Omaha is a fun card game and is similar to Texas Holdem with a few variations. Like Texas Holdem, Omaha allows players to use cards in the flop in the center of the table in their own hand.
To play Omaha, players must first ante the specified amount of money in the center of the table. This is the “pot” or “prize” that the players are playing for. As with most card games derived from poker, the game is usually played for money or poker chips.
Beginning with the player on his or her left, the dealer deals four cards, all face down. Five cards are then placed face down in the center of the table. Players will have to use at least three of these cards in their hand, leaving them with only two cards in their hand that they can use for the game. As with all poker games, a hand is determined by five cards.
The first card in the flop is turned over and the player to the left side of the dealer commences betting. Depending upon what the player has in his or her hand determines the bet. If the player has a pair of threes in his hand and there is a three turned up on the table, he may decide he has a pretty good hand and bet a high amount. Depending upon what the other player have, this may cause them to remain in the game and call the bet, thus placing the same amount of money or chips into the pot as the person who began betting, or they can fold. If another player feels that he or she has even a better hand than the first person, they can raise and ask that more money be put in the pot. Others can either call and add additional money to the pot, continue to raise or fold. If a person does not have a good hand and sees that others are all going in, it is wise for him or her to fold and not put any more money in the pot.
Betting in poker always goes clockwise around the table and usually begins with the player who is either to the left of the dealer or the player who is leading the betting by raising.
After the first round of betting is over, the second card in the flop is turned face up. At this time another round of betting commences, beginning with the player who was the last to raise in the bet. This continues until all five cards in the center of the table are turned face up.
The exciting thing about this game is that the tide of the game can turn at any time, as players have four cards each but can only use two of their own to make their hand. Unlike Texas Holdem, where many players fold after the first round of betting, players in Omaha tend to stay in the game longer to see the rest of the cards in the flop. Also unlike Texas Holdem, because the players have many more cards to choose from, the winner tends to have a straight, which is five cards of varying suits all in numerical order, or greater. Players seldom win with just a pair in Omaha, unlike Texas Holdem.
Omaha is a fun card game and is catching on across the country. Although it does not have the following of the popular Texas Holdem, more people are beginning to enjoy playing this poker derived card game.