Another much-loved variation of poker is Omaha. In this game, players receive four ‘hole’ cards that only they can see, and five ‘community’ cards are dealt face up for everyone’s use. Each player must use two of their hole cards, as well as three of the community cards, to make up their hand.
The game is split into four rounds of betting, and the betting proceeds clockwise around the table. Betting starts from the left position next to the dealer button, which moves one place to the left after each hand. In online poker games, the dealer button replaces the ‘live’ dealer.
If two or more players hold equally-strong winning five-card hands, the pot will be divided between the two tying players. If there is an odd chip, the player sitting closest to the left of the dealer button will receive this.
Prior to the beginning of the game, the two players to the left of the dealer post ‘blind’ bets. These are so-called because they are made before the players see any community cards. The blinds are there to make sure that there is money in the pot at the beginning of the game. The player to the left of the dealer posts the ‘small blind’ then the player to his left posts the ‘big blind’.
Four cards are dealt to each player that only they can see. These are called ‘hole’ cards. Next, the first round of betting is started by the player to the left of the big blind. This player, who is known as ‘under the gun’, can do one of the following:
Equal the amount bet in the big blind,
Increase the bet, or
Give up his cards and stake in the game.
When the betting returns to the player who made the initial full bet (the big blind) that player can ‘check’ or opt to stay in the game without adding anything to the pot. However, if an opponent has raised, the big blind player has three options: to call, re-raise or fold
Three ‘community’ cards, which all players can use to make their five-card hand, are dealt face up on the table. A second round of betting follows.
A fourth community card is dealt face up on the table. The third round of betting follows.
The fifth and final community card is dealt, followed by the final round of betting.
At the final phase, if there is more than one player left in the game, there is a showdown. Here, the players reveal their cards and the highest hand is declared winner (see Rank of Hands). If two players share an equally strong hand, the pot is divided between the two.