Omaha Poker is an exciting poker game derived from Texas Hold’em, with a few notable exceptions. Hold’em is a No-Limit game with two hole cards and five community cards, commonly known as the Flop (the first three community cards, laid at once) the Turn a single card and finally the River the final single community card. In Omaha each player is dealt four hole cards and while there are variations on the betting limits from Pot-Limit, Fixed and No-Limit. The most common form of this game is Pot Limit Omaha or PLO, and as such we will discuss the basics of PLO since the rules are the same for all variations with the exception of the betting structures.
Playing Pot Limit Omaha
As stated the biggest difference between Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha are the hole cards and limit betting. It is critical to remember that while playing Omaha you will be dealt four hole cards and must make a hand using exactly two of your hole cards and three from the community. Texas Hold’em players, don’t worry. It’s a may be a little confusing at first at first but very easy to get the hang of, for virtually everything else is the same.
To start, just like in Hold’em and judi bola , the dealer button moves clockwise around the table prompting the forced blind bets, small blind and big blind to the two players immediately left of the button. Cards are dealt (remember that you will get four) and that begins the first of four rounds of betting. Pre-flop, Flop, Turn and the River. Below are two example hands, HOL representing your cards and COMM for community to give you an idea of how PLO differs from Hold’em.
You are dealt:
- HOL: A (s)A (d) K (d) K(s)
- COMM: A (h)A (c) 2 (s) 3 (c) J (c)
Again remember that you must use two of you hole cards and three from the community so in this case the best available hand is giving you four Aces and a Jack
- HOL: A (s)A (d) COMM: A (h)A (c) J (c)
This is a fairly obvious selection once you remember that you must use two of your hole cards. But just to be sure we drive the point home here is one more example before we move on to the basics of betting and what pot-limit means.
- HOL: Q (s) J (c) 9 (c) 8 (h)
- COMM: 9 (s) Q (c) 10 (s)A (s) K (s)
The best possible hand in this scenario is? That’s right, a straight. Remember that you have to use two and only two hole cards so an Ace high flush is not possible, as it would be in Texas Hold’em. The best hand looks like this a straight to the Ace.
- HOL: Q (s) J (c)
- COMM: 10 (s) K (s)A (s)
Alright now let’s discuss the meaning of pot limit and how it works in Omaha poker. For our purposes we will assume a four player table with a small blind of $1 going to player one (P1), and you
- small blind $1
- big blind $2
So the hand starts with $3 in the pot bets $2 the size of the big blind and the minimum P3 can raise. You Your max bet at this time is $9
Here’s how it works, take the amount on the table $5 and then double the amount P3 bet, this is the maximum amount allowed. Unlike Hold’em an All-in bet is only possible in Omaha if the pot is large enough.
The advantage of this and what really keeps this game exciting is that players are able to go deeper into games for fewer chips. With a pot limit in place players don’t have to worry about being chip-bullied, or intimidated with big over bets or all in moves early in hands, really allowing a strategic player the opportunity to be competitive regardless of stack size. Just remember that even with the pot limits, even small early pots to grow exponentially very quickly. I hope you enjoy playing Omaha and good luck at the tables.