Learning and Understanding the Game
A game of great talent and skill, poker cannot be possibly mastered in one single night. New players, therefore, cannot be put up against the skilled ones. As with other talent and skill games, poker is best won when one has fully mastered the basics and has practiced and put the fundamentals into application over time. What seems to be an easy card game is actually a game of overpowering your opponents’ strategy and have them suffer from your own techniques.
Although Texas Hold'em has been considered and remains the master of poker tournaments, Omaha Poker comes second best in luring the most number of people in card games. This is so because, like Texas Hold'em, Omaha Poker has very easy-to-learn rules and principles. The big difference though between Omaha Poker and Texas Hold'em is that a player can choose out of nine cards in the former, something which is considered a better deal by most poker players.
So how is Omaha Poker played?
Omaha Poker has two variations: the Omaha High and the Omaha Hi/Lo Split. One may choose to play Omaha Poker with a betting structure called the Pot Limit or No Limit or another one referred to as the Limit Game. To avoid confusion and for things to be easily understood, let us discuss the rules and the playing principles of the Omaha High.
The betting pattern of Omaha Poker is structured and $2/$4 are the lowest bids you can make. Other Omaha Poker games can have their betting setup go up to 5/10, 10/20 and even higher. For example, in a 3/6 betting structure, $3 is the minimum bet for the initial two rounds and $6 is the minimum for the last two betting rounds. The same limits hold true when it comes to raising.
Unlike stud poker where all players ante every round, in Omaha Poker, blind bets are made to have the starting pot generated, just like in Texas Hold'em.
To start an Omaha Poker game, two blind bets are posted. The player immediately to the left of the dealer posts the small blind that is half the minimum bet. So in a $2/$4 game, the small blind is $1, and the big blind will equal the minimum bet or $3. And as the button is rotated, every player in the game will get the chance to play as the small blind, big blind, and dealer.
After having the blinds posted, four cards facing down are dealt to every player. So the small blind player gets the first card, and the last card is dealt to the dealer. And so the first betting round starts. The player immediately to the left of the big blind may choose to put in $4 to raise or $2 to call. With a bad hand, that player will fold. The betting continues until it reaches the one who posted the small blind. The small blind may call the bet with one dollar. The last person to act, the big blind will be asked if he would like to Raise or Check.
Three more cards face up are dealt on the table. Referred to as the Flop, these cards are part of the play and are called the Community Cards, which can be used by all the players. The next round then begins with the first five players immediately to the left of the dealer with the minimum bet at $3.
The dealer Burns (or turns over) one of the cards face up at the center of the table after the betting round is done once the flop is completed. This part is referred to as the Turn and the minimum bet has now been raised to $6.
The River is the part of the game when the dealer burns the last card facing up and the Turn is completed as welling as the betting round. The minimum bet starts at $6 for the final betting round.
Raises are unlimited when the game comes down to just two players. Normally though, three to four raises maximum are made during all betting rounds.
The winning hand is determined when all the players have used their hole cards plus three cards from the board, where they try to form the highest-valued five-card hand they possibly could. A tie usually results in the two players splitting the pot between them.
Like any other poker games, some tips are helpful to be kept in mind when joining an Omaha Poker game.
Formulate a playing style
Find a playing style that suits your attitude when it comes to playing poker. Over time and with correct practice, try to hone this style so as to help you keep your pace and momentum every time you play. Many great poker players have their signature playing styles, and they all agree that they greatly help in their poker games.
Improve your speed
Going at a faster rate as opposed the other players will give you a good edge in the game. Many players easily get intimidated when they see their opponents making their bets faster and at a much confident pace. This will also hinder your opponents from being able to read your style or figure out your strategy.
Calculate your odds
This is what separates novice poker players from experienced ones. Although this takes a lot of practice and research, being able to calculate your odds will definitely work to your advantage. This way, you will be able to more accurately figure out the bets that you have to make and the calls that you have to do.
Read your opponents
Although this is not possible in online poker games, this tip is definitely helpful when playing face to face with other players. The ability to determine your opponent’s next step by reading his hand, facial, and other bodily movements—rolling of the eyes, twitching of the face, nodding or swaying of the head, etc.—may just up your chances of getting that jackpot that everyone has set his eyes on.