Omaha Poker

Omaha poker is akin to playing Texas Hold’em except that each player gets four hole cards instead of two. It is also a community card game with a flop, turn, and river with a round of betting once the players receive their hole cards and on every post flop betting round.

Omaha Variations

Omaha poker is most often played in limit or pot limit, and the two most commonly played variants of this game are Omaha high and Omaha high/low. Although the game can be played in hi lo format, the Omaha poker game that is mainly spread by online poker rooms and live card rooms is the hi variant (also known as Omaha Hi). This is the poker variant the we’ll focus on in this article, but we have dedicated an entire section to the Omaha hi lo game.

Making the Nuts

In Omaha Hi due to have more hole cards to work with it does take a stronger hand than what is typically needed in Texas Hold’em poker games with straights and flushes common winning hands in Omaha poker games.

Even though making two pair and three of a kind are very strong hands when you’re playing Texas Hold’em, when you have these hands against a number of opponents in Omaha they don’t make the winning hand nearly as often, as there is a lot of cards you will need to fade to win the pot.

This is what makes Omaha such a high variance game but exciting to play all the same. Even with strong made hands, you are never going to be a huge favorite when all the chips go in the middle. That is not to say that Omaha is all about getting lucky, it’s definitely a skill game. But there is always plenty of action, and it makes you want to improve as a player. It certainly does take some getting used to if your background is playing Texas Hold’em.

When playing Omaha high, with the requirement of having to use two hole cards from your hand in addition to the community cards does create some interesting scenarios. For instance, if four cards of the same suit come on the flop and on the turn, a player would still need to have two cards of the same suit in their hand to have the flush. Getting used to using two of your hole cards is something that will become second nature after a while, but can be confusing to get your head around if you are new to the game, especially if your background is in Hold’em.

Also, with Omaha being a game of incomplete information, playing position well is also very important in this game, and you should look to open up your game in late positions at the table when the other players haven’t showed any strength.

Conclusion

One of the big reasons that people tend to not enjoy playing Omaha due to the fact that their bankroll can experience big swings is that they have a tendency to play far too many starting hands. Although you start with four hole cards instead or two, meaning you have more hand combinations to make a hand, this leads many Omaha newbies to play way too many hands.

You also need to understand that for the most part, Omaha is a post flop game, and players need to be selective with the kinds of starting hands they should play. Some Omaha starting hands might look decent but you’ll want to avoid while other starting hands will have a lot more potential to flop well so you will want to play them. Again, when playing Omaha poker, you’re looking to make big hands, and you will not want to go too crazy until you have a better idea about the strength of your hand after the flop comes down.

All that being said, the great thing about playing Omaha is that the vast majority of players will be pretty bad and will have big leaks in their game, so you can exploit them for a lot of money if you are equipped with some of the important fundamentals of the game and have a bit of experience behind you.

Just be reminded that in order to do well in Omaha, you want to nut peddle. It is all about making big hands and getting paid off when you make a bet with the winning hand. Even though you are dealt more hole cards than what you would be used to when play Hold’em, the rules of the game are simple to understand and you can really win big if the poker gods really do listen to your prayers.