Omaha Poker follows the same play sequence as Texas Hold’em Poker, but with two differences: a) players are dealt four “pocket” cards instead of two; and b) players must use two “pocket” cards and three “community” cards to make your best high hand. (If anyone tells you that Omaha is just like Hold’em, they are not discussing strategy).
Hi/Low Omaha plays the same as regular Omaha, except that there is an additional way to win a share of the pot.
As in a regular game of Omaha, the Hi winner has the best poker hand. There is always a Hi winner. But, in addition to a Hi winner, there can be a Low winner.
The Low winner has 5 different cards below a 9. For example, if between your two pocket and three community cards, you had a hand consisting of a 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 of mixed suits, you would have a Low hand.
If your qualifying Low hand is the best (i.e. lowest) you would be entitled to the Low share of the pot. Your share depends on how many other players won and there may not be a Low winner every hand. You may play 2 different or the same pocket cards for Hi and for Low, along with any three community cards.
Players Dealt Four Pocket Cards in Omaha
Omaha Poker games use a flat disk, called the dealer-button (or simply “the button”) to indicate the theoretical dealer of each hand.
After each hand has been completed, the button moves clockwise to the next active player and this player will be considered to be the button for that game. The player to the left of the button is first to receive a card and is required to post a small blind.
The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded up to the nearest dollar. The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the big blind. The big blind is equal to the lower limit bet.
Both the small and the big blinds are considered live bets and therefore have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting action comes back around to their position. After the flop and after each subsequent betting round, the first active player left of the button is first to act.
When a player first sits down at an active table, they will be required to post the equivalent of the big blind. All players have the option of sitting out and waiting to become the actual big blind before starting to play.
This rule is in place to ensure fairness to all players. The rule stops potential abuses to the system by preventing players who may otherwise constantly enter games in late position and then leave before they are required to post a big blind.