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Omaha Hi Poker

by Erik Cutler

Omaha is a variation of standard poker which is similar to "Texas Hold'em". Like the above mentioned game, Omaha is a community card game as well. On the other hand, here each player receives four face-down cards (otherwise known as "hole" or "pocket" cards) and each of them must use 2 cards from these and 3 from the community cards in order to form his final poker hand (consisting of 5 cards). Omaha can be played also under the "Omaha Hi/Lo" form but we will focus on the presentation of the "Omaha Hi" version. Omaha Hi is very popular because it has a fast pace and the rules are quite simple.

An Omaha Hi poker game lasts for an average of 30 minutes and it is played with a 52-card deck. To get started the players need to set the blind bets (the blind bets are those bets that occur before the cards have been dealt). The player which is on the left side of the dealer puts out the small blind while the one from the right side of the dealer sets the big blind. Next, each player receives his four pocket cards (the face-down cards). After this step has been completed, the player from the left side can choose between setting the bet, raising it or folding (quitting the game). All the other players will have to so this in a clockwise order. The next thing that happens when playing Omaha Hi is that the three community cards are dealt out face-up. This is called the "flop". Each Player can use these cards and combine them with his "hole" cards in order to form his final combination. Then, another series of betting takes place, each player being allowed either to check or to bet. The next step is the "turn" when the fourth community card is dealt (this card is called the "fourth street" or the"turn card"). This is followed by a third round of betting after which the last community card is dealt. This last community card is called "fifth street" or "the river". All these are followed by the last series of betting after which the showdown occurs when the players that remained in the game show the combination of 5 cards they have formed from 2 hole cards and 3 community cards.

What you shoul know about Omaha Hi is that the best starting hand here is the following one: Ace-Ace-King-Queen double -suited. Also, a good starting hand always contains suited Aces, four-card connectors or two pairs with the condition that one of these two pairs should be high. The player which has the combination with the highest ranked cards is the winner of the Pot. If more than one players have the same winning combination the pot ends up by being split in equal shares between those players that have these combinations. Because of the fact that there are five community cards players can choose from in order to make their combinations, straights and flushes are quite common.

An importan thing to remember when playing Omaha Hi is that your goal is to form the highest hand from all players so you should watch out from the low valued cards. As well as other poker games, Omaha Hi can be also played with one of the following forms of betting: limit, pot-limit or no limit.

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