What a fun variation Omaha poker is! It may not be as popular as Texas Holdem, but that could soon change. Omaha is also a community card game, like Holdem. However, there are some important differences in the two.
Omaha players are given four “hole” cards. These four personal cards are dealt face down and remain private for only the player to see. If you are already familiar, you will find the rest of the play follows the rules of Texas Holdem. The major difference in Omaha is that you must make the best five-card poker hand using exactly two cards from your personal cards and exactly three from the community cards.
Players use a blind structure, also like Holdem. After your personal cards are dealt, there is a pre-“flop” blind. The player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, which is typically half of the minimum bet. The player to the left of them posts the big blind and this is equal to the minimum bet established before the game begins. The dealer and blinds rotate around the table after each complete round.
There are three “streets”, or events, where the dealer reveals community cards. The first “street” is called the “flop”. The dealer turns over three cards for the flop and players can fold or bet. The fourth card is called the “turn” and again the players can bet or fold. With tension building and the pot bulging, there is just one more card to get a great hand. The “river” is your last chance to make that perfect poker hand and also the last round to bet or fold. Players that are still left standing head to the poker “showdown” where you reveal your best poker hand using exactly two hole cards and three community cards.
Omaha is a great game to play on its own, or you can often see it in multi-game poker tournaments. HORSE is an example of a multi-game poker tournament and the letters stand for: Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Stud and Eight or Better. It is a great way to breathe new life in your stale old poker game.