Omaha Poker – Rules, Tips and Terms

 For those players who want to explore other poker games, this guide includes rules, tips, strategies and terms for the game of Omaha Poker.Rules: Omaha High and Omaha Hi/Lo Split are the two versions of this poker game.Omaha Hi/Lo Split is also known as Hi-Lo, Eight or Better or Omaha 8.The split refers to the winners of the pot being the high and low hands.Like Texas Holdem, Omaha is also played with five community cards and the player can use any five-card combination to form the best hand.The difference is that with Omaha, the player is dealt four starting cards, not two.Also, it is mandatory that the player must use two cards from their hand AND three cards from the community board. Using three cards instead of two from their hand to form the best hand can cost a new player who is used to Holdem play.Omaha Eight or Better: to be considered low, there must be no cards higher than 8 in your five card hand. Therefore, using two cards from your hand, there must be three cards on the board that are eight or lower.If there is no low hand as described, the winner with the highest hand wins.  Strategies and Tips: Omaha: you may believe you have eight two-card combinations with four cards in hand, however there are six. While many Holdem players are showing great interest in Omaha, they should not fall into the trap of utilizing the same strategy for both games.Therefore, unlike Texas Holdem where strong starting cards occur if the first two cards are two aces, two kings, two queens, and A-K or A-Q suited, you will have to be cautious to work with not only the flop, but other players’ hands to come out ahead.Keep in mind that this is the poker game where flushes, straights and full-houses bring on the profits while the highest pair does not.Another difference in Omaha to consider is that more players will stick around for the flop and that will cost you, so check your bankroll before participating.Starting Hand:Choosing a starting hand in Omaha 8 can be a difficult task especially for a new player.Many players look at their four hole cards and look for a reason to play. Some players think any four cards can win and they should see every flop. This is a sure sign of a losing player.The four cards in your starting hand need to be coordinated.You want cards that can hopefully form a straight, flush or full house. Seldom does one pair win in Omaha. The Best Starting Hand in Hi-Lo will usually need to hold an ace if you expect to win the low half of the pot. The best starting hand is A-A-2-3 Double suited.Double suited means that the A-2 is suited and the A-3 is suited as well.This gives you a good chance at the nut flush in two different suites. It also has possibilities for a straight as well. If an Ace and a 2 or 3 appears on the board, your hand will not be counterfeited and you have the best shot at the nut low as well.Hi/Lo Omaha Poker TermsBaby: is a low card, generally a 5 or lower and offers the possibility of making a perfect low.Brick: term for a card between 9 and a King as it is unlikely to qualify for an 8 low.Escape: you have just snagged a card that will likely win half the pot.Free Roll: a nice position. You are guaranteed the high or low plus the possibly of winning the other half puts you in a Free Roll.Quartered: a split between two players for half the pot.Runners: two consecutive cards that boost your hand are termed as runners.Scoop: you have just won the whole pot-Congratulations!Wheel: a very strong hand containing A-2-3-4-5 is termed a Wheel because it counts as a perfect low and a five high straight.   Lastly, when it comes to Bluffing, pick your times and players.   It’s easier to bluff against one player and against good players who respect the game versus weak players who stay in the pot forever.