Rules of Omaha Hold'Em

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From the rec.gambling Frequently-Asked-Questions (by ):

The rules of Omaha are very similar to those of Texas Hold'em. There are only two differences:

  • Each player receives four hole cards, instead of two.

  • One must use *exactly* three community cards and two hole cards to make
one's hand.

The second difference is confusing for most beginners. These examples show how it works.


Board Hole Cards Best High Hand
===== ========== ==============
As Kc Qc 8d 2d Ac 2c Jd Th Jd Th makes ace-hi straight.

As Kc Qc Jh Td Ac 2c Jd 8h Ac Jd makes ace-hi straight.

As Kc Qc Jh Td 3c 2c Jd 8h Jd 8h makes pair of jacks. No straight
is possible using two hole cards.

As Ks 8h 9d 2s Qs 4h 4d 4s Qs 4s makes AKQ42 "nut" flush.

As Ks 8s 9s 2s Qs 4h 4d Qd Qs Qd makes pair of queens. No flush is
possible using two hole cards.

As Ts 8s 8h 4d Td Tc Ad 9c Td Tc makes TTT88 full house.

As Ts 8s 8h 4d Td 8c Ad 9c Ad 8c makes 888AA full house.

As Ac 8s 8h 4d Ah 2h 3h 5h Ah 5h makes trip aces AAA85. No full
house is possible using two hole cards.

As Ac 8s 8h 4d Ah 2h 3h 4h Ah 4h makes full house AAA44.

Omaha is often played high/low, meaning that the highest and lowest hands split the pot. The low hand usually must "qualify" by being at least an 8-low (the largest card must be 8 or lower). One can use a different two cards to compete for the high and low portions of the pot, and the game is played "cards speak" rather than "declare". Aces are either low or high, and straights and flushes don't count for low. Since everybody must use two hole cards to make a hand, the board must have three cards 8 or lower for a low to even be possible. Players often tie for low, and the low half of the pot is divided equally among them. Some more examples:

Board Hole Cards Best Low Hand
===== ========== =============
As Kc Qc 8d 2d 8c Jc Jd Th Jd Th makes the low hand JT82A, which
does not qualify as 8-or-better.

3d 5h 8d Tc Ts Ac 2c Jd Th Ac 2c makes the "nut low" 8532A.

3d 5h 8d Tc Ts Ac 3c 4d Th Ac 4d makes 8543A.

3d 5h 8d Ad Ts Ac 3c 5d 8h Any two make T853A, not qualifying.

Ac 2c 3d 4h 5s Ad 2d Th Td Ad 2d makes "nut low" 5432A.

Ac 2c 3d 4h 5s 4d 5d Th Td 4d 5d makes "nut low" 5432A.

5h 7h 8d Ac 2c Ad 2d Th Td Ad 2d makes 8752A, but the nut low is
5432A with a 3 and 4. On the flop we
had the best possible low, but the turn
and river "counterfeited" us.

As in all split-pot games, the real goal of playing any hand is to win both halves of the pot, or "scoop". Thus, hands that have a chance to win both ways are far superior to those that can only win one way.

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