How to Play Omaha Hold'em

Omaha Holdem Poker Rules and Strategy Tips

The game basics and strategies for Omaha Hold'em Poker shown here are those generally agreed to and recommended by the experts for bet limit games. An understanding of these basics is needed for all levels of competitive play. Solid intermediate and expert level poker normally requires study of the advanced game tactics and significant hours of actual casino or online playing experience.

Omaha Holdem - Game Rules

Highest hand wins || Players MUST use TWO of their hole cards combined with three from the board to make their hands || Ace plays both high and low for straights || Three raise limit per round || Cards speak

Card Distribution and Betting Procedure

Example: $2/$4 Hold'em with a double blind.

At casino Hold'em tables, a round plastic marker called the dealer "button" is placed in front of the player who would be dealing if a house dealer were not provided. The button is moved one seat clockwise after each game and the card distribution and betting starts to the left of that position. Each player is dealt four cards face down. Then, a total of five community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table in three betting segments (3-1-1). After all the cards are dealt the players make the best hand that they can by combining any two of their two hole cards with any three of the five community cards. Using the illustration above, a player holding a jack and an eight would end up with the best possible full house, jacks over eights. However, this good hand can be beaten if another player is holding the "nut hand" cards of six and seven of hearts that would make an eight high straight flush. . . .

The betting procedure goes like this: Before each player is dealt four down cards (1.), the player at the immediate left of the button, called the "Small Blind" is forced to bet $1 (half the minimum bet). Then the player to his left and two seats to the left of the button, called the"Big Blind", is forced to bet $2. Each player is then dealt a four card hand. Then the player at the left of the big blind is first to act and he must either call the big blind's $2 bet, raise, or fold his hand. Continuing in turn clockwise, all the players around the table either call, raise or fold. When the betting gets back around to the small blind, he or she can fold and lose only the half minimum bet of $1 placed earlier, call the amount necessary to get up to the betting level or raise $2 if there is a raise left.

The big blind is then the last to act before any cards are turned up in the middle. The blinds are played in the first round only( 2.) The dealer turns three cards up in the center of the table. This is the "Flop". The player at the left of the button is then always the first to act. There are no more forced bets and the players can all check around if they want to. Bets right after the flop are at the $2 minimum bet level. (3.) Now comes the "Turn" card followed by more betting that now goes to the $4 level. (4.) Finally the last, or "River" card is turned up. The last $4 betting round takes place. Then the players still in the contest reveal their hole cards and the highest hand wins the pot.

Omaha Hold'em Strategy

General Strategy:

In full ring, limit Omaha, it usually takes the "nut" hand, or something close to that, to win! . .For our purpose here, we describe the "nut" as a hand that can only be beaten by hidden quads and straight flushes. These killer hands are usually referred to as the "pure" nuts. . . Two pair and trips don't win very often in this game. You need to shoot for the nut straight, nut flush, or nut full house most of the time. . . This is why -

Omaha players all start with four cards. Each four card hand contains six Hold'em hands when the four cards are converted to all possible combinations of two. ie: ABCD = AB AC AD BC BD CD. (Players must

play two cards from their hands and three from the board). If you are in a pot with five other players after

the flop, it is sort of comparable to a Texas Hold'em game against thirty other players, because each of

your five competitors is holding six Hold'em hands instead of one. So if you get down to the river

with a very good hand, but one that can be beaten by some other two card combinations, brace yourself for a loss because they are likely to be out there somewhere.. . . Your high end straight on the flop runs into serious problems when the board turns up three suited cards or a pair. A flush or a full house will usually pop up to beat you. . . In Omaha, always play for the NUT!

Here's a Great Tip from "Bullet Bob"! You can practice your Omaha game absolutely FREE in about 5 minutes. (No Download). Just log in to the free games get your $10,000 no strings, play money and join all the others who also came to play free just like you. Just one or two good hold'em hands is usually not a very good starting hand in Omaha but many players can not resist the urge to play them. With four cards to choose from, these kinds of hands are easy get and Omaha games normally have more players and bigger pots than in Hold'em. The higher payoffs work to your advantage when you usually start with hands that contain four cards that all interact with each other to make about five or six decent Hold'em hands instead of only one or two. You will see a few exceptions to this here in the starting hands strategy.


HIGH CARDS - A, K, Q, J, 10

MIDDLE CARDS - 9, 8, 7, 6

LOW CARDS - 5, 4, 3, 2

SUITED PLAYER HAND (S) - Two of the players four cards of the same suit.

DOUBLE SUITED PLAYER HAND (DS) - Two of the players cards of one suit and two of another suit.

ACTIVE SIDECARD -Sidecard that when combined with another makes two parts of a straight or flush.

NUT HAND - An unbeatable high or low hand. Sometimes called a "lock".

SET - Three of a kind with two of the three in your hand. ( Four of a kind split two and two is a "Quad Set")

TRIPS - Three of a kind with all or two of the three on the board.

RAINBOW - Hand or flop etc. with cards of all different suits.

FLOP, TURN. RIVER - The community cards in the order of distribution. See top illustration.

FAST PLAY - Bet, raise and re-raise to get as many other players out as possible.

SLOW PLAY - Just check or call along to keep other players in the game to increase the pot odds.

CHECK-FOLD - Check when you can and fold if you are bet into. Gladly accept all free cards offered.

The Best Omaha Starting Hand: Your starting Play/Fold decisions will involve a quick assessment of the hand type and the six Hold'em hands in your four card Omaha hand. The playable starting hands suggested are a good place to start.

