Omaha poker is another version of poker that also uses community cards. The game comes in two different versions – Omaha Hold’em and Omaha Hi-Lo. For the purposes of this article, only Omaha Hold’em will be discussed.
- The dealer can be differentiated by the button in front of him or her. This is when the pre-betting starts. There is no need to ante for every round. However, blind bets are more common.
- Starting the game requires two blinds to be placed. The player to the immediate left of the dealer places the small blind and the next player to the left places the big blind. The small blind is equal to half of the big blind that is in turn equal to the minimum bet.
- Starting with the small blind placer, each player is dealt four cards face down.
- The first round of betting then starts. The player to the left of the player who placed the big blind begins. This player can fold, bet or raise. This goes around the table until it reaches the player who placed the small blind. This player is allowed to call the bet before it moves on to the big blind placer. The first round of betting is quite controlled in the sense that betting is limited to one bet and three raises per player.
- Three community cards are then dealt facing upwards and are placed in the middle of the table. This is known as the flop.
- The second round of betting then takes place. The player who is still in the game to the left of the dealer kicks things off. Players are allowed to check, raise, call or fold.
- This is called the turn. At the end of the second betting round the dealer once again burns the top card and adds the next card face up to the community cards. The player to the let of the dealer (whoever is closest and still in the game) starts off the betting.
- The river happens at the end of the third betting round where another card is burnt and a card is added face up to make 5 community cards. A fourth round of betting takes place.
- The showdown is where it all happens. Players use two of their pocket cards, along with the 5 community cards, to make up the best 5-card poker hand. The player who bet or raised last is the player to show his/her cards.
The betting structure:
Betting always happens in a clockwise direction once the players to the left of the dealer have placed the small and big blinds – being half the minimum bet and equal to the minimum bet respectively.
If a game is posted as a $5/$10 game then the first round of betting will be a minimum of $5. The small blind will be $2.50 and the big blind will be $5. The first round allows players to fold, bet or raise with a maximum of one bet and three folds per player. However, there is no checking allowed in the first round.
In the following rounds (2-4) players can check, fold, raise or bet. The first two rounds take on the lower betting minimum ($5 in this case) and the last two rounds will take on the higher betting minimum ($10).
When playing Omaha poker, players are allowed up to four bets per round. These bets are bet, raise, re-raise and cap. Capping is used to determine the third raise, after which there can be no more raises.