How to Play Omaha Hi – Guidelines to Omaha Online

Omaha is a format of poker that has become very high in demand. It has two commonly played versions: Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo. Omaha Hi can be played at an abundance of online casinos nowadays. It is a flop, turn and river game just like Texas Holdem.

Omaha Hi is usually played in a fixed limit format. For those of you who are new to the game, it will be essential for you to learn the rules and basic strategies of Omaha Hi before you consider putting your money on the line.

Omaha Hi – Rules

Omaha Hi uses the community card and betting round structure that is also used by Texas Holdem. The difference between the two games is in the amount of hole cards each player is dealt and the requirements for formulating your hand.

Each player is dealt four hole cards. The game is played with blinds the same as in Holdem. There is a small blind and a big blind. The betting begins to the big blind’s left. The action always goes clockwise and there are five community cards.

The first three cards that are dealt are called the flop. The turn is one more community card and the river is the final community card. These cards are to be shared by the players at the table to assist them in making the best possible poker hand.

There is a betting round in between each stage of the deal. The flop, turn and river are all considered to be separate stages. There is a final betting round after all community cards have been dealt.

In Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo, you have to formulate your hand within a few restrictions or rules. You must use two of your hole cards and three of your community cards to put together a five-card hand. There are no exceptions, and some Holdem players might find it difficult adjusting to the difference. You have to calculate your hand and probabilities without being able to use all of the cards. That being said, it can be a little difficult for those accustomed to being able to use any or all of the cards available to you to make a hand.

The best hand wins in Omaha Hi and this is the highest five-card poker hand. The hand ranking is the same system that is used in Texas Holdem and this is the standard ranking structure. In the event that a player does not have a hand, the high card will win the hand. However, don’t look for this to happen in Omaha Hi. Remember, the focus of Omaha Hi is to have the nuts and usually the nuts wins in Omaha. Sub-par just doesn’t cut it when you are dealt four hole cards.

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How To Play Omaha Hi – Strategy

The focus in Omaha Hi is to build a monster. In Texas Holdem, the hands that win more often than not are somewhat weak. They are usually top pair, bottom set, or two pair.

In Omaha Hi, the average winning hand is a straight or better. That being said, the tighter player has an advantage in Omaha Hi. Playing tight is about waiting to go for the pot when you know it’s yours or when you have the best odds to take it down.

In order to effectively play Omaha Hi, you need to be able to play position, know your hands and where they rank and practice proper bankroll management. Position is important in just about every poker game. The opportunity to react to other players versus acting before them gives you an advantage. It allows you to see what everyone in front of you is doing. Therefore, the player that is last to act has the best position on the table.

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Playable Hands – Pre-flop

Hand selection is important in Omaha Hi and players should know what hands they should play in accordance with their position. There are certain hands that you may very well play in a late position given the action on the table before you that you would most certainly fold instantly in an early position.

  • Pocket Pairs (High) – Flop goal is a set or boat (full house) draw
  • Connected – Hold open-ended straight (try to stick to the higher end of the cards depending upon position) for multiple outs: straight, straight flush, flush if two are suited, royal flush or draw
  • Suited – If you have an ace, run with it but watch your position. If no ace, be careful.
  • Pocket Pairs (Low-Mid) – It is usually recommended to fold these hands since the average winning hand is so high in Omaha Hi. Your set possibility, even if hit, is probably beat. Again, this depends on position. Mid-pair is potentially callable on the button.

Bankroll Management

If you’re playing pot limit or fixed limit games, proper bankroll management recommends 30 buy-ins for pot limit and 300 big blinds for fixed limit. This is how much you should have in your bankroll and it should correlate with what limits or stakes you plan to play at.

Omaha is played at the World Series of Poker and is a very exciting game. Remember that you have to formulate your hand correctly and pay attention to the players around you. To be a successful poker player, you must learn to take advantage of your opponent’s weaknesses. The objective of Omaha Hi is to have the highest possible hand. However, don’t always get caught chasing that high hand.