How to Play Omaha Poker – Blatt Billiards

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How to Play Omaha Poker

by David Roeder |

When you are looking to expand the range of poker games you play, you should learn how to play Omaha poker. This game has quickly become very popular in casinos and with other poker players. Its popularity has caused it to become the second most popular poker game, following closely behind Texas Hold ‘em.

What Is Omaha Poker?

Person pointing to five poker cards on a black poker table with money and chips on table.

Omaha poker is a community card poker variation involving four hole cards dealt to each player and five community cards in the center of the table. Players must use two of their own cards and three of the shared community cards to make a five-card hand.

Omaha is similar to Texas Hold ‘em but differs in that players are dealt more hole cards and have more options for making hands.

What Are the Rules of Omaha Poker?

Five poker cards on a wooden table with red and black poker chips.

The rules of Omaha poker are similar to Texas Hold ‘em. So, if you already know how to play Texas Hold ‘em, it will be very easy to learn how to play Omaha poker. However, if you have never played Texas Hold ‘em, we cover everything you need to know to play Ohama poker.

What Is the Objective of Omaha Poker?

Men playing poker on a poker table.

The objective of Omaha poker is to make the best five-card hand using any combination of two hole cards and three community cards. At the end of a round, the player with the highest-ranking five-card poker hand wins all the chips in play.

Hands in Omaha Poker

Man in black suit holding five poker cards on a green poker table with chips and money and a yellow coffee cup on a yellow dish with a cigarette.

The hands used in Omaha poker are the same hands used in Texas Hold ‘em:


  • High Card: The highest card when no other rankings can be made.
  • One Pair: Two cards of different suits with the same rank.
  • Two Pair: Two pairs of different cards with different ranks.
  • Three of a Kind: Three cards of different suites with the same rank.
  • Straight: Five cards of any suit in consecutive order, such as 8, 9, 10, J, Q.
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit of any value.
  • Full House: One pair of the same rank and three of a kind of the same rank.
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank.
  • Straight Flush: Any flush of the same suit when your hand is not a Royal Flush.
  • Royal Flush: A flush of the same suit of the top five high cards—10, J, Q, K, A.

How to Play Omaha Poker

Five people playing Omaha poker at a red poker table.

Omaha poker is broken down into several different turns for each round played. A minimum of two players is needed to play the game, and up to ten players can play simultaneously. There are several key seating positions that you must know to understand the order of play in Omaha poker.

What Is the Button?

The button is a marker that indicates the current dealer in a poker game. The player with the button is said to be “on the button” and is usually last to act in each betting round after all other players have acted. In two-player Omaha poker, the player with the dealer button also posts the small blind and receives their hole cards last.


If there is a dedicated dealer, the button is still passed in a clockwise direction after each round to the next player. When there is no dedicated dealer, the person with the button also serves as the dealer for the round.

What Is the Small Blind?

The small blind is a forced bet made by the player to the left of the dealer button before any cards are dealt. The amount of this bet is usually half of the minimum bet at that table.

What Is the Big Blind?

The big blind is a forced bet made by the player two positions to the left of the dealer button before any cards are dealt. This bet is usually twice the size of the small blind and is often equal to the minimum bet at the table.

What Is Under the Gun?

Man holding five poker cards with his left hand and poker chips in his right hand with money on a red poker table.

Under the gun (also known as UTG) is a term used to refer to the player who acts first in a hand of poker. In Omaha, this would be the player sitting to the left of the big blind player. They must act before any other players have seen their hole cards. This puts them at a significant disadvantage as they do not know what anyone else has been dealt or will bet.

Order of Play

The order of play in Omaha poker flows clockwise around the table. Before any cards are dealt, the game begins with the small blind and big blind players placing their forced bets. Remember that the forced blind can vary depending on the table rules and betting structure.


The dealer deals cards in a clockwise direction one at a time to each player face down until they have four hole cards starting with the player to the left of the button. The under the gun player looks at his or her hand and decides to call, raise, or fold. If they call, they match the big blind bet. If they raise, they double the big blind bet. If they fold, they are out of the game until the next round.

