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Beginners Guide to Playing Omaha

May 28, 2024
by PokerStars Learn

Omaha is one of the many playing styles in poker. In this video, Spraggy explains the basic hands, combo draws, and strategy in Omaha poker… with a little help from Lex Veldhuis‘s personal experience with the game. Hope this helped, and have fun!

Beginners Guide to Playing Omaha

Although similar to Texas Hold’em, Omaha has a couple of key differences:

  1. Unlike Texas Hold’em (where there are 2 hole cards), in Omaha you get 4 hole cards.
  2. In Omaha, making your best 5-card hand requires the player to use 2 hole cards along with 3 community cards. That means you cannot use only one of the hole cards.

As an example, if the only spade you have is an ace and there are 4 spades on the table, you cannot achieve a flush as you need to use your 2 hole cards regardless.

Most Omaha games are played as Pot Limit, where the biggest bet is the total size of the pot.

Top Starting Hands

The best starting hand in Omaha is A,A,K,K (double-suited). Try to ensure your hole cards meet at least one of the following criteria, and ideally several:

  • Connected cards
  • High cards
  • Suited cards for flush possibilities
  • Pairs for making three-of-a-kind or a full house

The more of those qualities, the stronger the Omaha hand!

Combo Draws

Omaha hands often involve “combo draws” where you have a chance at more than one draw at the same time, for example, you have a chance at making a straight or a flush.

With a combo draw, you will frequently have a better chance of winning than your opponent, even if their hand is currently ahead. So, you want to bet big to build the pot when you think you have the best chance to win, even if you’re on a draw.

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