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StrategyOmaha

Rules of PL Omaha

Introduction

This article explains

  • The rules of Omaha
  • The rules of Pot Limit

Pot Limit Omaha is somewhat more complex than Texas Hold'em, and this article will explain how the game works, from the deal to the betting limits. You will also find a small hand quiz at the end of the article to help you read hands correctly.

How is Omaha played?

Each player is dealt 4 pocket cards, face down. After the first betting round, 3 community cards are dealt on the board, the flop. Then comes another round of betting and another community card, the turn. After the 3rd betting round comes the final community card, the river, followed by the last round of betting. Like in every variant, the community cards are available to every player. In every betting round players have the following possibilities: Check, Call, Bet, Raise or Fold.

When a fullring table is fully occupied, or in other words, in a ten-player game, a total of 40 cards from the deck are dealt. Since there are also five community cards, and a card deck contains 52 cards, there are only 7 unused cards at the end of a hand.

Because the game is played with 4 cards rather than 2, there are a lot more possible combinations than in Texas Hold'em. Naturally, this means that one can have many more outs as well. While the biggest number of possible outs in hold'em is 21 (straight flush draw with overcards) you can easily have draws with 29 or more outs in Omaha.

Ranking of Omaha Hands

The ranking of hands in omaha is the same as in almost every other poker variant:
  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a kind
  4. Full house
  5. Flush
  6. Straight
  7. Three of a kind
  8. Two pair
  9. Pair
  10. High card

How does Pot Limit work?

Omaha High is played most often in Pot-Limit format, which is the only format we have chosen to teach here at PokerStrategy.

In pot limit, one has more choice in the bet sizing than in fixed limit, however it isn't possible to go directly all-in like in no-limit. It is important to know that a pot-size raise always gives 2:1 odds for a call.

In pot limit, a raise must be at least the size of the last bet. To know how big the maximum raise is, one counts the money in the pot and the previous bet multiplied by 2. Here is the formula:

IMPORTANT
 
Potsize raise = size of the pot + 2*(amount to call)

 

Example: You are first in before the flop. What is the maximum raise?

The pot is 1.5BB (small blind + big blind), and you have to call 1BB. A potsize raise here would be 1.5BB + 2*(1BB) = 3.5 BB.

Let's take another example, after the flop.

The pot is at 10BB and you are heads-up. Your opponent bets 8BB. What is your maximum raise?

Potsize raise = 10BB + 2*(8BB) = 26BB. The raise is 26BB, thus the total bet would be 34BB.

The concept should now be clear. To be sure, here is a small quiz:

QUIZ
 

Question 1: You are playing PL $0.10/0.25 fullring. All stacks are ca $25. You are in the CO, and three players have limped before you. You want to raise potsize, how big is the bet?

a) 4,5 BB
b) 5,5 BB
c) 6,5 BB

Question 2: You are playing PL $ 0.25/0.50 Fullring. The stacks are all between $40 and $50 and you are in the SB. The BU open-raises to 3.5BB / $1.75, and you want to raise. How big would a potsize raise be?

a) 11 BB
b) 12 BB
c) 10 BB

Question 3: You are playing PL $0.5/1, Fullring. The stacks are all between $70-120 and you are on the BU. Preflop: UTG limps, you limp, and both blinds limp. On the flop, SB bets 4BB = $4, BB folds, UTG calls, you want to raise potsize. How big will the bet be?

a) 16 BB
b) 20 BB
c) 24 BB

Building a hand

There are a few very important rules in Omaha for the composition of hands:

IMPORTANT  
Every player must use exactly 2 of his 4 holecards and exactly 3 of the community cards. No more, no less!

 

So for example if one holds A K T 2 then one does not have a flush on a board like J 9 6 3 2 with four hearts. The same goes for a hand like A-K-8-2 on a T-9-7-6-3 board where one would not have a straight. Naturally a starting hand with four of a kind, such as 9-9-9-9, is totally worthless, as it cannot improve and will just be one pair on the final board. Similarly, a hand with three of a kind, like 8-8-8-5, has very little value, since it has only one out to improve to a set.

