Omaha Hold’Em poker, typically called Omaha poker amongst players, is a member of the community card poker family. It is a variation of the classic poker style that incorporates the unique element of shared, or community, cards into its game structure. In this way, Omaha closely follows the poker rules of Texas Hold’Em poker, a popular poker variation that also uses community cards.
The objective of Omaha poker is to make a better 5-card hand than any other player at the table. The game uses one standard deck of 52-cards and can comfortably seat a number of players from two to ten.
At the start of each game of Omaha poker, the player to the left of the dealer commences with the small blind. The second player then pays the big blind. Blinds are simply mandatory bets that begin the Omaha poker pot. The responsibility of paying the blinds shifts clockwise around the poker table so that all players will contribute to the poker game.
After the blinds have been paid, each player is deal four cards face down by the dealer. These cards are known as a player’s pocket (or hole) cards, and must be kept hidden from other competitors. Each player must use exactly two of these cards to compose their final 5-card poker hand. Players can choose whichever two of their four pocket cards to use, combining them with three of the five community cards to make their hand.
Following the first deal is the first round of betting. After betting, the first round of community cards will be dealt face up to the table by the dealer. The first round is called the Flop and exposes three cards. Players then bet again, starting with the player on the dealer’s left. Any player who does not want to call, or agree to pay, the bet, forfeits his cards and exits the game. All remaining players then view the Turn, the fourth community card. After betting, the last community card is revealed in the River. The final bets are placed, and remaining players then reveal their 5-card hands.
Whichever player has the highest hand at the table wins the pot. The Omaha poker hand rankings are as follows: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, Pair and High Card.
Once players have mastered the basic rules, learning how to play Omaha poker is best done through practice. People can play poker Omaha-style in a number of different formats. With an internet connection, players can play free poker or online poker for real money wagers in online casinos. Playing free online poker is a great way for new players to hone their skills, knowing that they can make mistakes without losing money bet. A free poker game even benefits advanced players who can work on improving their own strategies and testing out professional poker tips with the goal of developing the perfect Omaha technique.