Omaha, although a derivative of Texas Hold'em, is a very interesting game in and of itself. Each of the players is dealt four "pocket" (hole) cards and five community (open) cards that form a "board". All players can use strictly three out of the common five cards and strictly two of their "hole" cards in order to make the best five-card hand.
There are several types of limits for this game:
- Limit Omaha, where there is a specific bet size in each betting round.
- Pot Limit Omaha, where a player can bet the maximum bet amount equal to the size of the pot.
- Omaha without limit, where the player can put all his chips at any time.
The button (“button”) marks the nominal dealer of the distribution and the order of the mandatory bets - the blinds. The player next to the button clockwise will post the small blind, and the next player will post the big blind (usually the latter is twice the size of the small blind, but it all depends on the structure of each particular game).
After the necessary forced bets have been made, all players receive four "hole" cards and begin to make their moves. They are made in order of priority - clockwise, starting with the player in the position "under the gun", i.e. from the first player after the big blind.
The player can make orders "fold" (pass), "bet", "call" or "raise", and the availability of certain options depends on what action was taken by the previous opponent. Each of the players at any time has the opportunity to "fold", ie. fold your cards, while giving up the fight for the bank. If no one has made a bet in front of you - “bet”, then you can either make a “check” request (do not put chips, but stay in the game), or put a “bet” yourself. But if one of the players has already made a bet in front of you, then you can no longer say “check” - you can make a “fold”, “call” or “raise”. “Call” (or limp) means the previous player has called, and “raise” is an increase in the bet.
After the players receive four of their hole cards, each of them can continue the game by calling or raising the big blind. The player to the left of the big blind has the right of the first move - he has the option of “fold” (pass), “call” (limp) or “raise”. Then the right to move goes clockwise to the next player (he has the same options, but if there was a "raise" bet before him, he has the right to make another raise - "reraise"). The round ends when all active players (who have not gone into the "pass") have equalized the highest rate.
Note. In the first round of betting, the last move belongs to the player in the big blind, and if there were no more bets than his size, then the player in that position can "raise" by starting the round of betting again, or say "check" and complete the trade.
After the completion of the first round of betting, three cards are dealt on the board - the "flop". They are common and available to all active players. The second betting round begins with the first active player to the left of the button position. The options are almost the same as on pre-flop, but if none of the previous opponents bet, then you can check by passing the word to the active player on the left.
After the second round of betting has been completed, the fourth open card - the "turn" (or "fourth street") is dealt to the board. The trading principle is absolutely identical to the previous round.
After the end of trading on the turn, the fifth (last) open card - "river" (or, as it is also called, "fifth street") is dealt on the board. Trading options correspond to the previous two rounds.
If at the end of the round of betting on the "fifth street" in the distribution there are several active players, then the player who made the last highest bet opens his cards first, and then all the rest (clockwise). If in the last round of trading all the players made a “check” order, then the active player to the left of the button opens first. The pot is received by the player with the best five-card combination, using strictly three out of the common five cards and strictly two of his "pocket" cards. If there are equal combinations, the bank is divided equally between their owners. The suits have no influence on the determination of the seniority of combinations.
After passing the pot to the winner, the button moves one position to the left and a new hand begins.
The rules of Omaha, depending on the limits, are practically unchanged, but there are still some differences.
Fixed Limit Omaha
In the last two betting rounds, the sizes of all bets and raise bets are doubled in comparison with the first two rounds, and have a size equal to the step of the big blind. In each of the betting rounds, a maximum of four bets are allowed - bet, raise, re-raise and cap (last possible raise).
The minimum bet is equal to the big blind, and the maximum is equal to all the player's chips (all-in).
The rule of the minimum raise applies here, that is, it should not be less than a two-fold increase in the previous bet. The minimum reraise is calculated from the size of the previous raise (the difference between the bet and the last raise), i.e. the difference is doubled plus the value of the bet.
The maximum raise can reach the size of the player's entire stack.
There is no limit on the number of raises.
Pot Limit Omaha
The minimum bet size is equal to the big blind, and the maximum should not exceed the current pot size.
The minimum raise and reraise are identical to No Limit Omaha.
The maximum raise is equal to the current size of the pot and is determined by the amount of the active pot, the bets on the table, and the amount that first consists of calling the previous bet and raising on it.
There is no limit on the number of raises.
Omaha Hi / Lo (Omaha 8 or higher)
In addition to the usual Omaha, there is another popular variation of Omaha - Omaha Hi / Lo. Here the bank is divided between the strongest and weakest combinations, which completely transforms the game. The best combination is considered A, 2, 3, 4, 5 (or the so-called "wheel"), moreover, in any lower combinations, aces are always considered as low cards. Straights and flushes are not counted, but their presence can lead to winning both sides of the pot. The very structure of the game is identical to Omaha Hi.