Omaha High. Part One.

Introduction to Omaha High

Omaha High, also just known as Omaha, is one of the most popular poker games to be played online and live, after Texas Hold’em. Omaha became popular in the end of the 00’s when Texas Hold’em became a very tight game with less action due to many players becoming skilled in the game. Omaha attracted many of the Texas Hold’em players because of its high levels of action due to having four cards dealt instead of two.

 Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em, except from having dealt four hole cards which makes it possible to get many more draws and better hands, improving the overall action. Unlike in Texas Hold’em where players can use all cards to make the best possible five card combination, in Omaha you have to use two out of the four hole cards and three of the community cards to create the best hand. This means that if you are dealt four aces as hole cards you do not have four of a kind of aces, but only a pair of aces. This creates a unique dynamic and makes the game much more interesting in terms of hand reading.

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It doesn’t take long to learn how to play Omaha especially if you already know the rules of Texas Hold’em as the rules are basically the same with the exception of which cards you can use. Omaha is mainly played as a pot limit game, but can be played as no limit and fixed limit as well. This means that when you play Omaha online, you will not be able to push all in if you have a good hand, but bet maximum the pot size. This means that players have to create another strategy to play their hands, to maximize the value and also to ensure not getting as many bad beats. Omaha is often just called PLO (Pot Limit Omaha) due to the fact it’s mainly played as Pot Limit.

Omaha has become a very popular card game to play in live games with many casinos now offering Omaha cash games and tournaments. All the big tournament series now also features Omaha events, making it possible for the action packed game to get television coverage improving the overall popularity of the game.

Basic Game Play

When you want to start playing Omaha you will need to know the basic game play rules that apply.

One player will start out with the dealer button, meaning that he will act as the dealer. The dealer will deal all the cards clockwise, starting with the player to his immediate left. All players are dealt four hole cards facedown, so that the other players cannot see the cards. When the dealer has dealt every single player four cards, the game begin.

The first two players on the dealers left will be forced to pay a small and big blind. The blinds count as the first bets, ensuring there will be money or chips in each hand to generate action. The player right after the blind will then have to choose his action and then the action resumes clockwise until everybody has made their decision.

There will then be dealt five community cards by the dealer, starting with the flop (three cards), the turn (one card) and finally the river (one card). The player with the best five card combination using two of his hole cards and three community cards will then be the winner of the hand. It is not possible in Omaha to use more or less than two of the hole cards and three of the community cards to create a hand.

Omaha can be played with 2-10 players seated at the table, but it is usually preferred with as few players as possible to ensure that most of the cards are still in the deck to create the most possible action.

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