Play continues clockwise until it gets to the big blind player. If any of the other players raise after it was their turn, they must call to remain in the game. However, they could decide to raise or fold. Once betting is completed, this part of the round is over.

The Flop:

At the start of the Flop, the dealer deals the first three community cards face up on the table. Then, active players still in the game review their cards, and another round of betting begins, starting with the first active player clockwise from the button player.

During this phase, the Turn, and the River phases of the round, players have a fourth option—they can check. Checking is only possible if no other players have called or raised. Checking allows the player to remain in the round without having to place a bet.

However, if another player calls or raises, this player must at least call to remain active. If all players check during a phase, the game progresses to the next phase.

The Turn:

When the betting is complete for the Flop, the Turn part of the round begins. The dealer deals the fourth community card face up on the table. Another round of betting starts with the first active player immediately clockwise of the button.

The River:

After betting for the Turn is over, the River begins. The dealer deals the fifth and final community card face up on the table. Another round of betting ensues with the first active player immediately clockwise of the button.

The Showdown:

Once betting during the River is finalized, the Showdown begins. The last player to bet or raise shows their cards first. However, if every active player checks during the River, then the first active player immediately clockwise from the button shows their cards first. 

Ending the Round:

The player with the best five card hand wins the pot for that round. Players must use only two of their four hole cards and three of the community cards during the Showdown to make their hand.

After the round is over, the button is passed clockwise to the next player. The small blind and big blind also move clockwise to the next players. Then the next round begins.

If there is only one remaining active player at the end of one of the round’s phases, the round is immediately over, and the player wins the pot for that round.

Types of Omaha Poker Games

Man holding two black poker chips on a black poker table with poker chips, money, and dice.

  • Pot Limit Omaha: This is the most popular form of Omaha poker, where players are allowed to bet anywhere from the size of the big blind up to the amount currently in the pot.
  • Fixed Limit Omaha: This game limits how much can be bet and raised for each round of betting. It usually starts with the small and big blinds and limits players to only raise twice the big blind amount.
  • No Limit Omaha: As its name suggests, no limit Omaha allows players to go all-in at any time during a hand if they have sufficient chips in their stack to do so.
  • Hi/Lo Split (8 or Better): In this variation of Omaha poker, half of the pot is awarded to whichever player has the highest ranking five-card hand while the other half goes to the person holding the lowest ranking qualifying hand. The qualifying high hand can be any five card combination. The qualifying low hand cannot contain any card higher than 8.

Differences Between Omaha Poker and Texas Hold ‘em

Man shuffling poker cards on a green poker table with poker chips.

The main difference between Omaha poker and Texas Hold ’em is the number of hole cards each player receives. In Texas Hold ‘em, players are dealt two hole cards. In Omaha, they receive four.

Another key difference is using only two of the hole cards in Omaha. In Texas Hold ‘em, players can use their two hole cards and three community cards, one hole card and four community cards, or all five community cards.

Additionally, due to the extra hole cards used by each player, there is often more betting action in an Omaha game compared to a Hold ‘em game. So pot sizes can grow fairly large.

Omaha Poker Tips

  • Seating Position: The seating position can determine how much information you can gather from fellow players. When you are at a disadvantage, be cautious of your bets. Sometimes it is better to fold until you are in a more favorable seating position.
  • Avoid Folding During the Pre-Flop: You only know the four hole cards you hold. It can be advantageous to wait until after the dealer reveals the first three community cards during the Flop phase before deciding to fold.
  • Use Blockers to Your Advantage: Blockers are cards you hold that prevent other players from making specific hands, like a straight flush or royal flush.

Play Omaha Poker at Home

Blatt Billiards poker table in a game room.

When you want the excitement of playing Omaha poker at a casino at home, you need a handcrafted poker table from Blatt Billiards. Check out our Custom Elite and Select Game Table Collections today. You can also custom design a handcrafted poker table by contacting us at 212-674-8855 today.