This guide to playing Omaha poker at online casinos will help Phillipino players find the best games and casinos. Omaha has a great range of different variants, so it will appeal to players who have grown a little tired of Texas Hold’em. Players need to be aware that because Omaha has more cards dealt out, the odds of a good hand are much higher than in Hold’em. So although a player may have a great hand, there’s a higher likelihood of another player having an equally good hand.
Omaha Poker Popularity in the Philippines
The Philippines is one of the key contributors to the Asian Poker Tour (APT). In fact the country hosted the inaugural tournament of the APT in Manila. With live poker rooms closed by recent lockdowns, increasing numbers of players are turning to Omaha poker online. As in other countries, Texas Hold’em is the most commonly found version of the game. But Omaha has a growing player base in the Philippines.
Online poker is legal in the Philippines. Philippino poker players can also sign up at most of the big multinational casinos, such as 888 or Pokerstars. But there are an increasing number of regional casinos, such as PNXBET, offering online Omaha games.
With low credit card ownership, players in the Philippines are taking advantage of e-wallets. They can use Skrill, Neteller, and at some casinos, Bitcoin, to make deposits before playing.
How To Play Omaha Poker
Omaha has big and small blinds. When playing online, these are placed automatically.
When the game starts each player gets four hole cards, face down. This is a key difference in Omaha poker.
Players place bets. The bet can match or raise the amount of the big blind. Anyone with a poor hand can “fold”.
The flop: three cards are dealt face up. These are community cards.
Players can assess their hands, and match or raise the current bet, or fold.
The turn and river: another up card is dealt (the turn) and another round of bets made.
Then a final up card is dealt (the river). Players must combine at least two of the hole cards, and the necessary number of community cards to make up their poker hand.
Final betting takes place and hands are shown.
Hand rankings are the same when playing Omaha poker as in Texas Hold’em. But whereas in Texas Hold’em players get just two hole cards, Omaha rules allow four. In Hold’em, a player can choose whether or not to use either, or both, of their hole cards. In this version of poker Omaha gives the player a much wider choice of cards with which to build a hand. The player must use two of the hole cards but can use up to four.
When playing Omaha, the hands are the same as most poker games. Both Texas Hold’em and Omaha use this ranking.
- Royal flush – A, K, Q, J, 10, same suit.
- Straight flush – five cards in sequence, same suit
- Four of a kind – four cards, same face value, for example four 6’s.
- Full house – three of a kind (three cards, same face value) with any pair.
- Flush – five cards of the same suit, any sequence.
- Straight (or “run”) – five cards, any suit, in sequence.
- Three of a kind – three cards, same value, for example three 9’s.
- Two pairs – any two pairs.
- One pair – any pair.
Omaha Poker Terminology
While Omaha shares some terms with Texas Hold’em, it’s also got its own jargon. When gamblers play poker, they’ll find that pot limit, flop, turn, river and showdown all mark the same betting rounds. Hole cards and community cards also have the same meanings. And as in Hold’em, players will find the community cards called “the board”. There are numerous Omaha catchwords such as a “dangler” – a hole card that doesn’t go well with the other three hole cards. The commonest is probably “PLO” which stands for Pot Limit Omaha.
Types of Omaha Poker
In this guide, we’ll brief Phillipino players on the main Omaha variants they’ll find when they play poker Ohama style. Hi lo, pot limit and no limit Omaha poker are some of the commonest games. All have the same gameplay as the base game, except for the betting.
In pot limit Omaha games, a player can only place a bet equal to the current pot. This is similar to Texas. Imagine a pot limit Omaha game has a pot of 1,000 pesos, or equivalent currency. Player A bets 1,000 pesos. The pot limit is now 2,000. However, player B can match Player A’s bet of 1,000. That means the pot is now 3,000. And Player B can now call 1,000 themselves, giving a final pot of 4,000. This is now the pot limit Omaha total. Online players get a button to calculate the pot limit automatically.
Unlike pot limit, when gamblers are playing Omaha no limit, they are completely free of wagering restrictions. The fact that there’s no pot limit makes these Omaha games completely different. Any player can bet the whole of their stack. Players who have been playing Texas Hold’em need to be careful. A hand that would win a Hold’em game is much more likely to be beaten in an Omaha poker game. That is because Omaha has one of the highest numbers of cards dealt from the deck. Of course, this could be an opportunity. Could it be that the player you just saw making no limit bets doesn’t realise their hand isn’t as good as they thought?
Omaha Hi Lo adds a new ingredient to the limit Omaha mix – the winning low hand! Unlike limit Omaha, in Omaha Hi Lo, the dealing rounds and the betting proceed in the same way as for the base game. However, in Omaha Hi Lo, the difference occurs at the end of the game, after all cards are dealt and final bets made. If more than one player is still in, and there is a showdown, hands are counted. The best “high” hand and the lowest hand, split the pot between them. That’s where the Hi Lo name comes from. Hi Lo can be combined with limit Omaha and other poker Omaha variants.
Instead of four hole cards, in Ohama poker players get five. But they can only use two, and must make the hand up with three community cards. This can be frustrating, if a player has a great five card hand with the hole cards, but is forced to pick only two of them, and go with less good community cards. The key point to watch is that having more cards dealt out changes the odds. It increases the likelihood of high hands. This game can be combined with limit Omaha and other games.
The Best Starting Hands in Omaha
Omaha poker has a hundred more possible starting hands than Texas Hold’em. However, there’s general agreement that AAKK is the best foundation for a winning hand. Less obviously, AAJ10 is also regarded as a very strong starting hand. This is because as well as containing a very strong pair, it has a high possibility of building a straight. At least one good pair is essential for a great starting hand – that’s paired Aces down to paired Jacks. Also, look for paired suits. That’s where the AAKK consists of AK in one suit and AK in another suit. In Omaha poker, this gives an increased likelihood of flushes.
Omaha Tournaments vs. Ring Games
Ring games are also called cash games. They don’t have a set start and finish time, and are played with real money. In online poker casinos, players can join or leave a table as they wish and can play limit Omaha, or any other version. They can choose how much to gamble, and whether to fold frequently, or to play multiple hands. So this is a very flexible way to play Ohama poker.
Tournament games are more structured, although they also feature variants such as limit Omaha. Players sign up in advance, and pay an entry fee. They then play to win a share of the prize pool. The tournament ends when “winner takes all” applies – one player has all the money.
Play Free Omaha Poker
Whether a Philippino player is new to Omaha poker or is switching from Texas Hold’em, it’s a great idea to play for free at first. Most of the big online poker casinos have free play games alongside real money games. Be on the lookout for how often big hands come up. What looks like a great hand at first, may face stiff competition from other good hands around the table. Try out variations such as limit Omaha, but be aware that players are far more reckless when playing Omaha poker for free!
What To Look Out For At An Omaha Poker Room
Take a look at the bonuses that may be available, before signing up. If possible, find out how many Omaha poker online tables are available. 888 Poker, for example, can have 150 tables running – find out how many offer Omaha. It’s also good if there’s a selection of different Omaha poker games, such as no limit Omaha, limit Omaha, Hi Lo or five card. Players need good sharp graphics and a user friendly interface. And it’s often fun to have a player chat facility.
What Benefits Are There From Switching To Omaha?
When a player switches to Omaha poker, they’re extending their range, and learning more about poker in general. Players who move between different online poker versions learn about the effect of the number of cards on the odds of good hands. They are able to appreciate that what looks at first like a “soft” game, may not be so easy to win in practice. They also come to appreciate the importance of not playing every hand in an Omaha poker game.