Omaha is one of the most popular poker variations today, second only to the super-popular Texas Hold'em. Omaha is an abbreviation of the game that is also known as Omaha Hold'em, Omaha 8, High-Low split or 8-Or-Better.
Omaha is usually played as a high-low split meaning that the pot usually splits between the highest and the lowest hand. The basics of Omaha are superficially similar to Texas Hold'em, though they are indeed only superficial. In Omaha poker the players also receive hole cards, community cards are also being dealt and there is a flop, a turn and a river with betting intervals between them but there the similarity ends.
In Omaha poker each of the players receives four hole cards instead of two. The most distinctive feature of Omaha poker is that you can not use as many cards as you want, nor from the hole or the board. Each of the players can use only two of his hole cards and only three cards of the board. Though you can use any two hole cards and any three board cards, you must always use exactly three board cards and exactly two hole cards. This adds a much more interest and challenge to the game as you can't just use the board or four cards of it.
Omaha poker also presents special rules for Low hands. In order to play a low hand you must have an 8 high hand or lower. Meaning that you can't have a low hand if you have any card higher than 8 in your hand. Omaha is one of the most popular tournament variations there is. The Omaha games are usually the second in payouts and media coverage only to Texas Hold'em.
Written by Brandon Francis, Editorial Staff 24.10.2005