Omaha Hold’Em is a variation of Texas Hold’Em poker in which players have nine cards to make up their hands instead of just seven. The game is played with a standard 52-deck pack, no jokers, and standard poker hand rankings are used. Players must make up poker hands using their two of their four pocket cards, and three out of the five community cards, also known as the board cards.
The rules and order of play are as follows:
A round starts with eight players at the table. Each player is dealt four cards face down, which they then check the values of.
To start things off the player to left of the house dealer is designated ‘dealer’. The player to the ‘dealer’s’ left puts down a small blind and the next player to the left puts down a big blind. The blinds are predetermined before the game and the big blind equals the minimum table bet. The ‘dealer’ position is marked with a white plastic button and the button rotates around the table with each round so that all players take turns as the ‘dealer’. The ‘dealer’ only signifies the position of the players putting down the blinds. A round of betting follows starting with the player who put down the small blind. Each player can check, fold, or raise. To check a player must match the big blind or a previous raise. The round continues until all raises have been checked. The house dealer then deals three community cards in the middle of the table and turns them over simultaneously. This is called the flop.
Another round of betting follows, starting with the player who put down the small bind. The house deal deals a fourth community card known as the turn, followed by another round of betting, again starting with small bind position or, if that player has folded, with the player to the left.
Finally, a last and fifth community card is dealt, known as the river, with a final round of betting as before. Each player must make up their final hands using at least two of their pocket cards and three of the community cards.
The most significant aspect of making up hands in Omaha Hold’Em is that players MUST use two of their pocket cards and three board cards to make up their hands. This is in contrast to Texas Hold’Em where a player can make a hand using any combination of pocket and board cards.
Another variation of Omaha Hold’Em is Omaha Hi-Lo. In this version of the game players are required to make up two different hands; a highest hand and a lowest hand. The hands can be made up using different combinations of cards but of course each hand must include just two pocket cards and three community cards. The players with the highest and lowest hands split the pot.
In most casinos Omaha Hold’Em is played as a Limit Pot game although there are some online casinos that off Omaha No Limit games.