Omaha is similar to Texas Hold-em in that blinds go around the table after each hand, and players make their poker hands by sharing community cards combined with their hole cards to make the best possible poker hand. If you are do not yet know the rules and terminology concerning the blinds, or the community cards, please refer to the section on How to Play Texas Hold-em.
The main difference between Omaha and Hold-em is that in Omaha, each player is dealt 4 hole cards rather than 2. However, you must use 2 of those hole cards to make your poker hand. You may not use more or less than 2 cards. If you are using 1 card along with a pair of the same card number on the board to make 3 of a kind, your highest second card is considered your kicker. The same goes for a single card used to make a pair. Any other hand, you must have 2 cards in your hole cards playing to make the hand, whether it is a straight, flush, full house, or any other poker hand. It is a common beginner’s mistake in Omaha to think they have a hand with only one hole card in play. Make sure this does not happen to you.
Betting turns are taken the same way in Omaha as they are in Hold-em, as are the community cards laid out on the table. So if you know the game of Texas Hold-em, you should have no trouble keeping up with the betting rules in Omaha.
Omaha hi-lo (also known as O8) is played just like Omaha with one defining difference, it is possible to have 2 different winning hands. The best poker hand wins the high pot, and the best low hand wins the lo. If a player can make both the best lo hand and the best high hand, they win the whole pot, known as “scooping.” If no player can make a lo hand, the high hand wins the whole pot.
To make a lo hand you must have 5 cards of 8 or less between 2 of your hole cards, and 3 of the community cards on the board. Aces are considered both low for a lo hand as well as high for a high hand. So the lowest possible hand in O8 is also a strong high hand that will often scoop the pot. A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is known as “the wheel” and can be a devastating hand in O8.