Poker is a famous card game that has many variants - Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Five-card draw, Caribbean stud, Horse poker, Seven-card stud and many more. If you are familiar with the others especially the Texas Hold'em, but have less information about Omaha poker, there is nothing to worry of. This article would absolutely guide you through knowing how to play the game, understanding the rules and improving your strategy to win.
First off, Omaha belongs to the family of poker games that uses community cards. It is just another variant following similar rules of Texas Hold'em poker. It is played using the standard 52 deck of cards without using jokers or wild cards. Instead of dealing 2 hole cards like in Texas Holdem, the game rules of Omaha poker have some distinctions as to its number of cards that are required to be dealt and winning in the game. In Omaha poker, players are dealt with 4 facedown (hole) cards and 5 community cards facing-up in the table. The so-called community cards are dealt in a series of three cards (flop), one card (turn) and one card (river).
The Omaha poker rules have four rounds of betting and each player has the same options to call, raise and fold their bets based on the bets placed by the previous player, very much similar with Texas Holdem. First round is a forced betting from two players at the left side next to the dealer (button). It is referred as forced because they are considered "blinds" where these players have to lay their small bet (small blind) and big bet (big blind) respectively before they could get their hole cards.
Second round of bets is after the flop cards are dealt, and then followed by another round of bets when the turn card has been placed. The fourth round is after the river card is dealt. When all cards are dealt and the rounds of betting have been concluded, players who remained in the game go through a showdown. The purpose for the showdown is very clear, any player who shows the best cards hand wins and gets the pot.
However, appraising a winning hand in Omaha poker can be dissimilar to Texas Holdem. Winning depends on what rules of Omaha poker is applied. The Omaha type that is normally played is the high limit, wherein the player with the high ranked 5 cards hand from the combination of the 2 hole cards and 3 community cards wins solely the pot. Whilst, there is other variant of Omaha where the pot can be split in to a High and Low hand (Omaha Hi-Lo). This is where the confusion in playing Omaha begins. In this type of Omaha, the player having the high poker hand does not take all the winning pot. The Omaha poker strategy for this variant is that the player with the high hand shares the pot with a player that has a qualifying low poker hand. To qualify with a low poker hand means having 5 cards with a low ranked hand of 8 or below combining from the 2 hole cards and 3 community cards.
Overall, Omaha poker is as enjoying as Texas Holdem. Just remember the type of Omaha that is applied and understand its rules. Winning would always depend on learning, understanding and practicing thoroughly the Omaha poker rules.