How to Play Poker - Poker Games
|Cards dealt to each player||4 concealed|
|Community cards dealt||5|
|Number of betting rounds||4|
Raise or fold
|Blinds or antes||Blinds|
In Omaha, you get four hole cards, cards that the other players cannot see. Then, successively during the hand, five cards are dealt face up on the board. They are community cards that all players can use to put together a five card poker hand.
When all cards are out, you must use two of your hole cards and combine them with three community cards in order to form the best possible poker hand.
Omaha is played with blinds. Before the cards are dealt, two players to the left of the dealer post a small and a big blind to create a starting pot.
When the blinds have been posted, each player is dealt four cards face down, the hole cards.
Then the first betting round takes place, starting with the player to the left of the big blind.
When the first betting round is finished, three cards are dealt face up on the table. They are called "the flop".
Then the second betting round takes place, starting with the first player to the left of the dealer who is still in the hand.
The turn (fourth street)
After the second betting round, the fourth community card is dealt. It is called the turn.
The third betting round takes place, starting with the first player to the left of the dealer who is still in the hand.
The river (fifth street)
The fifth and last community card is called the river. Now the hand is concluded by the fourth and last betting round, again starting with the first player to the left of the dealer who is still in the hand.
If more than one player remains in the hand after the betting, there is a showdown.
Four of a kind – an easy fold! In Omaha, picking up your four hole cards and seeing a monster hand is not that great, since you can only use two of them. If, for example, your hole cards are four kings, you do not have four of a kind! As a matter of fact, you cannot even make three of a kind, since no king can come on the board.
Or, if you have four hearts, your chances of making a flush are worse than if you had had only two hearts. If you have two hearts and two spades in your hand, your flush chances are even better.
So, do not be fooled when you look down at a fantastic hand in Omaha.
Big straight draws
After the flop in Texas Hold'em, a made hand (such as three of a kind) is usually the favourite against a drawing hand (such as four cards to a straight). In Omaha, this is not the case, since there are so many ways of making a really good hand. With these draws, you can put in a lot of bets.
For example, if you hold T-9-6-5 and in the flop come K-8-7, there are 20 cards that will make you a straight if they came on the turn or river: four fours, three fives, three sixes, three nines, three tens, and four jacks.
With Ah-Ks-Th-9s and a flop of Qh-Jh-3c, there are 22 cards that would make you either a straight or a flush. 16 cards would make you a straight: four eights, three nines, three tens, three kings, and three aces. The nine remaining hearts would give you a flush, but three of them have already been counted, since they also give you a straight: the 8h, 9h, and Kh.
In both these cases, you have equal or better chances than a player who made three of a kind on the flop.
Starting hands with connecting cards
With four cards, there are much more combinations than with two cards. Since all four cards can be combined with any of the other three cards, an Omaha hand is not like two Texas hands, it is like six. So, in Omaha, look out for hands where all four cards connect in some way.