At first glance, you may not think that Omaha is that different from Texas Hold ‘Em but there is more than enough differences to make this poker discipline extremely worthwhile. The most obvious difference comes with the fact that a player receives four hole cards with Omaha as opposed to the two that they would receive with Texas Hold ‘Em. However, players are only permitted to use two of their four hole cards when making up their poker hand. The other three cards in the hand must be made from the community cards that are available. Like with Texas Hold ‘Em, there are five community cards sitting on the table face up, available for all players to use.
Omaha is split into four different rounds of betting and this betting takes place in a clockwise fashion. The first round of betting with the player directly left from the dealer and then starts at the player further left with every new betting round. This ensures that the responsibility of starting the bet doesn’t fall on the same player and it ensures the same player doesn’t always have the benefit of making their bet the last of the round.
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The run of the standard Omaha game is as follows. The game starts with the Blinds, where the two players sat at the left of the dealer will place bets that are blind. This is down to the fact that these bets are made without seeing community cards. The blinds are carried out to ensure that there is money placed in to the pot once the game begins. The player that is sat at the left of the dealer will make the small blind and then the player to the left of this player will make the big blind.
The next stage is the pre-flop and occurs when players receive their four hole cards. The player to the left of the player that made the big blind is required to make the first bet and they are referred to as being “under the gun.” This player can call, which equates to equalling the bet of the big blind, raise the bet by placing in more money than what was in the big blind or fold, whey they drop out of this game.
Once the betting round has come to the player that played the big blind bet, they can check or they can remaining in the game, without having to place more into the pot. Although, if another player has raised, the big blind player can fold, call or re-raise.
After this, three community cards are placed on to the table facing upwards and this is the flop round. The second round of betting begins. After this is the turn, where a fourth community card is placed on to the table and another round of betting takes place. After this is the river, where the fifth and final community card is placed on to the table and then the final betting round takes place.
After this, the showdown takes place if there is more than one player remaining in the game. The players will reveal their hands and the player with the strongest hand is the winner.
Omaha Hi/Lo follows the same pattern to Omaha but has a difference with respect to how the game is won. In the showdown, the poker player who hands the best highest level hand will take half the pot and the player with the best lowest level hand will take the other half. It is possible for a player to hold the best high and low hands. If there is no player with a low hand, the player who holds the best high hand will take the whole pot.
The flow of the game is exactly the same as Omaha but players will obviously need to focus on producing poker hands that have high and low elements.