Beginners Guide to Omaha for UK Players

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Although most popular as a pot limit cash game, Omaha also lends itself well to no-limit and tournament play.

Omaha poker whether it is ‘High’ or ‘High-Low’ is played in much the same way as “Texas Hold-Em” in terms of game flow. Blinds are first placed on the table, players are then individually dealt a number of cards face down for their hand (4 in this case).

Players bet in a clockwise order to see the first 3 community cards face-up on the board (the flop) and then bet again to see the fourth (the turn) and fifth and final card (the river). The game moves on to the next card when all player bets in a round are equal (all bets matched).

In Hold-Em you can use between 0 and 2 cards in your hand along with 3 to 5 community cards to make the strongest possible poker hand. In Omaha, you must use exactly two of the cards from the four you are dealt. This means that you would need exactly three of the community cards. The possible combinations are still very high and it is likely that a number of players will have a strong hand.

There are two main types of Omaha Poker, defined by the type of winning hands.

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Omaha High Poker Game – Basic Rules and Hands

The first type is commonly referred to as ‘Omaha’ but we will call it ‘Omaha High’ for ease of distinction. In Omaha High, the universal poker hand hierarchy applies.

The best hand is a straight flush, followed by 4 of a kind, followed by full house and so on. Therefore as you can see from the list of top ten starting hands below, you are looking for a similar type of hand to bet on as with most poker codes. Suited and double suited hands are an obvious advantage.

The Top Ten Starting Hands in Omaha High

  • A-A-K-K
  • A-A-J-T
  • A-A-Q-Q
  • A-A-J-J
  • A-A-T-T
  • A-A-9-9
  • A-A-x-x
  • J-T-9-8
  • K-K-Q-Q
  • K-K-J-J

It is important to remember however, that as each player has more cards, the chances of a strong hand are higher in each pot than you will be used to if you only play Hold-Em UK. Therefore expect more betting to take place and only bet with strong hands. Bluffing is not an effective strategy in Omaha, especially with large numbers of players.

Omaha High-Low Poker Game – The Basics

The other main code of Omaha poker is known as ‘Omaha High-Low’, so called because there are two wining hands for every pot. First, the highest or best hand will win 50% of the pot and then the lowest or worst hand will win the other 50%. A player can win both the high and low hand if they have the right cards.

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The high hands are ranked in the standard poker hierarchy. The lowest hand is decided by the smallest additive value of your hand of five cards. For example, the best low hand is Ace to 5 straight (the wheel). This is followed by A, 2, 3, 4 &6, then 2 to 6 straight, then 2,3,4,5 &7 and so on. In order to qualify as a low hand, your hand of 5 must have 5 different ranked cards (no pairs), each numbered 8 or lower. Aces count as ones in this instance and straights and flushes are ignored.

The Top Starting Hands in Omaha Hi-Lo

  • A-A-2-3 DS
  • A-A-2-4 DS
  • A-A-2-3 Suited
  • A-A-2-5 DS
  • A-A-2-4 Suited
  • A-A-3-4 DS
  • A-A-2-3 Non-suited
  • A-A-2-2 DS
  • A-A-3-5 DS
  • A-A-2-6 DS

In some hands due to a lack of the minimum 3 low cards on the board, no low pot will be possible. In these cases 100% of the pot is won by the high hand.

Omaha is an action-packed way to play poker so give it a try today. Check the best online casinos for UK players and grab fantastic bonus offer to play your favourite casino game.

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