Poker Omaha High / Low

Omaha High

Omaha High is an extremely popular poker variation in the world mainly because the rules of the game are very much similar to Texas Holdem. This makes it easy for poker fans to switch to this poker variant.In addition, Omaha High is considered a fast paced action-filled game and players tend to stay in the hand until the end of the game. It is this exhilarating non-stop action which makes Omaha High an entertaining and ideal game for both professional players and beginners alike. You can play Omaha High in either Limit or Pot limit betting structures.

How to Play Omaha High

  • Omaha High accommodates at least two players up to a maximum of ten players. The main purpose of the game is to ensure that you secure the maximum number of chips possible from your opponents.
  • The two players positioned to the left hand side of the dealer are each required to put out the big blind and the small blind before the cards are dealt.  The value of the big blind is equal in size to the small betting limit and the small blind is equal to half the size of the big blind.
  • When the blinds are set, the dealer can proceed with shuffling the cards and dealing the cards in a clockwise motion around the table starting with the player immediately to the left of the dealer at the small blind.
  • Players receive a total of four cards. This is in sharp contrast to Texas Holdem where players are dealt two cards.
  • Betting commences at the Preflopand only ends when each one of the players have been given the opportunity to take the appropriate action.
  • Players who decide to fold will pay nothing into the prize pool and will have to discard their hand and wait for the following hand to be dealt.
  • Players who decide to call will be required to place bets which are equal to the size of the big blind.
  • Players who decide to raise will be required to raise the bet by an amount double the size of the big blind.
  • The same betting options are available at the small blind, players can opt to fold, raise or call. The only difference lies in the amount of money which has to be placed into the pot.
  • Once the preflop betting round is over the flop follows with one face down card or the burn card and the following three cards dealt face up.
  • The next betting round is known as the turn where one card is dealt face down and another card face up.
  • The River represents the final betting round and is made up of one card face up and one final face down card.
  • When the river betting round is over, all the remaining players can participate in the final showdown. The pot is awarded to the player who holds the best hand at this final stage.

How to Evaluate an Omaha Poker Hand

  • In Omaha, the player can make their best possible hand by making use of the three cards from the community cards and two cards in their hand.
  • In Omaha, the card suit is not used to evaluate the strength of a hand.

 

Omaha Hi/Lo

Omaha Hi Lo is a popular poker variation which is a split pot version. Players receive a total of 4 cards (hole cards) and are required to make their best possible high poker hand and best possible low poker hand from the three community cards and the two cards in their hand. It is important to remember that each of the poker hands can be created independent of the other. At final showdown, the pot is split between the best possible high poker hand and the best possible low hand consisting of five different cards 8 or lower.

Posting Blinds

Before betting commences, players who are positioned at the dealer’s left hand side are required to post the small blind and the big blind respectively. Blinds are defined as a small portion of the players’ initial stack of chips. Once the blinds are posted, each of the participating players is dealt 4 face down cards.

Betting

There are two different betting structures in Omaha Hi-Lo. The first option is the Pot limit which allows players to place a bet which is equal to the value of the prize pot. The second option is the Fixed limit where the betting amounts available to players are already pre-determined.  Players have the option to  raise in any one of the betting rounds which allows opposing players to take appropriate action towards such a raise or bet. It is important to note that although no restrictions exist in the Pot-Limit version, the Fixed Limit Omaha Hi-Lo restricts players to a maximum of 4 raises for each round of betting.

The Flop

The flop follows the 1st betting session with three community cards and thereafter the 2nd betting session is initiated. The fourth and fifth community cards are dealt during the Turn and River session which brings the total number of betting rounds to 4. Players have the option to check and pass the move to the next players during the betting rounds.

The Showdown

When it comes to showdown, a successful low hand must show at least three cards of different values or card suit.( with a value of 8 or lower) In the absence of such a qualifying low hand, the player holding the biggest poker hand made up of 3 community cards and 2 hole cards wins the pot.If there is a low hand, the pot will be split between the lowest poker hand and the highest poker hand. Omaha Hi-Lo is considered as a very challenging game which can be highly rewarding as well, the flop percentage is one of the major differences between a losing player and a winning player.

Poker Tournaments

Poker Tournaments

Poker tournaments are scheduled events which commence at a predetermined start time and requiring participating players to purchase entry tickets to the event. All players commence at the same time with the same number of chips and can take part in the tournament until they eliminated by losing all of their chips. At the end of the tournament, the remaining players are paid on a descending scale from the top winning player right down to the player occupying the final spot.

Stack Sizes

There are two important factors that will influence your performance when you are playing in a tournament. The first is the size of your stack which is measured in relation to the blinds and in comparison to the average stack size. The more chips you buy, the higher the risk you can assume. The second factor relates to the stage of the tournament.

Stages of a Tournament

Early Stage The Early Stage of the tournament sees all playersat equal footing with a lot of experience and plenty of chips in relation to the blinds. Players are encouraged to play tight-aggressive poker at this stage and ensure that they make it through this early stage with above average chips which will make it easier to maneuver within the middle stage.

Middle Stage In the Middle Stage of the tournament, the game moves from being deep-stacked with lots of chips in comparison to the blinds to short stacked chips towards the end of this stage. As the chips begin to gain more value, each round of blinds brings players closer to elimination. The goal at this stage is simply to stay alive and players will have to steal the blinds in order to protect their chips and get into the money or the final stage of the game.

Late Stage The Late Stage of the tournament is made up of many players with a limited number of chips and very few players with a lot of chips. It is at this stage that players are willing to gamble aggressively aiming only for the win without worrying about going bust.

