5 Card Omaha – Rules and Strategy

Sometimes referred to as the “Big O”, 5 Card Omaha is a less popular version of the Omaha poker variant that can be played at PokerStars, but if you like a game with big swings and loose action, then 5 Card Omaha may just be the game for you. It can provide a nice change to the usual games you play.

In 5 Card Omaha each player receives 5 cards. Otherwise the game flows exactly the same as normal Omaha with there being betting action during the pre-flop, flop, turn, and river betting rounds.

During the pre-flop round of betting, the action begins with the player immediately to the left of the big blind. This player has the option to either fold, call or raise. The minimum amount that a player can bet must be equal to or greater than the size of the big blind.

Let’s say for example, it was a $1/$2 No Limit 5 Card Omaha game, it would cost $2 to call, but being a no limit game, the player has the option to raise an amount up to the chips in front of them. The betting then proceeds clockwise around the table until betting is complete.

After the pre-flop betting round, the flop is dealt in 5 Card Omaha, and another round of betting ensues, but this time the action begins with the player immediately to the left of the button in the small blind, and remains this way for all future rounds of betting.

Once the flop betting round is completed, the turn card and fourth community card is dealt, followed by another round of betting.

Finally, the fifth and final community card is dealt by the dealer on the center of the table and the last round of betting ensues.

If the betting is completed on the river, with all bets and raises called, then the active player’s cards still in the hand are turned over to determine the winner, and the player at showdown with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. Exactly two of the five cards dealt to each player can be used in conjunction with the three community cards in order to make the best five-card hand to see who wins.

This variation of Omaha offers the players more hand combinations to make the best hand, and so you will generally be needing much stronger hands like straights and flushes relative to pairs and two pairs in order to take down the pot. Of course, this isn’t too different to normal Omaha games. But you still need to use two of your hole cards to form the best hand.

Just like other similar poker variants, Five Card Omaha is a game that requires experience to become competent. It can be very tempting to play a lot of hands to try and catch a piece of the flop where you will have a better idea of where you’re at in the hand, but it’s also important to keep in mind that some starting hands will have greater potential of flopping something big. On the flop, you have to be able to figure out what the best hand (the nuts) are at any time.

Unlike Hold’em, even the best starting hands pre-flop in 5 Card Omaha need some help on the flop in order to have a good chance of winning. What are you going to do with a hand like A-A-x-x-x which doesn’t improve on a dangerous looking flop? There are simply too many hand combinations in other player’s hands, meaning it’s very likely that someone will connect with the flop in a big way.

Many novice players get attached to strong pre-flop starting hands that don’t improve on the flop.

You can not avoid this bad luck, but you can ensure that you lose the least amount of money when you have the second best hand.

If you are interested in a game that is fun to play and learn, 5 Card Omaha may be just what you’re looking for. In addition to playing 5 Card Omaha, PokerStars also offers 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo. This version of the game splits the pot between the highest and lowest ranked hands.

If there is no qualifying low hand, then the high hand wins the whole pot. Both 5 Card Omaha and 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo are offered in cash games and tournaments, the games are played in Pot Limit and No Limit formats. This new addition to the line-up of games at PokerStars will no doubt help to confirm its position as the leading online poker site for players outside of the United States.