Hand quiz

So that you can test your knowledge on combination rules in Omaha, I have prepared a little quiz. The objective is to determine which hand you are holding in each situation.
Example 4

Your Hand: A 7 8 K

Board: 9 J 6 5A
Example 5

Your Hand: A 3 9 Q

Board: Q T 7 3 J
Example 6

Your Hand: Q J 4 8

Board: J J 7 7 2
Example 7

Your Hand: 9 9 8 7

Board: 6 9 Q A T
Example 8

Your Hand: Q 8 7 A

Board: TA 2 9 J
Example 9

Your Hand: A 9 T 6

Board: 7 9 2 T 8
Example 10

Your Hand: T T 8 8

Board: 7 8T Q 3
Example 11

Your Hand: Q 5 K 9

Board: Q T A 7 9


Conclusion

Pot Limit Omaha is a complex game, and as you can see, there is a lot to learn about it. Now that you understand the rules of the game, the next step is to learn about bankroll management in Pot Limit Omaha, after which you can move on to basic strategy in the silver section.

 

Answers


Question 1:
You are playing PL $0.10/0.25 fullring. All stacks are ca $25. You are in the CO, and three players have limped before you. You want to raise potsize, how big is the bet?
c) There is already 1.5BB in the pot from the blinds as well as 3BB from the 3 limpers, which means the pot total is 4.5BB. The amount to call is 1BB, so a potsize raise here would be 4.5BB + 2* 1BB = 6.5BB = 1.6$
Question 2:
You are playing PL $ 0.25/0.50 Fullring. The stacks are all between $40 and $50 and you are in the SB. The BU open-raises to 3.5BB / $1.75, and you want to raise. How big would a potsize raise be?
a) There is already 1.5BB in the pot from the blinds, then comes 3.5BB from the BU. The amount to call from the SB would be 3BB (you already have 0.5BB invested in the blind). Thus a potsize raise would be 5BB + 2* 3BB = 11BB = 5.5$
Question 3:
You are playing PL $0.5/1, Fullring. The stacks are all between $70-120 and you are on the BU. Preflop: UTG limps, you limp, and both blinds limp. On the flop, SB bets 4BB = $4, BB folds, UTG calls, you want to raise potsize. How big will the bet be?
b)
There is 4BB in the pot from the preflop round, plus SB's 4BB bet and UTG's call. The amount to call is 4BB, so a potsize raise would be 12BB + 2*4BB = 20BB = 20$.
Question 4:

Your Hand: A 7 8 K

Board: 9 J 6 5A

  A-K-J-7-5
You have the nut flush
Question 5:

Your Hand: A 3 9 Q

Board: Q T 7 3 J

  Q-Q-3-3-J
You have two pair + J kicker
Question 6:

Your Hand: Q J 4 8

Board: J J 7 7 2

  J-J-J-Q-7/,
Here you have trip J + Q 7 high
Question 7:

Your Hand: 9 9 8 7

Board: 6 9 Q A T

  T-9-8-7-6
You have a straight
Question 8:

Your Hand: Q 8 7 A

Board: TA 2 9 J

  Q-J-T-9-8
You have a straight
Question 9:

Your Hand: A 9 T 6

Board: 7 9 2 T 8

  T-9-8-7-6
You have a straight
Question 10:

Your Hand: T T 8 8

Board: 7 8T Q 3

  Q-T-8-7-3
You have the 4th nut flush
Question 11:

Your Hand: Q 5 K 9

Board: Q T A 7 9

  Q-Q-9-9-A
You have two pair with A kicker


 

Comments (7)

#1 mouse89, 06 Oct 08 15:11

cheers

#2 AdamLaw33, 19 May 10 02:40

cool<br />

#3 dakapepe, 21 Mar 11 12:05

i have to learn more about it.

#4 moveon123, 31 Dec 11 23:43

easy to follow thank you for your time and effort in making this for us all very helpful

#5 AceKingHit, 31 Aug 14 20:48

yes thnx its really helping!

#6 sonorov, 04 Jun 15 05:17

thanks

#7 Yavar11, 09 Jul 16 21:33

I don't really know what "ca", "CO", "UTG" and "BU" stand for. got confused.