Most of the rules listed below also apply to Omaha High-Low (sometimes called Omaha High-Low 8 or Better). For specific distinctions of Omaha High-Low, please read our article outlining the rules of"Omaha High-Low" after reading the information below.
Omaha Poker is quite similar to Texas Holdem except that players are each dealt four cards face down ("pocket cards" or "the Hole") rather than two. Omaha Poker also differs from Texas Holdem in that you are required at the end of the hand to use two Hole cards (no more, no less) and three Community cards (no more, no less) to make the best possible five-card hand.
1. The Deal - Each player is dealt four cards in the Hole (aka: pocket cards).
2. 1st round of betting.
3. The Flop - Three Community cards are dealt face up on the board. Everyone can use any of the Community cards in their hand.
4. 2nd round of betting.
5. The Turn - One more Community card is dealt face up.
6. 3rd round of betting.
7. The River - One final Community card is dealt face up.
8. 4th and final round of betting.
9. The Showdown - Winner takes all. In case of a tie, those players split the pot. If there is/are side pot(s), they are awarded accordingly. A player may only win pots that they have called completely.
To reiterate, you must use exactly two pocket cards and three cards from the board to make your final hand. Sometimes this can be less than ideal. Consider the following:
Hole: A-S, A-H, A-C,7-S
Board: 9-D, 3-H, 2-C, 2-S, J-H
In the above example, you would have two pair, Aces and Deuces (A's & 2's). You would NOT have a full-house Aces and Deuces because you cannot use three cards from the Hole.
Incidentally, Aces count as both the highest and lowest cards.
In this example, you would have three Kings but so would everyone else (at least). You can't use all three Kings plus the 3 of Spades from the board to make a full-house with your 3 of Diamonds in the Hole because you can only use three cards from the board, and you must use two pocket cards. With a 7 kicker (the highest unused card in the hand which becomes the tiebreaker when needed), this hand is suddenly not as promising as it might have seemed.
The betting structure in Omaha High is identical to the betting structure in Texas Holdem. (Want to learn more? Read our article on Texas Holdem rules for a a complete explanation of this structure.) Essentially, the two players to the left of the dealer (or dealer button) place forced bets called blinds. The player to the left of the big blind bets first on the first round of betting, the player in the small blind bets first in all subsequent rounds of betting.
Limits are often imposed on betting such that the lower betting limit is both the required bet and/or raise in the first two rounds of betting, and the upper betting limit is the required bet and/or raise in the last two rounds of betting. (ie. In a $5/$10 game, the first bet in the first two rounds of betting must be $5, with a maximum of three $5 raises before the next card(s) is/are dealt. In the second/last two rounds of betting, the first bet must be $10, with a maximum of three $10 raises before, respectively, the River card and the Showdown.