Introduction To Omaha Poker

Omaha Poker is becoming more and more popular online with new players discovering the game each week. This article introduces the different forms of Omaha poker by answering the three most basic questions of all…. The What? Where? And Why?

What Is Omaha Poker??

There are actually several variations of Omaha – listed below. The basics are that this is a ‘community card’ game, with a flop, turn and river and betting rounds organized in the same way as in the better known Texas Holdem. The difference is subtle but has a huge effect on your strategy – each player is dealt 4 ‘hole cards’ rather than 2, and making a hand at showdown must follow the golden rule:

The golden rule to remember with all forms of Omaha Poker is this:
‘To Make A Poker Hand You Must Use Exactly 2 Cards From Your Hand And Exactly 3 Cards From The Board’

This is vital, 2 and only 2 cards from your hand must be used, 3 and only 3 cards from the board must be used. This in turn affects your starting hand selection, which is often misunderstood by players new to the game. Our guide to Omaha Poker Starting Hands provides further discussion of this.

Omaha is often called a ‘game of the nuts’. The higher probability of someone making the very best possible hand when each player starts with 4 hands is far higher – in Omaha you need a very strong hand before committing too many chips.

The variations of Omaha Poker work in two ways, firstly the betting structure and secondly high-only Omaha games and Hi-Lo split games need to be considered. The betting is usually either ‘pot-limit’, where any bet or raise can be up to the size of the current pot, or fixed-limit – where the betting amounts are pre-determined. The 4 variations this gives us are:

  • Pot Limit Omaha High (known as PLO). Highest hand wins / Pot-Limit Betting.
  • Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo (known as PLO8). Pot is split between the highest poker hand and the lowest containing 5 cards 8 or lower.
  • Fixed Limit Omaha High: Highest hand wins the slowdown / Fixed Betting Amounts.
  • Fixed Limit Omaha Hi-Lo: Pot Split at Showdown / Fixed Betting Amounts
  • No-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo: Pot Spit at Showdown / No Restrictions On Betting Amounts

In the Omaha Hi-lo games the high and the low hands are determined independently at showdown – meaning cards can count for both the high and low hands. For more on this read our article on the Rules Of Omaha Hi-Lo.

Why Play Omaha Poker?

Players who fall for the high action and strategic nature of all forms of Omaha Poker could probably talk about this question for hours! Here we will look at some of the key reasons why Omaha Poker is becoming more and more popular.

Profits: The money is always a good place to start. With so many players new to the game at the tables there is a great opportunity for those who understand a little in the way of Omaha Poker Strategy to make big profits.

Action: Omaha is a game of draws and re-draws. There are two sayings which describe Omaha Poker perfectly in this sense: 1) The Turn Changes Everything, and 2) The River Changes Everything! There are not many games where is can be ‘correct’ to fold the nuts on the flop, doing so occasionally in Omaha can actually save you a lot of cash.

Strategy: There are no ‘big favorite’ starting hands before the flop in Omaha poker. It is a game where big draws can easily be favorite over made hands on the flop, and where understanding the basics of odds, outs and pot-limit betting can give you a huge strategic edge over your opponents.

Bonuses: Omaha is one of the best online games for clearing poker bonuses. The reason is that the average pot size at any one level will be much bigger than for other poker games.

Freshness: Games such as Holdem have been popular for years, Omaha Poker provides a great change and a new challenge for those players tired of the Holdem grind.

Where To Play Omaha Poker?

While most online poker sites now offer Omaha there are some huge differences in the games on offer, number of tables and (importantly) the amount of ‘fish’ in the games that need to be considered.

Here at Omaha Planet we have a section dedicated to helping you find the Best Omaha Poker Sites. Here you will find objective ratings some of the top rated sites for Omaha poker and information on bonuses, fishiness and Omaha tournament availability – and even better ‘rakeback’ deals which mean you will accumulate extra cash every time you play!

Remember, when it comes to Omaha Poker all sites are not equal.

Further Reading

Omaha Poker Planet is split into easy to use sections to help you get the most from the large number of strategy and review articles. For those players new to Omaha here are some suggested ‘next steps’ on your journey into this fantastic form of poker:

Beginners Pot Limit Omaha Pre-Flop Strategy
Beginners Pot Limit Omaha Post-Flop Strategy
Texas Holdem vs PLO – 5 Key Differences
Best Site For Omaha Poker Cash Games

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