Omaha Set-Up and Play

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Setting up and playing a game of Omaha is as easy as sitting people around the poker table and dealing out the cards.

The first thing you'll need to know is the rules of playing Omaha. They're very similar to playing Texas Hold'em, with a couple of variations.

The first variation is that each player is dealt four hole cards rather than two. The second variation is that players must use two cards from their hand and three from the community board cards to create their final hand.

For a more in-depth explanation of the rules, read our Omaha Rules article.

Game Play

So let's say you've got your players all gathered and you're ready to start a game. First you'll draw to see where the dealer button will start. Generally this is done by dishing out a card to each player, and the high card starts as dealer.

The two players to the left of the dealer are the small blind and the big blind. They are the only players who have money in the pot before the cards are dealt. The dealer button as well as the small and big blind moves clockwise after every hand.

Once you've got the setup of the dealer and blinds sorted out, the first hand can be dealt. The dealer deals out four cards face down to each player. Here's an example of two players' hole cards:

Hole Cards A Hole Cards B

After the hole cards are dealt, the first betting round begins. The player sitting to the left of the big blind is the first with the option to bet and the action continues clockwise from him.

After the first round of betting is done, if there are players who have bet and stayed in the hand, the first three community cards, called the flop, will be dealt.

The second round of betting begins with the first player to the left of the buttonwho is still in the hand. Once again, betting continues clockwise from that player. If there are players still in the hand after that round, another community card, called the turn, is dealt.

Another round of betting ensues, starting with the first player to the left of the button who's still in the hand. Once that round is complete, the players still in it will see a fifth community card dealt, the river card.

Here's an example of the board cards:

The Flop The Turn The River

The final round of betting takes place after the river card is dealt. It works just like the previous couple of betting rounds have worked. Players who stay in the hand then must show their cards to determine a winner.

If you'd like to watch how a hand plays out typically, check out our hand replayer.

How to make a hand

Keep in mind that players must use two of their hole cards to make their final hand - no more, no less. So looking at our example hands above and the board cards that were dealt, who is the winner?

Here are the best hands each player can make:

Final hand A Final hand B

Full house (aces full of fives)

Flush (ace high)

For more information about making the best Omaha hands, read our "Omaha: How to make a hand" article.

More Omaha Rules Articles:

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