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How Omaha differs to Hold’em

Omaha is an exciting form of poker that is quickly increasing in popularity. Omaha is a variant of Hold’em, with all the same blind structures, betting options, and order of action. To learn more about the basic rules and gameplay of Omaha, we encourage you to understand how Hold’em is played.

The main difference in Omaha is that you are dealt a total of four hole cards, but you must use exactly two of them to form your best five-card hand. Like in Hold’em, there are five community cards dealt face up. However, since in Omaha you must use two of your four hole cards, then exactly three community cards must also be used. Therefore, common instances where Hold’em players use only one of their hole cards to make their hand, or where they ‘play the board’, can not occur in Omaha.

Note that even though hand rankings in Omaha are the same as in Hold’em (see more information about Hand Rankings), average hand strengths in Omaha are considerably greater due to the increased number of possible combinations presented by having four hole cards.

The other main difference in Omaha is the fact that it is usually played in a Pot Limit format (as opposed to No Limit), which means that a player can bet any amount from one big blind up to the size of the current pot.