Omaha Poker Review
Omaha Poker Review – It’s easy to see why Omaha is gaining popularity. It’s a fantastic game filled with tons of action and high-level strategy. There’s also a natural similarity to Texas Hold’em, which makes learning how to play Omaha easy for most players. The significant action Omaha is known for makes the game incredibly exciting and infinitely more attractive to both beginners and professionals alike.
Omaha Poker Review – Basic Omaha Poker Rules: If you already know Texas Hold’em Poker Rules, you also know how to play Omaha Poker more or less. Like Texas Hold’em, a full hand is played with four betting rounds. The first round of betting is preflop. The second betting round is after the flop (the first three community cards) has been dealt, starting with the player left of the button; the third betting round is after the turn (the fourth of the community cards) has been dealt, and the final betting round is after the river, (the last community card) has been dealt.
Omaha is also played in several different variants. The most common ways to play Omaha Poker are Pot Limit Omaha Hi, 5-card Omaha, 6-Card Omaha, Fixed Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. But to make it easier, let’s first focus on basic Pot Limit Omaha Hi, (most mentioned as Pot Limit Omaha), where all players are dealt four cards. Let’s get started!
Omaha Poker Review – What is Omaha Poker?
The more you play poker, the more you keep hearing how Omaha poker is the game to play to get the best action and challenge the best players. In the past ten years, Omaha poker has become one of the most popular poker variants. Some go as far as to say that Omaha poker (PLO, specifically) it’s on a trajectory to surpass Texas hold’em and become the most-played game in the world.
Part of the game’s success has to do with its rules. Like most poker games, the basics of Omaha poker are the same as those in Texas hold’em – meaning that if you know how to play one, you are in an excellent spot to play the other. When it comes to Omaha poker, there are different sub-variants out there, each with its specificities and dedicated player base.
The two most popular types of Omaha poker (i.e. those you’ll find at every major poker site) are:
- Pot-limit Omaha (PLO)
- Omaha hi-lo
This guide on how to play Omaha poker focuses on pot-limit Omaha (PLO) poker, one of the most played games of the year and probably the most straightforward version of the game to learn as a beginner.
If that’s not what you are looking for or you are already fluent in PLO poker, you can read about Omaha hi-lo poker rules here. After reading our Omaha Poker review, you can go and test your new skills at Azur Casino!
Omaha Poker Review – How To Play Omaha Poker?
You’ll need a 52-card deck to play an Omaha poker game. Also, unless you are in for an old-fashioned game with beans, buttons, and pennies, you’ll need some poker chips, a dealer button, and two blinds buttons.
A game of Omaha poker needs two to ten players to begin. Want to up your home games? Use this collection of all the best poker chip sets on Amazon to organize the perfect matches of Omaha poker at home!
Like in other poker games, the action of a hand of Omaha poker includes several betting rounds and a combination of private (‘hole’) and community cards (‘the board). The first thing you want to remember when learning to play Omaha poker is the names of the different phases that compose a hand.
- The pre-flop: The initial betting round. Some players (the ‘Blinds’) are obliged to place a bet, while the others can decide wether to call, fold, or raise.
- The flop: The second betting round. The players still in hand decide how to act once the dealer places the first three community cards on the board, face up.
- The turn: The third betting round. The players still in hand decide how to act once the dealer places one more community card on the board, face up.
- The river: The last betting round. The players still in hand decide how to act once the dealer places the last five community cards on the board, face up.
- The showdown: The players still in hand reveal their cards.
Omaha Poker Review – Preflop Action
The Big Blind (BB) and the Small Blind (SB) place their bets on the table so the action can start. The dealer distributes four cards to each player, and all face down. As we will see later, this is one of the key differences between Omaha and Texas Hold’em poker. The first betting round begins as soon as all the cards reach the respective players. The first player to act is at the left of the Big Blind (table position: ‘Under the Gun’ or UTG).
The action continues clockwise until it reaches the Big Blind. All players have the following options:
- Call: They place a bet equal to the size of the Big Blind (or to the highest bet placed before them, in case someone in hand decided to raise).
- Raise: They increase the bet making it more expensive for other players to stay in hand.
- Fold: They give back the card and leave the hand.
Omaha Poker Review – The Flop
The dealer places three cards on the board, and all face up. These are the first of five series that the players need to use to build their final poker hand. As soon as the three cards are on the table, a new betting round begins. The Flop betting round is identical to the previous one.
Omaha Poker Review – The Turn
The dealer places one more card on the board, again facing up. All the players still in hand enter a new betting round that develops precisely as the previous one.
Omaha Poker Review – The River
The dealer places the last community card on the table, face up, and a new betting round follows. If there are still two or more players in hand, the action continues to the final chapter (the ‘Showdown). If most player fold, the hand goes to the last one standing.
Omaha Poker Review – The Showdown
The players in hand turn their hands over and use at most two of their hole cards in combination with any of the five on the board to build a five-card poker hand. The player with the highest poker hand is the one who wins the hand and takes down the pot. And here’s where most beginners get in trouble.
Players that are just starting to learn how to play this game and are not too familiar with the Omaha poker rules tend to make many mistakes when it comes to building five-card hands.
Omaha Poker Review – Omaha Poker Hands
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