Omaha poker is growing in popularity is the second most popular poker game online. While Hold’em still dominates, this game has an increasing number of fans thanks to the fast-paced action and showdowns between big poker hands. Many of the poker skills you learned playing Hold’em can be transferred to this game. However, there are lots of areas which will require a different approach. This guide will show you how to play Omaha poker and avoid those beginner mistakes which often end up costing you money.

First of all below, you’ll find details on how Omaha poker works. The article compares its similarities and differences from Hold’em along the way. After that, you’ll find an outline of the different variations of Omaha poker. To finish, you’ll see some great tips to give you a head start at the Omaha


How to Play Omaha Poker

Omaha poker is similar to Hold’em in some ways. You see a total of five community cards, three on the flop, one on the turn and one on the river. The major difference is that you start Omaha with four hole cards, and must use two of them at showdown and three community cards. In Hold’em you get to choose to use both, one or none of your hole cards at showdown. This is not the case in Omaha. You must always use two and only two, but you keep all four to the end and decide then, which means you can sometimes be chasing one hand and hit another entirely.

The betting in Omaha is generally pot limit, there are other variations that will be discussed later. However, the most popular is pot-limit Omaha (or PLO). In this betting format, you can bet up to the size of the current pot each time the action reaches you. This keeps pots small on early betting rounds and can lead to big raises and re-raises on later streets.

Due to the many similarities with Hold’em in terms of the blinds, community cards and order of betting, many players assume incorrectly that their Hold’em skills are sufficient to move over. This is usually not the case, with the multiple draws meaning that made hands on the flop can often be underdogs. See the full list of omaha poker rules


Omaha Poker Variations and Betting Limits

There are a number of different Omaha variations and betting limits. Here is an overview of them:

Fixed Limit Omaha – This is where there is a predetermined betting limit for each street, with the bet doubling on the turn. Fixed-limit Omaha High Low is most common here where the best five-card poker hand splits the pot with the best qualifying low hand. High-only fixed-limit Omaha can be found, though this is relatively rare.

No-Limit Omaha – No limit is straightforward enough. You can bet any amount of chips that you have in front of you at any point in the hand. No limit is not popular at all in Omaha High and is very rarely spread. This can be found in Omaha Hi/Lo games and works well in this format.

Pot-Limit Omaha – PLO is easily the most popular format where bets are limited to the size of the pot at all times. This helps the pot grow steadily and incentivizes action. PLO is again played where the pot is awarded to the best high five-card poker hand.

Omaha Hi/Lo – Omaha Hi/Lo is a split-pot game and differs most from Hold’em out of all the Omaha variations. The total pot is split in half, with the best high hand receiving half the pot and the best low hand receiving the other half. One thing to note is that there is not always a low hand. If the flop is all high there is a decent chance there will be no low hand.

Others – There are also quirky variations like five and six card Omaha, which play like PLO but you have five or six hole cards to start. Courchevel is another great variation, with the first card of the flop dealt along with the initial hole cards.


Omaha Poker Tips

Whether you’re a recreational or a professional poker player, Omaha is always more fun when you’re winning. You can increase your chances at the Omaha tables by approaching the game the right way. Remember the three pillars of smart poker: game selection, bankroll management, and strategy. The first two concepts are easy to apply – and easy to overlook. Even the smartest players with the best Omaha strategies will end up on the sidelines if they don’t practice all three of these fundamentals.

Game selection – all about finding the games where you have the biggest edge. If you’re a new player, consider starting with tournaments, where the competition level isn’t as fierce. Fixed-Limit Omaha will also protect you from losing big pots while you’re learning the game. Bankroll management is all about managing your risk by playing at stakes you can afford. New Omaha cash game players are recommended to have at least 20 buy-ins for their chosen stake; online tournament players should cap their buy-ins at 1% of their bankroll.

Hand Selection – When playing Omaha, you start with four hole cards. Because of this, hand selection is really important. You should look to play hands which work together in combinations, for example, suited and connected cards in addition to high card and high pair strength. The premium hands in Omaha high have two suits and connecting cards in them that can make the nuts on a lot of flops.

If you get to showdown on a draw-heavy board then the chances that even a strong hand like trips is still good is very small. This is a bigger hand game and you should always be aiming to draw to the nuts or close to the nuts.

By playing connected starting hands, drawing only to the nuts and making sure you play from position (where you can control the size of the pot better) you will find Omaha games both profitable and entertaining.

With these fundamentals in place, you can start applying some Omaha poker strategy to improve your chances of winning. As with other forms of poker, aggression and position are key. But if you’re making the transition from Texas Hold’em, don’t forget that it’s much easier to make big hands in Omaha. Two pair may be worth betting all three streets in Hold’em, but it might only be worth one bet on the flop in Omaha – you may even have to fold


Playing Omaha Poker at Bodog Poker

How to Play Omaha Poker Online To play Omaha at Bodog Poker, you’ll need to sign up for an account, download the poker client (or go mobile using the web app), and if you’re going to play real money games, you’ll need to make your first deposit – don’t forget about our 100% Poker Sign Up Bonus, where we match that deposit dollar-for-dollar, for up to $1,000 in bonus money.

Once you’ve got all that straightened out, open the Bodog Poker client and start playing. We recommend trying the Play Money games before making your first deposit; just toggle the Practice Mode button to see what games are available. Take a moment to get familiar with the client. Try out the different settings, like the four-colour deck and the Rabbit Card feature. These settings can always be changed later on at your discretion.


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