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Is Omaha Harder Than Holdem?

Most Omaha players start out by learning Texas Holdem. Holdem is the easiest game to learn as you only have two cards in your hand. In Omaha, you have four cards and must use two of your cards to form a 5-card poker hand.

That’s what makes Omaha poker online so much harder than Holdem. You are really playing four sets of hands at once and must make judgments based on the turn of every card.

How do You Play Omaha Poker?

Whether you’re playing live Omaha poker or hitting the online tables, the rules of the game are the same.

Hand Values in Omaha Poker

Hand rankings in real money Omaha follow those found in Texas Holdem. Let’s rank them from best to worst:

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • Two Pair
  • One Pair
  • High Card

After a hand of poker online, Omaha hands are compared at showdown. A hand is made up of two hole cards plus three board cards. For our example, we are using Omaha Hi, where only the highest hand wins.

Player 1: Ah Kh 2s 3d
Player 2: 10h 4s 4c 7d
Player 3: 2d 2c Qs Qc

Board: 6h Jc Ac 9c 8s

Player 1’s best hand is a pair of aces (Ah-Kh from their hand, plus Ac-Jc-9c from the board).

Player 2’s best hand is a straight (6h-7d-8s-9c-10h).

Player 3’s best hand is a flush (Ac-Qc-Jc-9c-2c). Player 3 wins the hand with an ace-high flush.

Tips and Strategies for Omaha Poker Online

With some basic strategy, you can win real money at Omaha poker online. Here are some beginner’s tips to help you. 

1) Learn optimal starting hands
It’s important to be selective with your starting hands when you play poker online.

Omaha Hi starting hands

Omaha Hi starting hands rank like this, where all hands shown are double-suited. In Omaha Hi, the highest hand wins the whole pot.

A-A-K-K
A-A-J-10
A-A-Q-Q
A-A-J-J
A-A-10-10
A-A-9-9
A-A-x-x
J-10-9-8
K-K-Q-Q
K-K-J-J
K-Q-J-10
K-K-10-10
K-K-A-Q
K-K-A-J
K-K-A-10
K-K-Q-J
K-K-Q-10
K-K-J-10
Q-Q-J-J
Q-Q-10-10

You should raise or re-raise all these hands pre-flop. Here’s a list of hands you can raise or call with:

Q-Q-A-K
Q-Q-A-J
Q-Q-A-10
Q-Q-K-J
Q-Q-K-10
Q-Q-J-10
Q-Q-J-9
Q-Q-9-9
J-J-10-10
J-J-10-9

Omaha Hi-Lo or Omaha 8 Starting Hands

In Omaha Hi-Lo, the pot is split between the highest 5-card poker hand, and the lowest 5-card hand. A qualifying low hand is five non-consecutive cards from A to 8. The best hand in Omaha Hi-Lo would be A-2-3-4-5.

Here are 10 of the best starting hands in Omaha Hi-Lo. All hands are double-suited (two cards of one suit and two cards of another):

A-A-2-3
A-A-2-4
A-A-4-5
A-2-3-x
A-2-K-K
A-2-Q-Q
A-2-J-J
A-3-4-5
A-A-x-x
A-2-K-Q

2) Understand pot limit betting

Omaha poker is usually played pot limit. Pot limit can be confusing to beginners, but luckily the computer calculates all bets automatically.

Pot limit means you can only raise the amount of the pot. If the bet is $100, and the pot is $500, you can put in $1400 max ($400 to make the call, plus a $1,000 raise).

3) Choose the right tables
The beauty of Omaha poker online is that you can choose from a range of stakes. Play micro-stakes cash games at $0.01/$0.02 or enter a tournament with a $1,000 buy-in.

It’s important to judge your skill level. Start at the smallest stakes and work your way up by improving your bankroll.

4) Try Omaha Hi-Lo after Omaha Hi
Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi-Lo are the two most popular forms of Omaha poker online. We recommend starting with Omaha Hi if you are new to the game. It’s easier to focus on winning the whole pot rather than half for the low hand and half for the high. 

5) Beware of redraws
The key tip for winning at Omaha is to always be drawing to the nuts or near-nuts. If you have a chance of seeing a turn card that will give you the best hand, you should be still betting.

Omaha Basic Terms

Omaha poker online features a range of terms that might be new to you if you haven’t played poker.

Omaha Hi: A variant of Omaha where the highest (best) hand wins.

Omaha Hi-Lo: A variant of Omaha where the pot is split between the best low hand and the best high hand.

Hole Cards: Four cards dealt to each player at the start of the hand.

Pot Limit: A form of betting found in Omaha games. The maximum raise is the size of the current pot.

Preflop: Betting and action before the flop is dealt.

Flop: The first three community cards dealt on the table.

Turn: The fourth community card.

River: The fifth and final community card.

Check: Make no bet or raise on your action.

Call: Match the previous bet or raise.

Nuts: The best possible hand.

Play Omaha Poker Online in 2021

Now that you know how you play Omaha poker, it’s time to put your skills into practice. Discover our recommended Omaha poker sites and unlock a welcome bonus when you join.

All of our top-rated poker rooms offer Omaha cash games, Sit ‘n Gos, and tournaments. You can even play freerolls to learn the rules.

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