Omaha Poker: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Game

Noah Adams - Content Editor at CasinoCrawlers
Written by Noah Adams
how to play omaha poker - omaha poker guide
Published: 14/06/2023
Reading time: 7 minutes

Over the past 10 years, Omaha Poker has found itself on a trajectory to overtake Texas Hold'Em as the world's most popular poker game variant. So what is the reason for the rise in the popularity of Omaha Poker? Some say it is the best game to challenge top poker players. This guide will go through everything needed to know about Omaha poker. We will explain the basic rules, how to play, hand rankings, and the main difference between Omaha and Texas Hold 'em. Let's get started...

The Basics of Omaha Poker

Omaha poker is a community card poker game, which is very similar to Texas Hold'Em. Each player is dealt four hole cards. From these, which he/she must use two to make a winning hand combination with three community cards. There are a few variations of Omaha Poker, including Omaha Hi, pot-limit Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo. This guide will base itself on the more widely played pot-limit Omaha (PLO). It is considered the easiest version of the game to learn as a beginner.

A player must use two hole cards & combine them with the community cards to create a winning hand

Omaha Poker Rules

The rules of Omaha poker are extremely similar to Texas Hold'em. If you know the basics of Texas Hold 'em, you should be familiar with this version.

You will need two to ten players to play, along with a standard 52 deck of cards. To start off, each player is dealt four hole cards.

Five cards are then dealt by the dealer face up in the centre of the table. These are commonly known as community cards. Betting rounds occur between these cards being dealt.

A player must use exactly two hole cards and combine them with the community cards to create a winning hand. This makes it a bit trickier than Texas Hold'Em. Having to use 2 of your hole cards can potentially ruin a strong hand. For instance, if all the hearts are showing on the table as the community cards and you had only one heart card, you could not make a flush as you would need to use 2 of your hole cards.

The player able to produce the highest ranking hand through a combination of at least 2 hole cards and community cards wins the pot.

How to Play Omaha Poker

As we said before, the rules and betting rounds of Omaha poker are very similar to Texas Hold'Em. There are four potential betting rounds, which take place around the community cards being dealt face-up by the dealer.


  1. The Deal: To begin the game, the dealer deals a maximum of four cards to each player, one by one. Once players have all four cards, the first betting round can begin, which is known as...
  2. The Preflop Betting Round: The player to the left of the dealer, known as the small blind, opens the first round of betting. The big blind is the player sitting next to the small blind in a clockwise direction. The big blind is required to double the bet of the small blind. The action then continues clockwise around the table. Players have the options to 'call' (equal the bet of the big blind), 'raise' (increase the bet) or 'fold' (exclude themselves from the betting and go out of the game). When the bet has been 'called' by all players, the betting round is complete and the dealer can proceed to...
  3. The Flop: The dealer now deals three cards face up. These are the first cards, from a series of five which the players can use to make a winning hand. Once the three community cards are shown, a second betting round begins. The flop betting round is identical to the previous one, with one new option for the players. The players can now 'check' to see if other players are betting in this round. If a player does decide to check, the play skips past them to the other plays. Once other players have played, the play comes back around to the player who has 'checked' and now they must decide if they want to play or 'fold'. Once players have completed their bets, the dealer can proceed to...
  4. The Turn: The dealer continues to deal the fourth community card. Once the dealer deals the fourth card face-up, a third betting round continues in the exact same manner as the previous betting round. The dealer then proceeds to...
  5. The River: The fifth and final community card is dealt face-up, after which the final betting round commences. Again, this round of betting is identical to the previous two. The finale to the excitement then begins with...
  6. The Showdown: The players still in play now reveal their hands. By using a minimum of two of their hole cards, with a combination of community cards, the player who can produce the highest-ranking poker hand wins the entire pot.

Omaha Poker Betting Structures

The three main betting structures in Omaha poker are pot Limit, fixed limit, and no limit.

Pot Limit - Pot limit is the most common betting structure in Omaha. In this version, the maximum bet that can be made is the total sum of the chips in the pot. This ensures the betting starts off small but can get costly depending on the players' bankrolls.

Fixed Limit - With a fixed limit betting structure, the pot can only be raised a maximum of four times and the bet or raise must equal the size of the blinds.

No Limit - With no-limits betting, there are absolutely no limited amounts to what players can bet at any point of the game. Reserved for very high-stakes games.

Omaha Poker Hand Rankings

Like in most versions of poker, the ranking hands for Omaha poker are standard:

Poker hand rankings for Omaha hold'em


Omaha vs. Texas Hold'em

There are many similarities between Omaha Poker and Texas Hold'em. In both games players are dealt hole cards and use these cards, with a combination of community cards, to make the highest possible hand. The structure of the game is the same, along with the betting rounds.

However, there are also a couple of major differences between the two.

Firstly, instead of two hole cards, players are dealt four hole cards at the beginning of an Omaha poker game.

The biggest difference between the two versions is the fact that a player must use exactly two of their hold cards. In Texas Hold'em, players can use a number of combinations of hole cards and community cards to make a winning hand. They can use two of their hole cards with three community cards, only one hole card with four community cards, or use no hole cards at all and 'play across the board' (playing with five community cards).

This rule catches a lot of players out if they are used to the Texas Hold'em version. For instance, if a player has one jack of spades and spades are faced up across the table, the player will not be able to play a flush, a pretty strong hand in poker, and instead must rely on a low hand of Jack-high. This is because you must use a minimum of two hole cards to play a hand.

Did You Know...

Early versions of Omaha Hold'em originated in cities like Chicago and Detroit, nowhere near Omaha!

Furthermore, players were allowed 5 hole cards rather than four. This was changed due to the limit on the number of players being able to play a game due to a standard deck being only 52 cards.

Once the games became popular it was known by many different names, such as Nine Cards, Forth Worth and Oklahoma. However, theories suggest it finally became known as Omaha as the city is close to the centre of the United States.

Find Casinos to Play Omaha Poker Online

Now that you know the basics of Omaha poker, you may want to try your hand at putting theory into practice. Fortunately for you, CasinoCrawlers has listed the best online poker sites for you to put your knowledge to the test. We recommend playing some free games to familiarise yourself with Omaha poker before advancing to real money games.

Omaha Poker – Summary

The Omaha version of poker is a great game to play for people who want more of a challenge than Texas Hold'em. Because of the rule requiring players to play two hole cards, there's more of a variation on how players can combine their cards to create winning hands. This means there's more strategy and thought involved in an Omaha poker game.


  • Wikipedia. "Omaha hold'em",
  • Youtube. "Pokernews - How to Play Omaha Poker | Beginners Guide",
Back to overview
Noah Adams

Noah Adams

Senior Content Editor

109 Articles
5 Reviews

Noah is the senior content editor at CasinoCrawlers and a writer with many iGaming articles under his portfolio. Therefore, he is skilled at writing bonus guidelines, gambling strategies, and casino reviews. During his spare time, he enjoys playing Call of Duty and is a huge rugby fan.

Read more about the author

Latest guides » Guides » Omaha Poker: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Game
Last updated: September 19, 2023