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Home: Poker: Omaxa

Omaha: Set-up and Play (short version)

Introduction

Omaha is a community card game with four betting rounds.

Game Play

  1. One player is the dealer; this position is called the button (the dealer position moves clockwise after every hand).
  2. The two players to the left of the dealer are the small blind and the big blind. They are the only players who have money in the pot before the cards are dealt.
  3. Every player receives four cards face down, called hole cards.
  4. The first betting round begins with the player sitting to the left of the big blind and continues clockwise.
  5. When the first betting round is finished three community cards are flipped face up on the table, this is called the flop.
  6. The second round of betting begins with the first player left of the button and who is still in the hand. The betting continues clockwise.
  7. When the second round of betting is finished a fourth community card is flipped face up on the table, this is called the turn.
  8. The third round of betting begins with the first player left of the button and who is still in the hand. The betting continues clockwise and the bets are doubled on the turn.
  9. When the third round of betting is finished a fifth community card is flipped face up on the table, this is called the river.
  10. The fourth round of betting begins with the first player left of the button and who is still in the hand. The betting continues clockwise.

How to make a hand

In order to make a hand the players combine their hole cards with the community cards on the board to make the best 5-card poker hand. One must use two of the hole cards and three of the community cards when making a hand.

Example

Omaha

Hole Cards A   Hole Cards B
 

 
The Flop The Turn The River
   

 
Final hand A   Final hand B

Full house (aces full of fives)
 
Flush (ace high)

Action begins


 

Action ends

Ranking of hands

  1. Straight flush (the best straight flush: A-K-Q-J-T all of the same suit)
  2. Four of a kind (the best four of a kind: A-A-A-A-K)
  3. Full house (the best full house: A-A-A-K-K)
  4. Flush (the best flush: any ace high flush)
  5. Straight (the best straight: A-K-Q-J-T)
  6. Three of a kind (the best three of a kind: A-A-A-K-Q)
  7. Two pair (the best two pair: A-A-K-K-Q)
  8. One pair (the best one pair: A-A-K-Q-J)
  9. No pair (the best high hand: A-K-Q-J-9)

Omaha: How to make a hand

The difference between Texas Hold'em and Omaha

There are two major differences between Texas Hold'em and Omaha. First of all, in Omaha each player receives four hole cards rather than two. Second of all, one must use two (exactly two) of the four hole cards, along with three (exactly three) of the cards on the board (the community cards), when making a hand. In Hold'em it is possible to use one, two or none (play the board) of the hole cards.

This article intends to clarify how this seemingly small difference sets Omaha apart from Hold'em as an entirely separate game.

Examples

Example 1

The board: 10h-7s-2h-3h-Kh

In Hold'em: those players holding a Heart now have a flush. Any player holding the Ah now holds the nuts (the best possible hand), the Qh will give the second nuts, and so forth.

In Omaha: any player holding a flush must have at least two Hearts amongst his hole cards. You do not hold a flush if your hand contains only one Heart. Any Ah-xh-x-x combination will be the nut hand.

Example 2

The board: 7h-8h-9s-Tc-Jd

In Hold'em: every player holds a straight 7-J. Any player holding a Q has a straight (8-Q), and any player holding a KQ has the nuts (a straight 9-K).

In Omaha: You must use two cards from your hand to complete a straight. A 5-6-x-x makes the lowest straight (5-9), a K-Q-x-x makes the highest straight (9-K). A 7-8-x-x, 8-9-x-x, 9-T-x-x, T-J-x-x, J-7-x-x, and so forth, completes the J-high straight. Any Q-J-x-x, Q-T-x-x, Q-9-x-x or Q-8-x-x will complete the Q-high straight.

Example 3

The board: Kh-Ks-Kc-Kd-9s

In Hold'em: each player holds four-of-a-kind. Any player holding an A in their hand has the nuts, a Q the second nuts, and so forth.

In Omaha: No one can hold four-of-a-kind. Anyone holding A-A-x-x has the nuts (Kings full of Aces), Q-Q-x-x the second nuts (Kings full of Queens), and so forth.

Example 4

The board: Kc-Kh-Ks-7s-As

In Hold'em: a player holding the Kd has the nuts (four-of-a-kind with an A-kicker), AA makes the second nuts (Aces full of Kings), and so forth.

In Omaha: A player holding an A-K-x-x holds the nuts (four-of-a-kind with an A-kicker), a player holding K-Q-x-x holds the second nuts (four-of-a-kind with a Q-kicker), and so forth.

Omaha High-Low: Set-Up and Play

If you are currently unacquainted with the set-up for Limit Texas Hold'em and Omaha, please be sure to read Limit Texas Hold'em Set-Up and Play and Omaha Set-Up and Play before you begin reading this text. Limit Texas Hold'em and Omaha are identical in terms of playing procedures.

Omaha high-low is a split-pot game. This means that there exists the possibility of making both the best high and low poker hand. Half the pot is awarded to the player with the best high hand, and half the pot is awarded to the player holding the best low hand. If no low hand is feasible or no one qualifies for a low hand, the whole pot goes to the high hand. The goal is to have both the best high and low hand (called scooping the pot).

The High Hand

The high hand is exactly the same as in regular Omaha, where it is the best "normal" poker hand, starting at the top with a royal flush and moving on down the line. Similarly, just as in regular Omaha, one must use two (exactly two) of the hole cards and three (exactly three) of the board cards when making a hand.

The Low Hand

The low hand is slightly more complicated to figure out. One must still use two of the hole cards with three of the board cards in order to qualify for the low hand. However, all low hands must be Eight or lower (the lower the better). An Eight low contains an Eight and four lower cards, a Seven low contains a Seven and four lower cards, and so on. The best possible low is called a wheel and is Five high, 5-4-3-2-A (a Five high straight). The worst possible low is 8-7-6-5-4 (an Eight high straight). Accordingly, in order for there to be a possible low on the board, there must be at least three cards Eight or lower on the board.

Examples

An 8-4-3-2-A low is worse than a 7-6-5-4-3 low.
A 7-4-3-2-A low is worse than a 6-5-4-3-2 low.
An 8-7-3-2-A low is worse than an 8-6-5-4-3 low.
A 7-6-3-2-A low is worse than a 7-5-4-3-2 low.
An 8-6-5-4-3 low is worse than an 8-6-5-4-2 low, which is worse than an 8-6-5-4-A low.
 

Getting Quartered

In Omaha high-low it is possible to win a quarter of the pot. This can happen when two players have the same high or low hand, but one of the players has the best high or low hand.

Example 1

Player A has the best high and the same low as player B. As such, Player B will receive one quarter of the pot and player A will collect three quarters.

Example 2

Player A has the best high hand but no low and player B and C hold the same low. Player A receives one half of the pot and player B and C split the remaining half. Player B and C got quartered.

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