Omaha is quite similar to Texas Hold’em. The basics of it are that each of the players uses a three card flop on the board followed by turn and river (fourth and fifth card dealt).
The main difference is that each player is dealt four hold cards instead of two, and MUST use precisely TWO hole cards with three board cards making the best hand.
This differs from the Texas Hold’em poker variant where every combination between board cards and hole cards is allowed.
Before any cards are dealt the “blinds” must be posted. The blinds are two forced bets in order to begin the betting action. There must be two blinds after the dealer. Small blind (SB) is the person sitting to the left of the dealer.
The second position to the left of the dealer is Big Blind (BB). Both of the blinds move around the table at the start of each hand. The Small Blind has to bet ½ of the minimum bet at the table, while the Big Blind has to bet equal to the minimum bet.
First betting round (Pre-flop)
When the blinds have been posted each player is dealt four cards face down. These are the player’s private cards (hole cards) and can/should only bee seen by the player himself.
When each player has received his or her cards the betting commences. In the first betting round the player sitting on the left hand of the Big Blind (BB) begins the betting. Each player can either choose to “fold”, “call” or “raise”.
If a player “raises” the following players must match the raise (“call”), re-reaise or fold their hand. This way, everyone still in the game has contributed an equal amount of money to the pot when the first round of betting ends.
After the initial betting round three cards are dealt from the deck face-up in the middle of the table. These three cards are known as “the flop” and the cards are community cards shared by everyone at the table.
The second betting round starts after the flop initiated by the player to the left of the “button”.
After the second betting round, a 4th community card is dealt. The 4th community card is referred to as “the turn”
When the “turn” has been dealt a third betting round is initiated by the player sitting to the left of the dealer.
After the betting one final community card is dealt. The 5th and final community card is known as the “the river”. When the “river” is dealt one fourth and last betting round begins. The betting begins by the first player to the left of the dealer.
If two or more players stay in the pot to “showdown” the winning players is the one who is able to make the best “poker hand” using TWO of the hole cards and THREE community cards. If two players can make the same hand then the pot is split between them.
Many online and iPhone poker rooms and live card rooms offer Omaha High/Low (Hi/Lo). It’s typically the second most played game after Texas Hold’em.