Omaha poker is the second most popular variant of poker following Texas Hold’em. And just like Texas Hold’em, when playing Omaha poker a lot of it comes down to being able to take advantage of other players’ missteps. This is why knowing the rules inside out is the first step to mastering Omaha.
Whether you have a regular deck or an artistic Chet Phillips-designed set of playing cards, any deck with a standard number of cards can be used to play Omaha. The rankings for cards and hands in Omaha are similar to Texas Hold’em and other popular variants:
• Aces are the highest cards, followed by:
• All other cards have values equal to their numbers.
The objective of any Omaha round is to get the highest possible poker combinations. Here they are in order of value:
• Royal Flush: an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and ten – all in the same suit.
• Straight Flush: any five cards in order and in the same suit.
• Four-of-a-kind: the same card in all four suits
• Full House: three-of-a-kind and a pair
• Flush: any five cards in the same suit and not in order
• Straight: any five cards in order but from different suits
• Three-of-a-kind: the same card in three suits
• Pair: the same card in two suits
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that the distribution of cards in Omaha is different from Texas Hold’em. In a guide on how to play Omaha poker, it states that there are still five community cards, but players get four hole or hand cards. When forming any combination, players can only use exactly two of those four hole cards and only three of the five community or flop cards.
With the aforementioned rules in mind, here are the basic mechanics for how each round of Omaha:
• Each player on the table gets their four hole cards.
• 1st betting round or ‘pre-flop’: players can call bets, raise bets, or choose to fold.
• Flop: The dealer reveals the first three community cards.
• 2nd betting round
• The dealer reveals the fourth community card.
• 3rd betting round
• The dealer reveals the fifth card, which is also known as the river.
• 4th and final betting round
As we mentioned above, winning at Omaha poker means taking advantage of any mistakes that your opponents make at the table. This is why it’s important to get accustomed with the rules as quick as possible, so that you can make informed decisions at the right moments. Apart from keeping this article bookmarked so you can read the rules at any time, another good way to memorize and practice leveraging the rules is by simply playing Omaha more. So break out that Avengers deck and start playing the game.
While it’s fine for veteran players to lay back and enjoy the game by playing on instincts, it’s important for beginners to play with the active intent to develop their personal strategy and style of play. By keeping in mind that you can only use two of your hole cards with three of the community cards to make hands, it will help you react to your opponent’s tells, bluffs, and other moves.
If you take some time to study the probabilities and hands in Omaha poker, you will be able to quickly decide whether you should fold, raise, call, or go all-in. In any game of skill, the rules and goals determine the best plays, and it’s no different in Omaha or any other variant of poker.