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Learn How to Play Omaha Poker

If you have already played poker at one time or another, I am sure you have heard about Omaha holdem at one time or another. Omaha poker is currently one of the most popular poker games in existence and is quickly gaining popularity to become the ultimate poker variety around. Currently, Texas holdem is the big one out there and Omaha is a game very similar to this one. In fact, the rules are not much different and the changes are slight so read below about how to play Omaha. The first thing to know is that Omaha can be played with no limit, fixed limit, pot -limit, half-pot limit and just about any other type of table rules. There are also a few variations of this game as well but we will only explain the main one.

The first concept that needs to be talked about is the blinds, which is common for almost every poker game. Basically, one player is the dealer and a dealer button or disc marker is placed next to this person. After each round, this marker moves to the next player in a clockwise fashion. The person to the left of the dealer pays the small blind and the person left of the small blind position pays the big blind. For example, in a $1/$2 stake table, the small blind is $1 and the big blind would be $2.

In many fixed games, the blind rules would be slightly different and the small limit would be half of the smaller stake or $0.50 and the big blind would be $1. These blinds are sort of like an ante or forced bet that every player must make in order to participate in the game and must be paid before anyone can be dealt any cards. I added a photo below to illustrate this concept and make it more understandable.

Omaha Poker Blinds Concept and Rules

Dealing the cards, the flop and betting rounds

Once the blinds are paid, every person is dealt 4 cards facing down, known as hole cards in Omaha Holdem. The proper way to deal out the cards is to deal the first card to the person with the small blind. The first person to wager or make action is the one just left of the big blind position. Players then call or raise in increments of the big blind value. The last person to act or make action is the big blind position, which is an advantage because they get to watch how everyone else bets and has more information to work with.

After this first round of betting, the dealer will burn a card (throw it out) and deal 3 cards known as the flop. These are community cards facing up in the center of the table and each person will use these cards in combination with 2 of their hole cards. The second round of betting will then take place and this time the person in the small blind position will be the first to act and the dealer will be the last to act with a highly advantageous position of watching everyone else before betting.

Next, a card will be burned and then the turn or forth street will then be dealt to the table, which is the forth Omaha community card. Betting continues, except the minimum bet increases to the higher stake of $2 instead. Again, the betting works the same was as it did in the previous round.

Again, another card will be burned before the final card is then dealt, also known as the river or fifth street. This is when player make their last decisions on betting or making their strongest hand. The final round of betting then commences. If there are still two or more players left after betting, a showdown will take place where the cards are shown and the winner of the pot takes the chips. There is an important rule to remember on how to play Omaha properly and that is to use only two of your four hole cards with exactly three of the five community cards in order to make the strongest five card hand possible. You may not use only 1 hole card or may not use 3 or 4 of your hole cards, but only exactly 2.

A short summary in 10 steps on how to play Omaha poker

So here is a basic summary of the different steps and rules that happen in Omaha poker:

  1. A person to the left of the dealer pays the small blind and the person to the left of the small blind position pays the big blind.
  2. The dealer deals out 4 cards facing down to each player.
  3. 1st round of betting takes place starting with small blind position.
  4. The dealer burns a card and deals the flop, three cards facing up in center of table.
  5. 2nd round of betting takes place.
  6. Dealer burns another card and deals turn card.
  7. 3rd round of betting but minimum bet size increases.
  8. Final river card is dealt.
  9. 4th and final round of betting.
  10. Showdown if two or more players remain and cards are shown.

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