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Omaha Poker Online: An Expert Guide

Posted by Chris Spencer on
Last updated:

Omaha is a community-card poker game in the same vein as Texas Hold’em. Each player is dealt four hole cards, and must make the best five-card hand possible using two cards from their hand, plus three of the five community cards.

Our expert guide to online Omaha poker will cover:

  • Where US players can play Omaha poker online
  • How to play Omaha poker
  • Omaha poker hand rankings & strong starting hands
  • Proven Omaha poker strategy
  • Popular Omaha poker variations
  • A glossary of key terms & FAQs

Where to Play Omaha Poker Online

Here are the top online casinos our team of experts recommend US players use for Omaha poker:

How to Play Omaha Poker

Again, the player’s goal in Omaha poker is to make the best possible five-card poker hand, using two of their four personal cards, as well as three of the five shared community cards.

Betting rounds work much in the same way in Omaha poker as they do in Texas Hold’em. This makes starting out at Omaha poker rules much easier than other poker games.

Here is a quick run-through of how to play a hand of Omaha poker start to finish.

The Blinds

Before any cards are dealt, two players must place blinds.

In Omaha poker, the big blind is equal to a small bet, with the small blind half of that amount (for example, $2 and $1, respectively).

Blinds are posted by the two players to the left of the button, which moves around the table clockwise after each hand. The player closest to the dealer will post the small blind, and the player to their left would place the big blind.

The Deal

Once all blinds are posted, the hand officially begins with cards being dealt.

Each player will receive four cards face down. These are called hole cards, and can be used only by the player to which they are dealt.

Once each player has seen his or her hole cards, the game proceeds into its first betting round.

Pre-Flop Betting Round

As in other variations, betting action starts with the player to the left of the big blind. This is known as the ‘Under the Gun’ position. This player can call (match the big blind), raise one additional small bet, or elect to fold.

The action then moves around the table. To stay in the hand, each player must match the current raise, or call if there has not been one. If the pot is not raised by the time the big blind gets to act, this player can check or raise. There is a maximum of four raises on any betting round.

Once each player has had his or her turn to play, the game proceeds to the flop.

The Flop

The “flop” is the term used for the first three community cards available to each player. The dealer will deal the flop cards face up, and each player will have the opportunity to use these cards in their final hand.

Remember, each player’s final hand will be comprised of two of four hole cards, and three of five community cards.

After the flop is dealt, another betting round follows, using the same structure as the pre-flop betting round.

The Turn

Once each player has had an opportunity to bet post-flop, the dealer reveals the fourth community card, known as the “turn.”

Again, this card will be available to all players and is followed by a third round of betting.

The River

After the third round of betting, the dealer will reveal the fifth – and final – community card. This is known as “the river”.

You’ve probably noticed the pattern by this point – once the river is dealt, there will be a fifth and final round of betting.

As with all other betting rounds, players have the choice to check, raise, call, or fold.

The Showdown

At this point, all betting rounds are complete. All players have either folded or contributed an equal amount into the pot.

Assuming there is more than one remaining active player, the game moves to the showdown. In the showdown, the remaining players turn their hole cards face up and reveal their best possible five-card hand (again, two cards from your four hole cards plus three from the five community cards.)

Omaha poker uses standard hand rankings (more on this in a minute) to determine a winner who claims the pot. In an event of a tie, the pot is split evenly between the tying players.

Omaha Poker Hand Rankings

The best poker hands in five-card draw are very similar to Texas Hold’em and most poker games. Hands are ranked from best to worst in the chart below.

Name Description Example
Royal Flush Five sequential cards of the same suit, 10 through Ace royal flush
Straight Flush Five sequential cards of the same suit straight flush
Four of Kind Four cards of the same value four of a kind
Full House Three cards of the same value and two different cards of the same value full house
Flush Five cards of the same suit flush
Straight Five sequential cards straight
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value (other two cards are irrelevant) cards-three-of-kind
Two Pair Two cards of the same value and two different cards of the same value (the fifth card is irrelevant) cards-two-pair
One Pair Two cards of the same value (the other three cards are irrelevant) cards-one-pair
High Card None of the above; defer to the highest-value card in the hand five playing cards, all different

Strong Pot-Limit Omaha Starting Hands

Given four hole cards rather than Texas Hold’em’s two, it’s much rarer for the winner of a hand of Omaha poker to sneak through with a high card, or something lower value.

