How to Play Omaha Poker
Fans of Texas Hold'em may be interested to know that another poker variation offers just as much thrill and excitement as their chosen game. Omaha poker is a skilful poker version which calls for players to use advanced poker strategy in order to make the best poker hand.
Players accustomed to Texas Hold'em will have little difficulty adapting to Omaha as the sequence of play and rules are highly similar. New players who have never played Texas Hold'em or Omaha before are likely to grasp both games in a short space of time if they study the following rules. However, it is worth bearing in mind that a major rule governing the composition of the winning hand makes Omaha more challenging for new poker players.
Omaha is a five card poker game where the player with the highest hand at the end of the game wins. All standard poker card rankings are used in the game.
To begin a game of Omaha, the betting structure requires either blind bets or ante bets to be made which go into the pot prior to any cards being dealt. Once these bets have been made, each player receives four hole cards from the dealer. This is the first notable deviation from a Texas Hold'em game where players receive just two hole cards in the first round.
When each player has viewed his four hole cards, the first betting round takes place. All players have a chance to bet and can raise the bet, check the bet (if no other player bets in the round) or fold if they feel they have little chance of improving their poker hand. This stage of the game is called the pre-flop.
After this, the flop takes place. This is where the dealer deals three community cards face up on the table. These cards are used by all players to add to their poker hand. Players bet again once these community cards have been dealt.
The next stage of the game is known as fourth street or the turn. This is when the dealer places a fourth community card in the center of the table and players bet again on the strength of their hands.
The fifth and final card is known as the river. After this last community card has been dealt, the final betting round in the game takes place. Players at this stage should have a strong poker hand that complies with poker hand rankings in order to remain in the game. Those players that are still in the game after the last betting round take part in the final showdown which is when all remaining poker hands are displayed on the table for everyone to see. The player with the highest poker hand wins the Omaha game and is awarded the entire contents of the pot.
However, in order to win Omaha a player must produce a winning hand comprised of no less than two hole cards and three community cards. This rule adds an extra element to the game and requires a higher level of skill than that needed to produce a winning hand in Texas Hold'em. In Texas Hold'em a player's final five cards can be any combination of cards used throughout the game. In Omaha, a player's cards must conform to the above rule or he cannot win.
For this reason, Omaha is a highly competitive game where players are required to use the best of their strategic abilities to calculate odds and probabilities. Generally, a strong poker hand must be made in the early stages of the game and the contents of the pot manipulated before the turn for a player to achieve a healthy win.