand is the winner.
Similar to Texas Holdem following the turn and then the river, many
players may fold based on the belief they do not have a hand strong
enough to beat a challenge. Other players may believe fellow players
are bluffing, and take a risk on a low hand.
Additionally, with Hi-Lo Omaha Poker, even players with incredibly low
hands that would not win otherwise may stick with the game to the end
because they are counting on that Lo pot. This can leave more players
in the game than would be in a traditional Texas Holdem match-up.
Tips and Strategies: Omaha Poker Basics
Cards count in Omaha poker. You must use at least 2 of your hole cards.
While in Texas Holdem, you may get away with playing only the community
cards on the table or using those with just one of your cards to make a
great hand; that is not the case in Omaha Poker.
For example, the community board holds 4 clubs and you have the Ace of
clubs in hand while the rest of your cards hold no value. As you have
not used 2 hole cards, you do not have a flush.
Another example is a king and an ace in your hole cards, and two kings
and two queens are on the table. You will not have a full house, but
rather three kings with an ace kicker. This is the most difficult
changeover for Omaha if you come from a Holdem background where you
don't need to play any of your cards.
Therefore, a great flop does not mean a sure thing, or does having four
great hole cards. There are many hand options available for your
opponents, with each having nine cards in play.
With Omaha Poker basics, it is wise to remember that if there is even
one pair on the board, the odds that one of your opponents could have a
full house are very high.
Hi-Lo Omaha Poker Version:
With Hi-Lo Omaha Poker, there are two pots for players to win. The Lo
pot goes to the person with the lowest hand, consisting of two hole
cards and three community cards. Flushes, straights and pairs don't
count for the Lo pot, so the very best hand a person could have would
be to have a non-flush Ace to five.
The Hi pot is the more traditional pot, going to the player with the
A more detailed lesson of Hi-Lo Omaha follows this Omaha basics lesson.
If you have ever played poker, and especially if you have ever played
Texas Holdem, Omaha Poker basics should be easy for you to learn and
makes for a genuinely fun and challenging casino game. With all of the
possibilities to win, not only do your chances of getting a good hand
increase, but your competitors do as well. This makes reading your
opponents very important.
See Gambling Teachers bluffing lesson.
basics is followed by Omaha Advanced
How to Play
Poker 1 Program
Poker Games 2 with 7 Game Types
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