Omaha-Hi, one of the most popular non-hold’em game types, utilizes many of the same rules as other poker games.
Indeed, Omaha is extremely similar to Hold’em in several respects. The betting structure (blinds, flop, turn, river, etc.) is identical, the order of poker hands (winning hand rankings) are the same, and players make up their best hand with the help of five community cards.
Instead of receiving only two hole cards, players in Omaha are dealt four, face down. Thus arises one of the key differences – players must use two of the four cards in their hand. Never will you use four from the board or three from your hand – it must be a combination of two of your hole cards and three from the community.
This takes a while to get used to, especially if you’ve spent most of your time playing Hold ‘Em. However, once you adjust, you realize how much deeper the game becomes when an extra pair of cards is dealt to each player at the table. Unlike Hold ‘Em, where you may be able to steal a pot with middle-pair, Omaha is a game of great hands. Someone, especially at a crowded table, will almost always have the best possible combination. As a result, there is usually far less deception in Omaha. The sheer number of possible hands makes it a much more honest game.
In Omaha, you want your 4 cards to work together. The best starting hands are those that are suited (aces being the best), connected, and paired. Off suited Omaha hands can still be played, along with those that are not completely connected with a hanger, but are not as valuable. See below for the full order of poker hands and the top starting Omaha hands.
Order of Poker Hands – Omaha
Top Playable Omaha Poker Hands
Suited Aces and Kings
Double Suited Aces
Single Suited Aces
Since Omaha is mainly a postflop game, it’s hard to come up with a set list of the best Omaha starting hands. However, the above top 5 hands are the ones that tend to work best with the flop. Now that you know the top Omaha hands and the rankings for showdown, look to the left to see if you can figure out who wins, Hero or Villain?
Hero vs Villain
Looking at a ranking chart like on the left is easy, but now the challenge comes seeing the board, Hero’s and Villain’s hand. Who wins?
Results: The flop is great for both players, and both make a flush on the river. Luckily for Hero, he had the suited ace and the nut flush!
Results: Our hero’s Queens over Jacks steal a big pot from the villain’s Ace-high straight!
Results: In a risky pot, our hero is crushed by the opposition’s trip Kings. Remember, only two of your hold cards may be used to make up your hand. This is a case of a dangling Ace!