As such, much of a player’s success will come from the starting card selection that they’re dealt. Below we’ve listed some of Omaha poker’s stronger starting hands – if you’re lucky to be dealt any of the below, we recommend playing that hand aggressively.

A-A-K-K or A-A-J-10 Double Suited to the aces

In a “double suited” hand, two cards belong to one suit, and the other two belong to a different suit. These are considered the best starting hands possible, and should always be played aggressively. It is the multiple ways to make the nuts which makes these hands stand out – as well as their high card strength.

A-K-J-Q (or similar suited Broadways)

 Once again, you have a shot at the nut straight, and preferably two flushes. Against opponents prone to overplaying smaller straights, these hands can be excellent – they also remove key cards from the deck, making it harder for opponents to have aces or kings.

K-K-8-8 or Q-Q-9-10

These are examples of high pair hands with either an additional pair or some coordinated side cards. These can make nut hands, though keep in mind that it is hard to win a big pot with an unimproved over-pair in Omaha.

6-7-8-9 or 7-8-9-10

Known as rundown hands, you can make a lot of different straights. For example, on a board of 4-5-8, any 3, 6 or 7 gives you the nuts with 5-6-7-8. Suited combinations are valuable as a backup with this type of hand.

Online Omaha Poker Strategy

a hand folding while playing blackjack

Fold On Weak Hands

This may seem obvious to some, but newer poker players have the tendency to take weak hands and try to “make them work”. While that strategy can sometimes work in games with lots of bluffing, like Texas Holdem, not so much in Omaha. If you have a weak hand, fold before you’re committed.

two white cash money bills stacked on top of each other

Manage Your Bankroll

Have a budget, and stick to it. We typically recommend playing at a table where your bankroll allows for 50 buy-ins. This will allow you to play for longer and make the fun last.

two white poker chips atop one another

Play Premium Hands Aggressively

Omaha Poker can often be a game of many weak hands for every strong one you’re dealt. Much like blackjack, it’s a game of pouncing on opportunities. When you do receive a strong hand, play it aggressively.

Omaha Poker Variations

Of course, Omaha poker comes with a few different variations of how to play the game. Here are the most popular.

Pot Limit Omaha Poker

A player can bet whatever is in the pot (i.e. $50 bet into a $50 pot). This is the most common form of Omaha Poker online.

No Limit Omaha Poker

A player can choose to bet all of their chips at once if they want to.

Fixed Limit Omaha Poker

Betting limits are applied to each game of Omaha poker that you play, along with each round of betting.

Omaha Hi Lo

In Omaha Hi Lo, players can make both high and low hands, and the pot is split between those two hands.

Omaha Pre-Flop Strategies

Many players who are new to Omaha poker make the mistake of playing too many hands. According to Omaha poker rules, the very best starting hands have the potential to win both sides of the pot. Advice for players starting out is to play only hands containing aces until you get a good understanding of the strategy.

Premium Hands

If you have a pair of aces with low side cards like A-A-2-3, you have a very strong starting hand. If there are two suits (and so the ability to make two different flushes at showdown), this is as good a starting hand as you will find. Aces with one lower card and one higher one can also win big pots. Suits make a big difference; you don’t want to be drawing to a non-nut hand.

Low Card Hands

A-2-3-4 is also a strong starting hand (again, suited cards with the ace matter). These have the potential to make lows which can stand a bad turn or river which counterfeits your existing low. 2-3-4-5 can be played for a raise, though with many opponents playing hands with aces, it is more difficult to win both sides of the pot.

High Only Hands

Premiums include A-A-K-K and A-A-J-10 – as well as ‘rundown’ hands like 9-10-J-Q. If there are no low cards on the flop, you can play these hands strongly. They are useful in spots where two opponents have the nut low, and you can get half of the pot while they get a quarter each.

You will not always be lucky enough to get premiums. Hands in all forms of Omaha work best when they work together. Suited cards can make flushes, and connected cards can make straights. Avoid hands with middle-ranked cards. 4-6-8-10 (for example) is completely unplayable.

Omaha Poker Glossary

Omaha Poker FAQs

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