Learning to Play Omaha Poker

In this article I will give you the basic to playing Omaha Poker, If you are already established with Texas Hold’em you should already understand the basics of Omaha. However beware if you are a Hold’em player as there are some pitfalls which are pointed out towards the end of the article.

How to Play Omaha.
Omaha is played in pretty much they same way as hold’em but with several differences, the main and most obvious difference being that the player is dealt 4 hole cards with which to make the best hand rather than 2 in poker. You can use any of your 2 hole cards and any 3 of the boards 5 cards to make the best hand. Hands are ranked in the same way as Hold’em (Royal Flush being best down to High Card being worse)

Omaha is not Hold’em
This is the most important thing to remember when converting from Hold’em. Being dealt 4 cards doesn’t give you an 2 extra hands it gives you 6. Omaha is much more variant and bad beats can be a very common occurrence, Just because you are ahead on the flop and you know it, there will still be many outs for your opponents. Also being Dealt AAKK doesn’t necessarily mean you are powering ahead of your opponents preflop. Imagine you have Ac Ad Ks Kd and you hit the flop of 3c 4d 7c you may think you have the nuts, but really there are so many potential hands out their such as flush and straight draws, 3oak and 2 pair even hitting an A on the river will only give you 30ak against so many more powerful hands. Also an important thing to remember is if a pair appear on the board their is a very high chance of someone hitting a fullhouse or 4oak. Straight flushes are also a very high possibility in Omaha games.
Also you must use at least 2 of your hole cards, for example the board see’s 4 clubs come up and you have the Ac and the rest of your cards hold no value. You do not hit a flush at all. This can lead to many curious hands, another example being Q K Q K 10 are showing on the board and you have A J, you hit a straight, if another player has A K they’ don’t hit a full house just three of a kind (KKK) with Ace Kicker. This can be a strange rule to get used to especially if you come from a Hold’em background where you don’t need to play any of your cards.

Other Versions of Omaha
Hi/Lo – Two separate pots are available to win . The lo pot is where you have the five lowest cards made from 2 of your cards and 3 on the board (the best hand being A2345) flushes, straights, pairs etc don’t count for the lo pot. Assuming the other player can beat the lo pot winner with his 5 best cards he will win the high pot.

Start out at the small tables when playing omaha $0.02/$0.05 are best if your just starting out. Play around with Pot limit and fixed Limit (quite rare to fine players here) tables, as well as Hi/Lo tables. New players may not be as comfortable playing Hi/Lo tables straight away (so this might be a good way to exploit them!)