The Rules of Omaha

The rules of Omaha are almost exactly the same as those of Texas Holdem with a couple of important exceptions – each player is dealt four ‘hole’, ‘pocket’ or personal cards, not two as in Texas Holdem and players cannot play the board as they can in Texas Holdem, simply because the rules state that each player has to use exactly two of their own cards and three community cards from the board to make up the highest hand according to the traditional poker hand ranking.

Rules of Omaha Holdem

Other important criteria to remember when playing Omaha – whether it is the Holdem version or the Hi-Lo version of the game – are:

  •  The highest hand wins in Holdem but the highest and lowest hands win in the Hi-Lo variant of the game and the pot is split
  • Players MUST use two of their ‘hole’ cards combined with three community cards from the board
  • Aces are both high and low when aiming for a straight
  • There is a three raise limit per round
  • There can be up to as many as ten players in Omaha

The Lowdown on Betting Rounds

  1. The dealer will deal four cards to each player face down – these are the ‘hole’ or pocket cards
  2. First betting round takes place
  3. The dealer will burn a card, or discard it from the top of the pile, and then turn over three community cards in the centre of the table, face-up – this is the flop
  4. Second betting round
  5. The dealer will burn another card and then turns over a single community card – this is known as the turn or fourth street
  6. Third betting round
  7. The dealer will burn and turn the final community card, the river or fifth street
  8. Fourth and final betting round
  9. The showdown – here every remaining player shows his hand, starting with the bettor

Rules of Omaha Hi-Lo

Another very popular variant of Omaha is Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8 or better and all the rules pertaining to Omaha Holdem are relevant to Omaha Hi-Lo split apart from the fact that in the hi-lo version both a high and low hand have to be made from two hole cards and three boardcards.

If the Hi-Lo version is qualified with 8 or better, as is often the case, this means that a hand must be at worst an 8 for the low hand to be eligible to win the low portion of the pot!