One thing that shows how popular poker is in the world is the fact that there are tons of variations in the game.
It is very difficult to keep track of each poker variant, so naturally, some games are more popular than others. In that line, it is very easy to see just why Omaha poker is such a popular game in each online casino in the world.
If you decide to play Omaha poker online, you won’t be short of a thrill, which is guaranteed. Moreover, the game is very similar to Texas Hold’em poker, which makes it even easier to learn for newbies.
Therefore, this BestPoker article will focus on the Omaha poker rules and all the details surrounding the game.
What is Omaha Poker
The more you are into poker games, the more you will realize that Omaha is the right one to get all the action and win good money.
Omaha poker games have become very popular in the past decade, and some experienced punters would even say that it is a better and more exciting game than Texas Hold’em poker.
Part of the reason why the Omaha game is very popular is the simplicity of its rules. As mentioned above, the basics of Omaha poker games are very similar to Texas Hold’em. If you know how the rules of the latter, you will have no problem at all playing Omaha.
Of course, there are different Omaha poker game variations, with each of them having a specific structure and player base.
The two most popular types of Omaha poker you can play for real money in established online gambling sites are:
- Pot Limit Omaha
- Omaha Hi-Low
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these two Omaha variants
How to Play Omaha Poker
Learning how to play Omaha poker is very simple. For that reason, we at BestPoker.com have focused on providing a straightforward guide on the essentials of the two versions of Omaha above. Let’s see this in more detail.
Pot Limit Omaha
So, unlike Texas Hold’em, where there is no maximum bet or any kind of limit, here we are talking about a fixed-limit Omaha poker variant. Games of this type are referred to as pot-limit Omaha or PLO poker.
Another difference with Texas Hold’em is that in pot-limit Omaha, players are dealt four-hole cards instead of two.
However, you won’t get to use all of these hole cards to make the best possible hand, as you can only use two of them. You have to use two hole cards in combination with three community cards to make the best possible five-card hand.
Another thing to note when playing pot limit Omaha is the name of the different phases when composing a hand:
- The pre-flop – this is the first betting round in the game. Some players have to place a minimum bet, while others can decide whether to call, fold or raise.
- The flop – this is now the second betting round in Omaha pot limit. The dealer hands out the first three community cards and players still in the game decide their next action.
- The turn – now, this is the third betting round in the game. You will see the dealer placing another community card on the table, and you need to decide what to do next.
- The river – this is the final betting round, with the dealer placing the last community cards on the table. Once again, you decide your next action based on the card.
- The showdown – the most exciting part of the game, as the betting rounds are now done and all players need to show their cards
Speaking of popular poker variants, Omaha Hi-Lo is another variant that needs to be mentioned. If you learned how to play and win Omaha poker pot limit, you have nothing to worry about for this version.
As you would guess by the name of the game, Omaha Hi-Lo is a game where players need to compete for both the high and the low parts of the pot.
This game is very often played with fixed maximum and minimum bet at online poker sites. Similar to other Omaha games, here, you will be dealt four cards. You will need to use two of them in combination with three community cards to make the best possible hand.
Of course, if every other player folds before the showdown or any other round of betting, you will win the pot without showing your poker hand.
If not, the final bet will be called and all Omaha poker players will need to show their cards to see which one has the better high and low. These players will win one-half of the pot.
The high poker hands in this version of the game are determined with the same hand rankings as other variants.
However, if you are new to the game and you look for poker rules for beginners, you will need a bit of explanation for the low hand.
All of the cards you have when looking to comprise a low hand need to be 8 or lower. The ace here is also considered a low card. You need to have five unpaired cards from 8 to below to secure a low hand in this version of Omaha.
Finally, it doesn’t matter if your lowest five cards are a straight or a flush, you still have a low hand.
If you are still unsure about the above-mentioned rules, you can always try out demo versions of the game in our list of free poker sites.
Best Omaha Poker Hands
Now that we have explained the basic rules to play Omaha poker and each betting round, let’s see what can be considered a good poker hand.
Four cards working together
First off, in Omaha poker, you need to have four-hole cards that will work together. When you get the additional two, you will have much more possibilities than playing Texas Hold’em poker.
The Omaha rules stipulate that hands that work together are very powerful. They can get you straight draws, flush or full houses.
One general rule to note when thinking of the best starting hand is that cards of different suits are no good at all.
