Omaha is one of the most popular variations of poker. It has grown in popularity in recent years and can be found at almost all online poker rooms. It follows only Texas hold’em in the number of online tables available. The rules of the game are similar to those of Texas hold’em and this has helped to make the game more popular. The most significant difference between how the games are played is that in Omaha you are able to choose from nine cards to make up your five card poker hand, as opposed to seven cards in Texas hold’em.
The Aim of the Game
Players in Omaha hi are required to make the best five card poker hand possible by using two of their pocket (hole) cards and three community cards, out of a total of four pocket cards and five community cards. The game includes four betting rounds, following the placing of the blinds.
Step 1 – Placing the Blinds
The game begins with the placing of the blinds – the small blind and the big blind which are bets that open the game. These bets ensure that there will be a minimum amount in the pot. The small blind is placed by the player to the immediate left of the dealer and the big blind is placed the player to the small blind’s left.
Step 2 – The Pocket (Hole) Cards
The dealer deals four cards, face down to each player. These are the pocket cards or hole cards.
Step 3 – The First Betting Round
The first betting round is known as the pre-flop and it begins with the first active (one who has not folded) player to the left of the big blind and continues clockwise around the table. Players are able to call, raise or fold.
Step 4 – The Flop
The dealer burns one card from the top of the deck and deals the first three community cards, face up into the middle of the table. This is known as the flop.
Step 5 – The Second Betting Round
The second betting round begins with the first active player to the left of the big blind and continues clockwise around the table. Players can call, raise or fold.
Step 6 – The Turn
The dealer burns one card from the top of the deck and deals the fourth community card face up into the middle of the table.
Step 7 – The Third Betting Round
The third betting round follows the turn. It begins with the first active player to the left of the big blind and continues clockwise around the table with players able to call, raise or fold.
Step 8 – The River
The dealer burns one card from the top of the deck and deals the fifth and final community card face up into the middle of the table.
Step 9 – The Fourth Betting Round
The fourth and final betting round now takes place, beginning with the first active player to the left of the big blind. Players are able to call, raise or fold. If only one player remains, they win the pot.
Step 10 – Determining the Winner
If more than one player remains in the game at this point, the players will need to make up their best five card hand using two of their pocket cards and two community cards. The hands will be compared and the player with the highest ranking poker hand will win. If none of the players hold a ranking poker hand, the highest card from each player’s hand will be compared to determine the winner. The winning player takes the entire pot.