Omaha

Overview

Omaha Poker is similar to Texas Hold'em. Each player is dealt four cards face down, which are also called pocket cards. As in Texas Hold'em, five cards are dealt face up on the table.

Players can make combinations using only two of their four pocket cards and three of five community cards on the table. PokerNuts offers Omaha (also called Omaha High) and Omaha High/Low.

Omaha Game Rules

Omaha Poker can be played with a minimum of two players and a maximum of ten players using a 52-card deck without jokers. Each player is dealt four ‘pocket’ cards face down, with a further five community cards dealt face up on the table.
 
Players can make combinations using only two of their four pocket cards and three of five community cards on the table and the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. The combinations and their ranking are the same as in Texas Hold'em.

Omaha High/Low Rules

The rules of Omaha High/Low are similar to the rules of regular Omaha with only one exception: the pot is split equally between the best High and the best Low hands. The winning player is the player who has the best High hand. However, the player who has the best low hand consisting of 5 cards of different value and suit which are ranked 8 or lower can win half the pot.

The players can make their combinations using only two of their four pocket cards and three of the five community cards on the table. If only one player has the best low hand, the pot will be split between them and the player with the best high hand.
 
If there are several players with low hands, the winner is determined by the highest card in their combination (in this case the lowest card). If there are several players with equally ranked low hands, the portion of the pot awarded to the low hand winner is split between them evenly.

Players may play high and low hands simultaneously using two of their pocket cards and three of the community cards on the table. The best low hand consists of five, four, three, two and ace of any suit.
An ace may simultaneously be a part of high hand and low hand.

Game Types

Limit poker

In Limit poker, the bet and the raise are agreed in advance.
For example, in a 1/2 Limit game, both the bet and bet raise must equal 1. Not more or less. In the last two rounds the bet and raise must equal 2.

Pot Limit

In a Pot Limit game, the maximum value of the bet or raise must not be more than the total amount in the pot at that time. For example, if the total amount in the pot is 10, the first player to act in the betting round can bet a maximum of 10 but the second player can bet up to 30 (10 for his part of the call with a raise of 20, the total amount of money in the pot when it is his turn to play). There is no limit to the number of raises in Pot Limit poker games.

No Limit

In a No Limit game there is no bet limit. All players may bet any amount during the betting round as long as their minimum bet is equal to the big blind.

Game Stages

The game is divided into four betting rounds with the initial pot forming by the blind bets.
The first player to join the game becomes the dealer and is marked with a round disk. The game is played in a clockwise direction, starting with the player directly to the left of the dealer.

If multiple players join the table simultaneously (on tournaments for example), the role of dealer is decided by dealing one card face up to each player, with the highest-ranking card taking the role of dealer.
The dealer button moves clockwise from player to player with each round.

Blinds

Before a game begins, the two players to the left of the dealer place ‘blind bets’ (these are called blind bets because they are made before the players have seen any cards). This is called 'posting the blinds' and ensures that there is some money in the pot to play for at the start of the game.

The player to the left of the dealer posts the ‘small blind’ and the second player to the left of the dealer posts the ‘big blind’, which is exactly twice the small blind amount.

If a player does not have enough chips to place a blind bet, he stakes everything he has at once (see the All-In section).

If there are only two players in the game, the small blind and the big blind still have to be posted. In that case the dealer posts the big blind and the other player posts the small blind, so the first round begins.

Pre-Flop 

Each player is dealt four cards, face down and can see only their own cards. The player to the left of the player who posted the big blind begins the betting round and can choose to:

Call - match the amount bet in the big blind
Raise - increase the amount bet
Fold - surrender his cards and stake in the game

The same actions may be taken by each player when it is their turn to place a bet. When the betting returns to the player who placed the big blind, that player can decide not to raise, i.e. to make a check, if no other player raises. However, if an opponent has raised, the player who placed the big blind again has the option to call, raise or fold.

When all bets are equal, the initial pot is formed and the game turns to the next round (Flop). Flop During the Flop, three ‘Community cards’ are dealt face up to be used by all the players. The player who posted the small blind begins this betting round and, when all bets are equal, the game moves to the next round (Turn).

Turn

A fourth Community Card is dealt face up on the table and the third round of betting begins.

River

The fifth and final Community Card is dealt and the final betting round begins.

Showdown

When all bets are of equal value, it is time for all players to show their cards and, generally, the last player to bet or raise during the final betting round is the one to show their cards first. However, if during the last betting round all the remaining players checked (i.e. no player placed a bet), then the first player to the dealer's left who did not fold during the game is the first to show their cards.

Moving in a clockwise direction, the other players reveal their cards in turn and, if the player's hand is weaker than the current winning hand, the player has the option to show or ‘muck’ their cards.  The best five-card hand takes the pot.

If two players have equally high ranking hands, the pot is split. Each player may claim back the part of the pot, which they originally contributed. Please see the "All-In" section

In Omaha: The best five-card hand takes the pot.

In Omaha High/Low: A pot is split between the best high hand and best low hand evenly. If no player has low hand, the entire pot goes to the player with the winning high hand.

If two players share an identical ranking hand, the pot is split.
Player may only claim a pot to which they have contributed. Please see All-In.

 

Game-specific

Missed Blinds Policy

To prevent players from entering games late (and avoid placing blinds) each player must post an initial fee equal to the big blind or decide to sit out and wait until the big blind reaches their position. The player can choose to:

  • post the big blind or
     
  • wait for the big blind.

If a player chooses to wait for the big blind, they will be sitting out and will not be able to join the action until the big blind comes around to their position.
 
If a player was at the table and then sat out resulting in their missing the big blind, they will also have to miss the small blind and the dealer's button.

If a player misses the small and the big blind, they will be required to post an amount equal to the big blind plus a 'dead' bet equal to the small blind.

All-In

If a player finishes his chips he is not immediately required to fold but may decide to go ‘All-In’ and bet all their remaining chips. If this happens, the pot is divided into the Main pot and the Side pot with all subsequent bets included in the Side pot.

If the player who goes All-In does not win, the winner receives all of the chips (both the Main and Side pot).

If the player who goes All-In wins, he receives the Main pot, but the Side pot is passed to the player having the second highest ranking hand.
If several players go All-In, several Side pots are created. If the player who accepted all of the All-In bets does not go All-In himself and has the highest ranking hand when the cards are revealed, he will take the Main pot as well as all Side pots.
 
If the player who went All-In has the highest ranking hand, he takes the pot or all pots which were created until he went All-In.
 
All All-In players having highest ranking hand can only take the pot (or pots), which they contributed to.

Table Stakes

Limit game

In a Limit game, both the bet and the raise are pre-determined. For example, in a 5/10 Limit game, in the first two betting rounds the bet and raise must equal 5. No less and no more. In the last two rounds, the bet and raise must equal 10.

Pot Limit game

In Pot Limit game the maximum value of the bet and raise must not exceed the current pot amount. For example, if the pot amount is 30, a player cannot bet more than 30. 

If a player raises the bet of another player, their call is already included in the pot. So, if the pot amount is 100, player X bets 100, player Y bets 300, including a raise of 200 (Pot = Initial 100 + Player X's 100 + your 100).

No Limit game

In a No Limit game there are no bet limits. All players may make any bet in any betting round as long as the minimum bet amount (equal to the big blind is met).

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