With all of the above-mentioned in mind, the best poker hands in Omaha don’t contain cards known as Danglers. They are basically cards that don’t contribute anything to the rest of the hand.
Should you play poker online tournaments, you might be best advised to fold if you have one card that doesn’t have any value in your hand.
When it comes to blockers in Omaha, there is one striking difference to Hold’em. In Omaha games, we refer to blockers as cards that can hinder your chance to secure a win.
Once you start to play poker with friends online, you will notice that none of the best pre-flop hands in Omaha has more than a pair. A third card is redundant here, as you only need to use two for a combination, and that is what we call a blocker card.
Finally, some of the best possible Omaha hands are known as rundowns. As an example, if you hold a J, T, 9, 8, the best type of rundown is double-suited.
These hands in Omaha flop a lot of wraps, and a wrap draw is a straight draw that has plenty of outs – up to 20.
It might be difficult at the beginning for you to get familiar with all these different poker terms. However, once you start playing the game for real money, you will immediately get a grip on it all.
Omaha Poker Strategy
Assuming that you have already learned how to play Omaha poker, you might need some strategy guidelines next.
Once again, that is where we at BestPoker come in. Below, is our short list of the best Omaha poker strategies you can use when playing the game anywhere.
Don’t Overestimate Your Hand
Let’s begin with the basics here. The value of a good hand in Omaha is reduced compared to Texas Hold’em, so you cannot get carried away.
The strongest hand in the flop has a small advantage over the other four random cards. Therefore, it is a good idea to bet the minimum here to stay in the hand.
Don’t Get Carried Away With The Hole Cards
Once you are dealt your four hands, you might see that you can have a straight and your instincts may fool you into betting more.
However, don’t get instantly carried away to bet, as you will need to discard two of the hole cards you have.
Don’t Forget About Your Discarded Cards
Let’s use an example here. You are dealt two aces, a king and a queen. In this scenario, you will likely play the two aces.
However, remember that you can continue playing knowing that at least one king and one queen are already out of the game. For this reason, you instantly have a much stronger hand, to begin with.
Omaha Poker Calculator
A very useful and good Omaha poker app you can have is the Omaha poker calculator. It works very simply as it calculates your chances of having a winning hand.
These calculators will run any scenario that is possible at the poker tables, and you will be able to see your odds of emerging victorious.
The best poker calculators will give you the exact odds for each player in each round of betting in any Omaha variant.
You will likely just need to click on any card or hand and the odds calculator. You might need to wait a few seconds for each scenario to be calculated, but that is nothing compared to what you get in return.
Omaha Poker Tips
At the end of this article, we can take a closer look at some of the recommended BestPoker poker tips you can use when you play Omaha for real money.
The Position is Important
Similar to other poker games, table positions are very important in Omaha. This goes especially for the pot limit Omaha game.
Based on your position, you can follow each move your opponents make and base your decision on that information.
A benefit of being in position is that you can control the size of the pot according to the strength of your hand.
Always Have a Cheat Sheet
Similar to odds calculators, another tip that we can mention here is to always have a poker cheat sheet. It will help you a lot with your betting structures, and it is essentially your risk-to-reward ratio.
Thanks to poker tools like this, you will know whether to fold or call based on the opponent’s bet, so it is always handy to have a cheat sheet.
The Art of Bluffing
You might get the impression that bluffing is very important in Omaha, but that is not always the case.
Experienced Omaha punters will bet big draws heavily on the flop. On certain occasions, these draws are favourites against made hands.
Some players will bluff in Omaha, but there are so many hand possibilities in the game with your hole cards and community cards on the table. This means that you need to be very careful when choosing whether to bluff or not.
Frequently asked questions
What is Omaha-style poker?
Omaha poker is a very similar game to Texas Hold’em. However, players in Omaha get four cards instead of two, and they need to make the best possible combination with two of them plus three of the community cards.
Why do they call it Omaha poker?
When this four-card game was introduced, it was instantly called Omaha for emphasizing the fact that players will need two cards from their initial four-hole cards that needed to be used.
Is Omaha harder than Hold’em?
There is not so much pre-flop betting and raising in Omaha as is in Texas Hold’em. That doesn’t mean that Omaha is an easy game, but if you learn the basics of Hold’em, you have nothing to worry about for Omaha.
What are the best starting Omaha poker hands?
Well, a couple of examples of good Omaha starting hands would be AAKK double-suited to the ace, and AAJT double-suited.