Omaha Hold’em, also known as “Omaha,” ranks as the world’s second most popular poker game after Texas Hold’em. Its origins are uncertain, but it evolved from a variation of Texas Hold’em and eventually acquired its own unique nickname. Some claim the game originated in Vegas, others believe in Chicago, but it emerged in the 1970s after Texas Hold’em. Nowadays, various versions of Omaha exist, and the high game is the standard in Europe. In North America, Omaha is the specified variant and included in HORSE with the letter O.

How to play Omaha

Omaha Hold’em, resembling Texas Hold’em, involves a community pot. The game’s origins make it nearly impossible to discuss Omaha without mentioning its precursor, as their similarities are significant. Omaha deals four cards face-down to players, while Texas Hold’em deals two, making it the primary distinction between them. In Omaha, players must form a hand using exactly two hole cards and three community cards. A typical Omaha game proceeds as follows:

All players receive four face-down cards, followed by betting (matching Texas Hold’em’s schedule). The dealer lays three face-up community cards, known as the flop, on the table. Another round of betting occurs. The dealer reveals the turn card, followed by more betting. The dealer then displays the river card, accompanied by a final round of betting.

What it offers

You can learn a lot from Omaha. For new or recreational poker players who often feel discouraged due to infrequent good hands, Omaha is an ideal game. With 9 cards for various combinations, it’s hard to avoid getting a good hand or a bad one in Hi-Low. Omaha’s higher number of possible combinations facilitates improvement in reading poker hands over other games. Given the number of cards on the board, determining who has high or low can be challenging. Omaha excels at letting players combine cards and strive for the best hands, encouraging growth and development.

Weaker players’ growth benefits strong players, as many play Omaha poorly. Omaha’s frequent presence in online casinos and live tournaments lets strong players build significant bankrolls against less experienced opponents. In Omaha, unique rules challenge strong poker players, demanding more alertness in hand assessment, betting, and strategy.

Omaha variations

Omaha Hi-Low

This a split pot variant of Omaha Hold’em, is quite popular and commonly included in major tournament play. This variant of Omaha splits the pot between the high and low hand. Players must use precisely two hole cards, as in other Omaha variations. A single player may win both high and low hands. For example, if a player held Ace of Any Color Ace of Any Color 2 of Any Color 3 of Any Color in his hand and the board came down Ace of Clubs Ace of Diamonds 4 of Hearts 5 of Spades Jack of Clubs, he would be able to use Ace of Clubs Ace of Diamonds Ace of Hearts Ace of Spades Jack of Clubs as his high hand and Ace of Clubs 2 of Diamonds 3 of Diamonds 4 of Spades 5 of Clubs as his low hand, and he would have the absolute nut for both high and low, making the entire pot his.

Omaha Hi-Low Split Eight or Better

This variation is also goes by the name Omaha 8, and represents a Hi-Low Split version of Omaha. Players must have an eight as the highest card for the low pot. In Omaha 8, a player needs three community cards. These are all eight or lower, resulting in 40% of hands having no low pot.

Omaha X

Omaha 7 and Omaha 9 resemble Omaha 8 but feature a distinct high card qualifier for the low game.


In Courchevel, the dealer initially reveals one community card. The dealer deals four face-down cards to each player. Players finally have a complete five-card hand before betting starts. However, they can only use two cards in their hand.

Six Card Omaha

This variation adheres to all Omaha rules, but features six hole cards instead of four. Other variations may involve different numbers of cards, as indicated by the variation’s name. Six Card is the most prevalent variant with an alternative number of hole cards.