Omaha Poker is a very different game from Texas Hold’em Poker in the respect that a greater emphasis is put on maths and outs in Omaha, and there are fewer opportunities to bluff your opponents. Nonetheless, Omaha Poker betting rules are much the same as you will find in the more popular version of poker, with the major difference being the rules you should apply to your own betting, rather than any technicalities of the game itself.
On most web sites for real money poker games, Omaha Poker is played in two versions – Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo – with the latter awarding half the pot to the player with the lowest combination of cards between ace and eight. Games are rarely played No Limit, with Pot Limit being the most popular betting style, and Fixed Limit is also available for players who like to have the security of a betting cap to preserve their chips a little longer!
The Basic Rules of Omaha
As with Texas Hold’em Poker, betting proceeds clockwise from the button. The player to the left of the button is the small blind and the player on his left is the big blind. The player to the left of the big blind is “under the gun”, and he acts first in the pre-flop betting. In later rounds of betting, it is the small blind (or first person still in the hand to their left) who acts first.
The player to act first, and those of the players following him, has the option of to calling the big blind, raising the pot or folding. In Pot Limit betting, the maximum bet that can be made is calculated by counting all the chips already in the pot and those on the table, and then adding the amount that would be required to call the blind.
For example, you are third in line to act in the betting. The blinds are $10.00 and $20.00, so there is $30.00 in the pot at the start of the betting, and the player in front of you calls the big blind with $20.00. Now there is $50.00 in the pot, and as it would have cost you $20.00 to call the big blind, you can raise the pot by a maximum of $70.00.
In Fixed Limit Poker, the options that each player has are still to call, raise or fold, but the only amount by which a player can raise the pot is the “limit” of the big blind. The number of raises that can be made in a round of betting is capped (usually at three), so if you were playing $1.00/$2.00 Fixed Limit Omaha Poker, the maximum you would commit to a pot in pre-flop betting would $8.00.
In both varieties of the game (and in No Limit when played), the minimum bet during the third and fourth rounds of betting – after the turn and river – are double the big blind. There are loads of dedicated omaha sites out there where you can read more abaout the omaha poker betting rules and brush up on strategy articles which we strongly advise you to do.
Omaha Poker Betting Strategy
It is important to remember that only two cards from the four pocket cards you are dealt count towards your best hand. Therefore, if the only heart you have in your hand is the ace and four further hearts are drawn in the community cards, you do not have a heart flush, and with so many potential outs it is always ideal to get to the flop as cheaply as possible. Pairs and sets rarely win hands at Omaha and you want to be looking at top straight or better before committing too many chips to the pot.
Both Omaha Hi and Hi/Lo are gaining popularity as forms of poker enjoyed by many – both online and in live events – but before you start playing the game it is better to be aware of the Omaha Poker betting rules.