Omaha Hi is a community card game. This means that 5 community cards (cards everyone is allowed to use to make their hand) are dealt after each player receives 4 individual pocket cards (cards only they are allowed to use when making a hand.) To make their best hand in Omaha, players use any 2 pocket cards (but ONLY 2) AND any 3 of the community cards (but ONLY 3). No other combination of cards will be considered for the hand evaluation.
Omaha is played with a standard 52-card deck and as many as 10 participants. A dealer “button” is used to indicate the position of the player who would be dealing the cards if the players were actually dealing the cards themselves. The player holding the button acts last and thus has a positional advantage that remains throughout the hand. After each hand, the button is moved one position clockwise, so that all players in the game have, after a full round, had exactly the same number of opportunities to hold positional advantage.
The two players on the button's immediate left must post “blind” bets…that is, amounts they place in the pot before they see their cards. Typically, the player in the very first position posts a blind bet one-half the size of the player in the second position, although in some games, the first bet (called the “small blind”) may be as little as one-third or as much as two-thirds the size of the second bet (called the “big blind”).
All participants are now dealt four cards face down. These are pocket cards and belong exclusively to their “owners,” and are not seen by the other players at any time until the showdown at the end of the hand. A round of betting takes place at this point, which is called “before the flop” or “pre-flop.”
Once the pre-flop betting is complete, the three cards are dealt face-up. These are “community” cards that belong to everyone, and these three cards are called “the flop.”
A second round of betting follows. In the second betting round, the player closest to the left of the button, who is still in the hand, acts first. After everyone places his or her bets, a 4th community card is dealt which is called the “Turn” card, or “Fourth Street.”
After the third round of betting concludes, the dealer reveals the fifth and final community card, called “the River,” or “Fifth Street,” which leads to a final round of betting.
At the end of the final round of betting, any players still remaining in the hand turn their cards over. If at any point during the hand, one player makes a bet that all others decline to call, the hand is over immediately, and the player who made the final wager takes the pot without the need to show his or her cards. The player who can assemble the best five-card hand wins the pot.
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