Omaha Poker can be an extremely fun but tricky game when it comes to the different types of poker games. The game starts out like most other poker games. It is played at a standard poker table and the number of players ranges from 6 to 10 in professional games. If you are playing at home you can have as little or as many players as you prefer. The “button” (signifying the dealer but usually isn’t the actual dealer) starts with a particular person and is passed clockwise around the table to the next player each hand. The person to the direct left of the “button” puts up the small blind and the person to their left puts up the big blind. These blinds are to build the pot so there is actually money being played for at the start of the hand.
The actual dealer deals the first card to the person just left of the big blind. He continues dealing one card to each player until every player has four cards in their hand. All four cards are dealt face down to the individual players so that no other players can who has what cards. All cards in each players hand are to be kept covered for the entire hand. The game starts with the same player that received the first card (the player just left of the big blind). They have the option to call (the amount of the big blind), raise (bet larger than the big blind), or fold (throw their cards away). This continues around the table until the betting gets back to the person who put out the big blind.
The goal in the game of Omaha poker is to make the best five card hand using three of the cards from the board and two cards from your individual four card hand. This is decided by the three rounds of betting that occurs (much like Texas Hold ‘em is played). Subsequent to the initial round of betting is complete the dealer opens three cards on the board. The board is where “community” cards are displayed for all players to use to build their best five card hand. After these three cards are opened and displayed an additional round of betting occurs. The betting starts with the player that put up the big blind and continues to the left until all players that are “in” have bet the same amount. Players that do not feel their cards are worthy of betting may fold at this point.
When the second round of betting is complete, the dealer opens up a single card and displays it on the board. This card is often referred to as “Fourth Street” or “the turn”. Another round of betting starts. If there are still players remaining at the end of this round the dealer opens up one last card and displays it on the board. There are now a total of five cards on the board. Again, the goal is for each player to make the best five card hand using two of their own cards and three cards from the board. This game differs from Texas Hold ‘em in that two cards MUST be used from each of the player’s hands. In Texas Hold ‘em if there is a five card straight on the board then both players can use that straight as their hand and chop the pot but in Omaha this is not possible.
The rank of an individual player’s five card hand compared to the rank of their opponent(s) is the deciding factor when it comes to who won the pot. The hands are ranked the same as any other poker game.