These are not hard and fast rules about what to play or not, but a generalization of expert opinions and computerized hand value results that you can use as a guide. Two Card Hold'em Hands to Look For in Omaha Hands: Premium Hands :

HIGH PAIR - AA, KK, QQ, JJ, 1010

ACE and HIGH CARD SUITED - AK(S), AQ(S), AJ(S), A10(S) Strong Hands :

HIGH CARDS SUITED - KQ(S), KJ(S), K10(S), QJ(S), Q10(S), J10(S)

MIDDLE PAIRS - 99, 88, 77, 66

TWO HIGH CARDS - AK, AQ, AJ, A10, KQ, KJ, K10, QJ, Q10, J10

ACE and MIDDLE CARD SUITED - A9(S), A8(S), A7(S) A6(S)

MIDDLE SUITED CONNECTORS - 10 9(S), 98(S), 87(S), 76(S) Minimum Hands :

LOW PAIRS - 55, 44, 33, 22

ACE and LOW CARD SUITED - A5(S), A4(S), A3(S), A2(S)

ANY TWO CARDS to a STRAIGHT - ie: 10 6, 98, 75, 73, A4 - Note: Most in this catagory are normally not playable in regular Holdem, but they do add value in combination Omaha hands. Throw-Away Starting Hands:

These hands should be automatically folded without any further consideration:

Quads - (including) A A A A

Trips - (except A A A with a high side card suited is sometimes playable) Playable Omaha Starting Hands:

PAIR of ACES - A A x x

PAIR of KINGS - K K x x

HIGH PAIR w ACE SUITED - Qh Qs Ah x .. Jh Js Ad 6d


HIGH PAIR w TWO or more OTHER HANDS - J J 9 7 .. K 10 10 8

ANY FOUR HIGH CARDS - K Q J 10 .. A K J 10 .. Q Q 10 10 .. A J J 10 .. (includes two high pair)

THREE HIGH CARDS w ACE SUITED - Ah Qs 10h x .. Ah Ks Jd 5h


THREE CARD STRAIGHT with a PAIR - 7 6 5 5 .. 9 8 7 8

THREE CARD STRAIGHT with ACE SUITED - 8h 7s 6d Ah .. Ah 9s 8d 7h

CLOSE GROUP w TWO GAPS or less - J 10 7 6 .. 8 7 6 5 .. 9 8 5 4.. 9 7 6 4 .. J 10 8 6 Strategy Tips:

Stay aware of the nut hand possibilities. As the board develops, make sure that you always know what the three best hand possibilities are, and how that might change on the next card.

High pair with an overcard is a good flop in Hold'em but not in Omaha. In this game you need to flop two pair, a set, or better.

Usually don't raise before the flop unless you are holding Aces or Kings and are in position to narrow the field. Another time to raise is when you are unraised on the button and have a strong hand. Try not to let the blinds play bad hands cheap.

Fold your straight or straight draw if that's all you have and you don't flop an unpaired rainbow. If you do get the right kind of flop, bet/raise to discourage the back door flush draws.

Don't over value low pairs. A pair of fours in your starting hand is only useful if it flops a set, but then a low set on the flop is not a very strong hand in Omaha.

Study your opponents, especially when you are not playing hands and can pay careful attention. Do they find more hands to play than they fold? Do they bluff? Can they be bluffed? Do they have any "tells" (give away mannerisms) that disclose information about their hands etc.

Get caught bluffing once in a while. It is a way to vary your play and not be too predictable. You win pots that you don't deserve when your bluff works. You lose a few chips when it doesn't work but it will get you calls from weaker hands down the line when you are really strong and need the action.

Check the raisers chips. Players that are close to all-in often rush the betting just to get all their chips in a sink-or-swim last hand that doesn't merit a raise. IMPORTANT:

More Omaha Strategy Information, Articles, and Stats, have been selected and compiled from online Poker Magazines and over a hundred other Poker content web sites. . I think you will find this very useful. Go to the Omaha section in Pokersyte's BEST Of The NET page.

Have fun and GOOD LUCK! - the better you bet!

Omaha Poker Rules


Omaha rules are absolutely the same as Texas Hold'em rules except for two differences:

* Each player is dealt four pocket cards.

* Each player must use only two pocket cards and three community cards to make the best possible poker hand.

There can be up to 10 players at the poker table.

There is a round button in front of a player at the poker table called the dealer button. The dealer button determines the order of betting and moves clockwise player after player after each hand. Each hand begins with posting blinds. It means that the first two players to the immediate left of the dealer button place their bets before their cards are dealt. The first player posts the small blind equal to half the minimum bet. The second one posts the big blind equal to the amount of the minimum bet.

As soon as the blinds have been posted each player is dealt four cards face down ( the pocket cards).

Then the first betting round begins. The first player to place a bet is the one to the immediate left of the big blind, then the turn moves clockwise around the table.

There are four betting rounds in each hand. Bets and raises in the first two rounds are limited to the minimum bet and in the last two rounds equal the maximum bet. The total amount of money wagered in each betting round must not exceed the initial bet in a round four times, i.e. 1 bet and 3 raises.

After the first betting round three other cards are dealt face up (the flop). The dealer places the cards in the middle of the table.

Then the turn of the second betting round comes. Betting starts with the player to the immediate left of the dealer button. This order of betting remains the same in all subsequent rounds.

After the second betting round the dealer turns over one more card (the turn) and places it beside the flop.

The third round of betting takes place.

Finally, the dealer turns over a fifth card (the river) and the final betting round takes place.

As soon as the betting is over showdown comes. At the showdown the player with the best combination of cards (A player uses the best five cards among the combination of any two of his pocket cards with any three of the community cards to determine his hand.) wins the pot.

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