Omaha Hi is a community card game just like Texas Holdem and many of the rules that govern its gameplay are similar.
The game itself though will be different on several levels. The main difference between Omaha and Holdem is that in Omaha, players pick up four pocket cards instead of the two in Holdem. That changes the variables of the equation quite radically. While they’re only allowed to use two of their pocket cards (they have to use two pocket cards and three community cards in the makeup of their hands in fact) players will still be able to make more accurate preflop decisions on account of the bigger amount of data available.
This is why your preflop decisions become more important in Omaha, and this is why the skill factor becomes more important in Omaha than in Holdem. The game begins with the posting of the binds. The SB is on the immediate left of the dealer button, the BB is on the immediate left of the SB. These are called “blind” bets because players need to make them without seeing any of their pocket cards or any of the community cards. After the blinds are posted, the dealer hands players their pocket cards. The deal goes around the table in a clock-wise direction.
After the deal, the preflop betting round commences. This stage is extremely important in Omaha. Remember that by making the correct decisions preflop, you’ll make your post-flop decisions much easier.
Before the flop, players can choose to call the BB, to raise it or to fold their pocket hands. Position is extremely important in Omaha too. The player who acts first in a hand acts blindly, without getting any sort of information form his/her opponents. The worst possible position is on the immediate left of the BB, called “under the gun”. The dealer button and thus the blinds do go around the table in a clock-wise direction with every hand though, so no player will be confined for this earliest position.
Players who act last will be able to draw certain conclusions from their opponents’ actions before they risk any money. The best position to be in is the dealer button, followed by the cut-off (called that on account of the possibility it offers for the cut-off player to foil the dealer’s plans by raising into him/her.
The preflop betting round is followed by the flop. Three community cards are dealt onto the table just like in Texas Holdem. Players will now make their hands with exactly two cards from their pockets and exactly three cards off the board. The flop is followed by another betting round. Provided you’ve made the right preflop choice, your post-flop decisions will be extremely simple. The turn is the 4th community card to hit the board. It too is followed by a round of betting. The river is the last community card, followed by the last round of betting. At showdown, the highest 5-card poker hand wins the pot.
Omaha is currently the second most popular online poker variant. Almost every poker room offers Omaha tables and Omaha games are raked the same way Holdem games are. Sign up to a rakeback deal like the Full Tilt rakeback or the Absolute poker rakeback to take the edge out of the poker rake and to instantly improve your performance without any additional effort.