Omaha Rules



Omaha fuses an excellent money making opportunity with a fly by the seat of your pants experience. The focus on Hold’em is value betting while Omaha’s is stacking. Mountains of chips are won and lost with a frequency that cause many Hold’em to pause. This article is a brief introduction to the rules and aspects of the most popular version of Omaha which is pot limit.


I sit in my seat as a third and fourth card are dealt to me. Peaking at my cards, I feel that I can make every draw that I could not in Hold’em. You can and you can not is the secret I soon learned. Omaha’s onus is based on this simple rule: Use two and only two cards in your hand. By subtraction if you need five cards and two cards must be used out of your hole cards then three cards have to be used from the community cards. This rigid rule differs from Hold’em and is a stumbling block for the beginning Omaha player. Elementary to see but a wee bit harder to grasp in practice.


Example – Straight Flush


By being aware of common reading mistakes, one can avoid the pitfalls that beginners make. Straights, flushes, and full houses can be misread until one grasps this concept. The following hand illustrates this point. You are dealt AKJ8 rainbow and the board reads 76542 with four spades. In the Hold’em universe, you have a eight high straight and if you have a spade then you hold a flush. In Omaha this is not the case. The 8 must be coupled with the Ace, King or Jack to make your best hand. The best hand if you use the 8 is A8765 which is not a straight. A flush is not made since your hole cards are rainbow. Once learned the Hold’em player can easily grasp hand reading in Omaha.


Omaha Encourages Action

Pot limit betting is by far the most common form of the game. The ability to put one all in at any time is not present at all times in Omaha. Only if the amount of what is in the pot exceeds a persons remaining chip stack can one go all in. Often one gets the correct price to draw to hands that your opponent is seeking to protect. Hands that could not be drawn to profitably in Hold’em are be gold mines to draw to in Omaha. The goal here is to get the whole stack of the opponent not to value bet.


Mucked in Omaha

A strong hand in Hold’em is commonly mucked in Omaha. Top Pair top kicker is scoffed at and two pair are frequently discarded during heavy betting. Sets and super wraps are the name of the game. If the draw is not to the nuts the draw is usually not worth it. Fortunes are often won and lost with alarming frequency in this game where the odds encourage chasing. Hands that are rarely seen in Hold’em are common place in Omaha.

A simple game to learn, an easy game to love, and depths of strategy to investigate that challenge poker players for a lifetime. Omaha is a growing and profitable branch of poker that all Hold’em players should explore.