omaha for beginners

Introduction to Omaha

Pot-Limit Omaha is the second-most-common form of poker in the world today. Omaha was much more popular around the world in casinos before 2003. However since the internet has opened up access to poker for people around the world and the major tournaments are now been televised but mostly showing the Holdem games. Hold’ em has become the most popular and Omaha poker is actually a game derived from Texas Hold’em. If you haven’t already done so, go read the beginners guide to hold’em. We would recommend you understand the basics of holdem poker before playing Omaha.

Here are the basics of Omaha poker for beginners. Each player is dealt four private cards (‘hole cards’) which belong only to that player. Five cards that can be seen by all players are dealt face-up on the ‘board’. Players have to use three of the community cards together with two of their hole cards to make the best five-card poker hand. See our Hand Rankings post here.

Types of Omaha

A player can make a bet based on the pot size (i.e. $200 bet into a $200 pot). This is the most popular form of Omaha Poker and can save you from going instantly bust.
A player can bet any amount, up to all of their chips. On any round of betting. It is important to be aware of bankroll management or you could end up been a losing player.
There is a specific betting limit applied in each game and on each round of betting. It is done in pre-determined, structured amounts. Pre-flop and on the flop, all bets and raises are of the same amount as the big blind. However on the turn and the river, the size of all bets and raises doubles.

Note: Betting structure changes with the different variations of Omaha; Limit Omaha, No Limit Omaha, and Pot Limit Omaha.

Omaha Stages

The player directly to the left of the dealer puts out the "small" blind and the player to the left of the small blind puts out the "big" blind. Each player is dealt one card at a time (face down) until all players have exactly four cards.
Each player will now make their decision to play their hand by calling or raising the big blind or folding. The first player to act is to the left of the big blind.
The flop is the first three community cards available to all active players. Another round of betting is done. In Fixed Limit Omaha, all bets and raises occur in increments of the small bet (for example, $1 in a $1/$2 game).
The turn is the fourth community card in an Omaha game. Another round of betting is done. In Fixed Limit Omaha, bets and raises on the turn are in increments of the big bet (for example, $2 in a $1/$2 game).
The river is the fifth and final community card in Omaha poker. This is the final round of betting again starting with the active player immediately clockwise from the button.
The remaining players no show down their cards. The last player to make the bet or raise is to show their hand first and it works clockwise round the table. A player can choose to not show their cards (Muck) if they are already beaten. The player with the best hand wins, if two players have the same hand the pot is split.