Many poker games can be divided into two categories: Community or Stud. Here’s how they break down:
In Community poker games, hands are made using a combination of personal cards players receive directly from the dealer (called “hole” cards), and community cards the dealer places on the table for all to use.
In Stud poker games, hands are made using only the personal cards a player receives directly from the dealer.
Sometimes known as Omaha Hold’em, Omaha is a community card poker game with rules that will be familiar to players of Texas Hold’em. The real difference is in the number of personal and community cards dealt to the table. Omaha can be played with or without betting limits.
Object of the Game
The object of the game is to win the pot. There are two ways a player can do this:
1. By creating a winning five-card poker hand using a combination of two personal cards and three community cards.
2. By using a combination of skill, strategy and in some cases, bluffing, to make other players fold their hands.
How to Play
1. To get started, the dealer places a “button” in front of the player to their left. This player is said to be “on the button”. The two players to the left of the button make blind bets.
- Player 1 (known as the “small blind”) posts a bet equal to half the minimum bet
- Player 2 (known as the “big blind”) posts a bet equal to the minimum bet
2. Once “blinds” are placed, and before “the Flop” is dealt, the dealer distributes four personal “hole” cards, to each player, face down. Once all cards are dealt, the player to the immediate left of the big blind—the third player after the button—acts first.
This player has three options:
3. Next, the dealer deals “the Flop”—three community cards that are dealt face up in the centre of the table. Players can now start evaluating their hands by combining their two best “hole” cards with the visible community cards. This kicks off another round of betting, starting with the small blind—the player to the left of the button.
In this, and all following rounds of betting, the player to the left of the dealer starts the round. Players have four options:
4. After bets have been placed the dealer deals “the Turn”—a fourth community card that leads to a third round of betting.
5. After bets have been placed the dealer deals “the River”—a fifth and final community card that leads into the final round of betting.
6. Finally, the round ends. There are two ways this can happen:
All players left in the hand turn over their cards. The best hand among the players still standing wins. If any players tie, they split the pot evenly.
Most hands of Omaha end when one of the players bets enough that everyone else folds. Because of this, a hand can end during any round of betting: —pre-Flop, on the Flop, Turn, or River.
The odds of Omaha can be quite different from other poker games. With four cards per hand, there are 16,432 possible hands you may be dealt.
Because of this, the game is considered a “nut” game. This means that if you don’t have the “nuts”, the best possible hand given the options, the chances of winning the pot are extremely low.
Like all poker games, the outcome of Omaha depends on the random distribution of cards from a deck. That said, the following strategies may help extend your time at the table:
- Don’t raise on the Flop very often
- If you don’t have great cards, don’t feel bad about folding on the Flop
- If you have a great starting hand, play more aggressively