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Omaha poker rules
There are several different variants of Omaha. On this page, we focus on the rules for Omaha Hi – a type of Omaha where the aim is to get the highest possible poker hand. Towards the end of the page, you will also find some information regarding Omaha Hi/Lo rules.
Basic information about Omaha Hi
- Omaha Hi is played with a standard (French) 52 card deck. No jokers or other wild cards are used.
- Omaha Hi is a poker game with community cards.
- Each player get four individual cards (the hole cards) at the start of a round. You should look at your hole cards, but not show them to any of the other players.
- There are five community cards in Omaha Hi. They are dealt 3 + 1 + 1. The initial three community cards are called the flop. The fourth community card is called turn and the fifth community card is called the river.
- You aim is to form the best possible five card poker hand using two hole cards and three community cards. This rule is not flexible. You are for instance not allowed to form a hand using three hole cards and two community cards.
Start of the game
- At the start of the game, the player seated left of the dealer button posts the small blind and the player seated left of the small blind posts the big blind. Small blind and big blind are two mandatory wagers used to get the pot going. The practice of having this type of mandatory wagers is found in many different poker variants, not just Omaha Hi.
- Each player will receive their four hole cards. The cards are dealt face down. You should look at your own cards, while keeping them a secret for the other players.
- The first betting round takes place, starting with the player seated left of the big blind. He or she will fold or make a wager. The betting round will then continue with the next player to the left, and so on, until the betting round is finished.
- The dealer will now place three community cards face up on the table. This is the flop.
- A new betting round will take place. The first player to act is the one who posted the small blind earlier. (Big blind and small blind are only posted for the initial betting round. The following betting rounds have no mandatory wagers. Any player is allowed to fold instead of making a wager.)
- The dealer will now place the fourth community card face up on the table. This card is known as the turn.
- A betting round will follow for any players that are still in the game.
- The dealer will place the fifth community card face up on the table. This is the last community card and it is called the river.
- A final betting round will take place.
- If there are two or more players left in the game, a showdown will take place where they players show their cards.As mentioned above, your poker hand must consists of two of your hole cards and three community cards. If you are used to playing Texas Hold’em, this can take some time getting used to.
Example: There are four clubs and one heart on the table, and you hole cards are one club, one heart, one spade and once ace. In Texas Hold’em, this would give you a Flush since you would combine the four community clubs with your own club and make a five card poker hand consisting of clubs only. In Omaha Hi, this is not possible since you must use two of your hole cards and three community cards.
Omaha Hi/Lo rules
Omaha Hi/Lo is similar to Omaha Hi, but with one big difference – the prize pot will be shared by the highest five card poker hand and the lowest five card poker hand. (It is possible for the same player to take both halves of the prize pot.) Just as in Omaha Hi, you must use two hole cards and three community cards to form your five card poker card. For a low hand to qualify in Omaha Hi/Lo, it must also consist of five cards where no card is higher than eight and there is no pair, three of a kind or four of a kind. The best possible low hand is thus A-2-3-4-5. (If the hand happens to be a flush, this will not cause it to be more or less valuable in this context.)
When two low-hands are compared in Omaha Hi/Lo, the hand with the highest card lose.
Example: A-2-3-4-7 will lose to 2-3-4-5-6, since seven is higher than six.
- If the two highest cards are of the same value, the two second highest cards will be compared, and so on.
- If more than one player has the lowest hand, the part of the prize pot that is reserved for the lowest hand will be shared among these players.
- If more than one player has the highest hand, the part of the prize pot that is reserved for the highest hand will be shared among these players.