How to Play With the Omaha Poker Strategy

Perhaps you’ve been hearing how big Omaha poker is, or maybe you’ve been asked to join an Omaha poker league. Whatever your curiosity about Omaha poker we’re here to explain the game, give you some tips, and talk through the strategy.

If you’re familiar with general poker rules and games, particularly with Texas Hold’em, you’ll have a good starting level for understanding Omaha Poker, also known as Omaha Hold’em. It is a favorite of poker players everywhere, coming in a close second in popularity to Texas Hold’em. In this version of the game, your task is to make the best possible 5 card hand with the cards that you are dealt and the five community cards.

There are other variants of the game referred to as Omaha hi-lo, Omaha eight-or-better or Pot Limit Omaha sometimes abbreviated to PLO. Let’s take a look at the basics and how to approach the game.

Omaha Poker – the Main Points 

Omaha poker is like Texas Hold’em, but there are some differences. Each player is dealt four hole cards, not two as in Texas Hold’em. The layout of the community cards and betting rounds are the same as Texas Hold’em. 

When it comes to the showdown, each player is looking to make the best five-card hand that is made from three of the five cards on the board and two of the player’s own cards. This is different from Texas Hold’em where a player can use more cards on the board and fewer from their holding as needed.

After each player receives their four hole cards, betting goes around the group in a clockwise direction, where you can raise fold call or check. Following this is the flop, the first three community cards are dealt, then there is the second round of betting. The fourth community card is turned over and then finally the river, the fifth card. Any players left in the game reveal their best hands.

You can make a flush from three or more suited cards on the board, but you need two of that suit in your hand to play it. This is true of a straight too; you have to use two cards from your hand to have a straight. The cards in the player’s hand need to do more work than in Texas Hold’em. For example, if there are three of a kind on the board, a player needs a pair in hand to make a full house.

As this game can be pretty tricky to pick up, we recommend practising several hands before you play for real money. You can find this game for free on most sites, where you can play for fun and learn the rules.

Omaha Poker Tips

Omaha poker is challenging to play, but that’s what makes it fun. With the right information and strategy, you can hone your skills and become an Omaha poker player that wins.

Understand the Game 

There is no getting around it, you have to know the rules, and even if you think you know Omaha poker, check which version is being played and if there are any extra rules or limits.

You can’t even begin to work on strategy unless you know what you’re aiming for and how to form those winning hands. 

Omaha Poker Books

If you have an understanding of Texas Hold’em, read up on the differences, then practice several hands. Once you feel comfortable that you know how to make winning hands, practice some more and then start working on your strategy. 

Form Habits 

Even seasoned poker players get caught out by thinking they have made a winning hand, but then realizing they have slipped into Texas Hold’em mode. As the games look similar, this is easily done. The only way around this is to form a habit of constantly checking that you have remembered to use two of your hole cards.

Understand Starting Hands 

It is essential to make the right decisions pre-flop. That means you consider your four hole cards carefully and see the potential in them. For example, you’re looking for two cards of the same suit or double suited, a big pair; something that could connect to the community cards and give you multiple options.

When you practice, the more you play, the more you’ll understand what is a good starting hand and how to make bets according to your four-card holding. Before you enter an Omaha poker tournament, make sure you know your starting hands, and understand these can change depending on your opponents and the stage of the game.

Variety and Expectations 

On the one hand, you want to be known for discarding worthless Omaha poker starting hands and only playing when you have something strong. However, if you only raise your best hands, your game can become quite predictable. If you are playing in an Omaha poker league or tournament, you’ll need to mix up your strategy to keep your opponents guessing. 

Play Omaha Poker Online

Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities to play and practice Omaha poker online or in Omaha poker tournaments. Look out for free Omaha hi-lo poker online in dedicated poker rooms. You’ll also find real money and free Omaha poker games at many online casinos. 

We recommend looking out for online casinos promoting Omaha poker. You can find Omaha poker tutorials and introductory games on many websites, as they want you to be able to get to grips with the game.

When it comes to Omaha poker vs Texas Hold’em, knowing each game better will help you choose which one you prefer. Remember, having a good understanding of each game will make you a better all-round poker player.