The Rules of PLO

Omaha poker is an exciting game derived from Texas Hold'em. Each player is dealt four private cards ('hole cards') which belong only to that player. Five community cards are dealt face-up on the 'board'. In Omaha games, all players use exactly three of the community cards together with exactly two of their hole cards to make the best five-card poker hand. No more, and no less. Follow this link to view the rankings of Omaha poker hands.


Below is a general explanation on how to play Omaha poker. The basic rules for all Omaha variants are the same, with the exception of the different betting structures between them. More details on these different betting structures follow.


Basic Strategies


In Pot Limit and No Limit Omaha games, the games are referred to by the size of their blinds (for example, a €1/€2 Omaha game has a small blind of €1 and a big blind of €2). Betting then commences from the player to the left of the big blind.


In Fixed Limit Omaha games, the big blind is the same as the small bet, and the small blind is typically half of the size of the big blind, but may be larger depending on the stakes. For example, in a €2/€4 Limit game the small blind is €1 and the big blind is €2. In a €15/€30 Limit game, the small blind is €10 and the big blind is €15.


Now, each player is dealt their four hole cards. Betting action proceeds clockwise around the table, starting with the player 'under the gun' (immediately clockwise from the big blind).


Pre-Flop


After seeing his or her hole cards, each player now has the option to play his or her hand by calling or raising the big blind. The action begins to the left of the big blind, which is considered a 'live' bet on this round. That player has the option to fold, call or raise. For example, if the big blind was €2, it would cost €2 to call, or at least €4 to raise. Action then proceeds clockwise around the table. Betting continues on each betting round until all active players (who have not folded) have placed equal bets in the pot.


The Flop


After the first round of betting is complete, the 'flop' is dealt face-up on the board. The flop is the first three community cards available to all active players. Play begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. Another round of betting ensues. In Fixed Limit Omaha, all bets and raises occur in increments of the small bet (for example, €2 in a €2/€4 game).


The Turn


When betting action is completed for the flop round, the 'turn' is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in an Omaha game. Play begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. Another round of betting ensues. In Fixed Limit Omaha, bets and raises on the turn are in increments of the big bet (for example, €4 in a €2/€4 game).


The River


When betting action is completed for the turn round, the 'river' is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in Omaha poker. The final round of betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button.


The Showdown


If there is more than one remaining player when the final betting round is complete, the last person to bet or raise shows their cards, unless there was no bet on the final round in which case the player immediately clockwise from the button shows their cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. Remember: in Omaha, players must use two and only two of their four hole cards in combination with exactly three of the cards from the board. In the event of identical hands, the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands.


After the pot is awarded, a new Omaha poker game is ready to be played. The button now moves clockwise to the next player.

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