Omaha is a poker game that originally derives from Texas Hold’em, and while Omaha may not be as popular as its bigger brother, it’s a game that’s quickly catching on around the world, particularly as online poker continues to grow in popularity.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at how to play Omaha poker and we’ll cover some of the basic Omaha poker rules, as well as looking at an optimal strategy that you can follow to increase your chances of winning.
Omaha Poker Rules
The basic Omaha poker rules are pretty much identical to Texas Hold’em, but strategies can differ quite a bit – the main difference is that it’s a lot more aggressive in terms of gameplay.
There’s also a couple of Omaha rules you’ll need to take into account if you’re playing Omaha for the very first time, and we’ll look at these below.
- Hand Count: The main difference between Omaha and Texas Hold’em is that Omaha deals players four cards, instead of two, before the game begins. This clearly changes the game’s dynamics quite drastically, and it makes the betting a lot more aggressive. (This is one of the key Omaha rules to remember if you’re learning how to play Omaha poker.)
- Because of this, the second major change you’ll find inside most Omaha games is Pot Limit betting, and this is to ensure players don’t simply go all-in before the flop. Pot Limit means that you can only bet what’s currently in the pot – meaning you couldn’t simply bet too large, so that it scares players off.
Of course, that’s just a couple of the differences between Texas Hold’em and Omaha. As you begin playing Omaha more frequently you’ll find yourself learning more about the game specifics. In the following section, we look at a few tips to help you develop a solid Omaha poker strategy.
How to Play Omaha poker
So, you’ve got a good idea of the Omaha poker rules and now you want to learn how to play.
The first thing to remember is that Omaha plays out in a nearly-identical manner to that of Texas Hold’em. To begin, the small and big blind will be required to post their bets. Once done so, all players are dealt FOUR cards, instead of two – and it’s then time for the first round of betting to begin.
You can choose to either fold your hand, call the blind, or make a raise – but remember, as most Omaha games are Pot Limit, you can only raise/bet the amount that’s currently in the pot.
Once all players have acted on their hand, the flop is dealt, and this is comprised of three cards. All players who are still in the game can then act, and the betting moves around the table. Once more, as soon as all players have either checked, bet, or folded, the turn (the forth card) is drawn), and this process continues.
For the final time, once all players have either called, checked, or bet, the 5th card is dealt, and this is called the river. A final round of betting takes place, and once this is finished it’s time for the showdown. This is where all remaining players show their hands, and the best hand takes what’s in the pot!
Advanced Strategy and Tips
As Omaha grows in popularity, it’s important to make sure that you’re keeping up to date with the best, and most advanced strategies to play the game effectively, and in this section, we’re going to take a look at some advanced strategies and tips you can use to begin improving your Omaha game right away.
Particularly important for those learning how to play Omaha poker at a higher-stakes level, the Omaha poker strategy below can help take your game from “OK” to great!
One of the first (and most important) is understanding your poker hand percentages. (This should be one of the first procedures you should study before learning any strategy.)
As you’re playing with four cards, not only do your chances of hitting big hands increase – but so does that of your opponents, so it’s really important you realize this and adapt your game accordingly.
Another thing to get familiar with is the pot limit structure. While not all games are Pot Limit Omaha, the vast majority are, and this basically means that you can’t bet, or raise more than the size of what’s currently in the pot. Thankfully, all online poker sites give you the option to click a “Bet Pot” button which automatically bets the correct amount, so you don’t have to worry about this too much – but it’s still useful to have knowledge of.
Above all, you’ll want to learn the art of bluffing as well; Omaha is a very aggressive game, and sometimes you NEED to bluff in order to take the big pots! This is a core part of learning how to play Omaha poker, and makes up the majority of Omaha strategy guides you’ll find.
Improving Your Game
Aside from have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of Omaha, the best way of improving your game is simply to practice. Whether you’re playing online for real money, or you’re playing on your phone on a free downloadable app, the more practice you put in, the better you’ll become.
This is really important as you can be sure that your opponents are also playing regularly – so to be in with the best chance of winning, make sure you play regularly and take the time to analyze your gameplay and adjust your strategy so that you can improve in future.
Our Omaha poker strategy guides can and WILL help you become a better player – so be sure to read them thoroughly and regularly.