Rules for Poker
Omaha is a fairly recent variation of the game of Poker, emerging some time in the 1980’s from whence it gained in popularity throughout casinos and in tournament play across the United States and around the world. In Omaha Poker each player receives four cards and there are five community cards. The distinguishing feature of Omaha is that at the showdown, players make their best Poker hand from exactly two of their hole cards and exactly three of the community cards.
Number of Players
Omaha is suitable for anything from two to ten players.
Omaha Poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Cards rank A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and A where the Ace can be counted as 1 in a Straight, ranking below the 2 or high, ranking above the King.
Deal and Play
Posting the Blinds
The game begins with the two players left of the Dealer placing an initial bet. This is called ‘posting the blinds’. In Omaha Poker there are no antes, but rather forced bets or blinds.
The player to the immediate left of the Dealer posts a small bet called the ‘Small Blind’, which is usually equal to half the minimum bet.
The player left of the small blind then posts a bet called the ‘Big Blind’, which is usually equal to the minimum bet.
The Dealer then burns the top card of the deck, and beginning with the player to his/her immediate left, deals out four cards one at time, face down to each player. These are known as the player’s hole cards. Players look at their hold cards but do not reveal them to any other player.
First Round of Betting
Beginning with the player left of the Big Blind, players take it in turn to call, raise, or fold. The blinds count as bets so that the small blind need only pay into the pot the difference between his/her initial bet and the standing bet.
The Dealer then burns the top card of the deck and deals out three cards face up to the center of the table. These three cards are known as the ‘Flop’.
Beginning with the first active player in clockwise direction from the Dealer, each player takes it in turn to check, bet, raise or fold.
The Dealer then burns the top card of the deck and deals out another card face up to the center of the table. This card is called the ‘Turn’.
Beginning with the first active player to the Dealer’s left, each player takes it in turn to check, bet, raise or fold.
The Dealer then burns the top card of the deck and deals out another card face up to the center of the table. This card is called the ‘River’.
Beginning with the first active player left of the Dealer, each player takes it in turn to check, bet, raise or fold.
After this, beginning with the player who was the last to bet or raise in the previous betting round and continuing around the table in a clockwise direction, each player takes it in turn to reveal their four hole cards. Each player makes their highest possible five-card Poker hand using exactly any two of their hole cards and any three of the community cards, known as the board.
It is important that each player reveal all four of their hole cards even though they will only use two of them to make their 5-card Poker hand.
The player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot. If two players tie with the same hand, then the win goes to the player with the highest high card. If this does not resolve the tie, then players split the pot evenly.
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