Omaha Poker

Omaha Poker

Omaha poker is one of the many community poker games where players must use two cards from their hand (hole cards) along with three from a community board to make a traditional poker hand. Two formats of Omaha poker exist - Omaha high and Omaha hi-lo.

Omaha poker is one of a group of community poker games where players use a number of cards from their hand, called the hole cards, in combination with a number of cards from the table, or "board." After a series of betting rounds,the player with the best poker hand comprising hole and board cards takes the pot.

There are actually a number of variants of Omaha itself. The most commonly played version is Omaha high, popular mainly in Europe, but also played in the US. The other common version is called Omaha hi-lo, which is also called Omaha eight-or-better or simply Omaha/8. 

The community game structure offers possibilities that do not exist in regular poker games. Players can often hold a number of winning poker draws dependent on the combination of hole and board cards. For example, a player may hold a straight or a full house depending on which cards the player selects. This requires an extra degree of vigilance when playing this and other community poker games. 

Omaha High

The opening player posts a small blind, normally equivalent to half the minimum bet, with the player to the left of that player posting a large blind, which is normally equal to the minimum bet. No other bets are placed at this stage. As the deal rotates, each player receives an opportunity to place the small and big blind stakes. Four cards are then dealt to each player face down with the small blind better receiving the first card. Betting starts with the player to the left of the big blind calling or raising the big blind, or folding. Betting moves around the table arriving at the small blind poster who can call or fold.The big blind is last to bet and he can raise or check. 

The next stage of the game is called the "flop" where three board cards are dealt and turned face up in the center of the table. Another round of betting ensues followed the dealing of a fourth card, also turned face up. This is called the "turn," and is followed by another round of betting. Another round of betting ends with a fifth card being turned over. This card is called the "river" and is followed by a final round of betting. Some games limit this round to three or four raises. 

The showdown occurs when players show two cards from their hand combined with three cards from the community board to form the highest five-card poker hand. Tied hands occur quite frequently in Omaha poker, in which case players simply share the pot. 

Omaha Hi-lo

This game is similar to Omaha high with the exception that a low winning hand is also available. With high and low winning hands, the pot is then divided at the show down. The ideal winning position is for one player to scoop both high and low winning hands. Also called Omaha/8, as low target players cannot hold cards over the value of an eight-spot.

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