Poker Tournaments Rules

i) After the random draw players are assigned to specific seats around the tournament table.

ii) After play resumes, players are not allowed to change their seats unless with the approval of the director.

iii) At the beginning of the tournament, each paid participant receives a specific number of chips.

iv) If a paid entrant is absent, reasonable effort will be made to locate the player. If contact is made with the player and he requests for the chips to be left in his place, his request will be honored.

v) If the player cannot be contacted, the chips may be discarded at any time after a new betting round has commenced of after half an hour whichever occurs first.

vi) Blinds and limits can be raised at scheduled regular intervals and the new limits become applicable on the next round.

vii) Cards are dealt in a clockwise direction beginning with the player occupying seat No. 1 who receives all their cards before any cards are dealt to the next player.

viii) There are more than six tables and the number of players at each table is kept reasonably balanced. Players may be transferred to another table as needed in order to maintain this balance.

ix) All players who are eliminated from an event are required to vacate their seats immediately.

x) Players are not allowed to show their cards in the middle of a session (unless only 2 players remain in the game) because this can prejudice the rights of other players who are still competing in the tournament.

xi) Players must avoid indulging in inappropriate behavior such as disruptive conduct, tormenting other players or throwing cards from the table. Such players may be penalised by expulsion from the tournament or may be kept out of a round for a specific period of time.

xii) Players may not request the dealer to change the deck of cards, the deck will only be changed when the dealer changes or if there is a damaged card.

xiii) If a player declares his intention to rebuy before cards are dealt, he will be obliged to make the rebuy.

xiv) The remaining finalists in a tournament are allowed to make their own private agreements or side bets regarding the redistribution of the prize pot. However, the director may at his own discretion ensure that such an agreement once made is adhered to. A private agreement which by its very nature excludes active participants or removes all of the prize money from being at stake in the competition is considered unethical and therefore invalid.

xv) Management also reserves the right to terminate any event, or change it in a manner that will ensure that the competition is fair and transparent to all the participating players.

7 Card Stud

7 Card Stud

7 Card Stud is a popular poker variation that is played by two up to ten players using the standard 52-card deck.  Players receive a total of three cards with one card facing up and two face down cards. The 1st betting session also known as “third street” begins followed by 3 additional betting sessions until the seventh card is dealt in the final round or the “river”. During the final showdown, a player who holds the best 5 card poker hand will be declared the winner.

7 Card Stud Variations

Limit Stud is one of the most popular 7 Card Stud variations which is made up of antes and the bring-in instead of the blinds. Players are required to place the ante prior to receiving the 1st set of 3 cards. The stipulated values of the bring-in and the ante are determined by various factors which include the specific house rules of poker room or casino that you choose to play at. As a general rule, the ante and bring-in accounts for between ten and fifteen percent and twenty-five and fifty percent of the small bet respectively. In the third betting round, if two or more players have equally ranked face up cards, the winning player will be determined by looking at the highest card suit. The card rank from highest ranking card to lowest ranking card is Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs.

Betting

Betting in 7 Card Stud is carried out in a clockwise direction starting with the bring-in players. Players have the option of calling, folding or proceeding to take the final completion bet. Players are allowed to raise in small bet increments until the maximum of 4 raises has been reached.  Bets and raises are also placed in minimum bet amounts on the fourth street unless a player manages to secure an upcard pair in which case he will be entitled to make a much more substantial bet. On the fifth up to the seventh street, big bets equal in value to the size of 2 small bets can be made.

Dead Cards

On the third street, the concept of “dead” cards comes becomes a deciding factor. Dead cards refers to the cards belonging to our opponents which are exposed in order to help us create better hands. For instance, if a player holds three spades, the rest of the spades exposed at the table are considered to be dead cards. Stud Poker is a game that requires you to concentrate and have a good recollection of all the dead cards that have been encountered in order to formulate a proper judgment of your next move.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em

Texas Holdem represents one of the most popular poker variants in which the standard deck of 52-cards is used. Players can opt to play for real money in the cash games where no restrictions of time are imposed. You can play Texas Holdem in tournament events for a chance to win the massive prize pool available to the winning players.

Dealing in Texas Holdem.

Dealing the cards in Texas Holdem is carried out in accordance with a simple set of rules which helps to promote game fairness and maintain the flow of the game

  • Players receive 2 face down cards or “Holecards” which are dealt starting from the dealer’s left hand side.
  • Players also receive fiveface-up community cards which are dealt in three separate stages right in the center of the table.
  • During the flop, players are dealt the first three face-up cards in the first stage. In the 2nd stage known as the Turn, players receive one card face up and in the final stage or the River, players are dealt one face up card.
  • In order to make the best possible 5 card hand, players can make use of a combination of the 5 cards on the table and 2 cards in their hand.

 

Betting in Texas Hold’em.

  • The Texas Holdem- Limit variant allows you place a predetermined amount of money for each betting round.
  • The Texas Holdem- Pot Limit variant allows you toplace a bet of any size limited to the amount available in the pot.
  • The Texas Holdem-No Limit variantallows you to place a bet of any size limited to the amount available to you at the table.

In each betting round, there are two situations:

Actions –No BetsPlaced

  • Check –  You can check without placing any money into the prize pool. The following card will be dealt provided no further bets are made.
  • Bet – You can bet by placing some additionalmoney into the prize pool.
  • Fold –Folding is another option available to you but this is not really necessary because it is possible for you to see the following card without taking the option.

Actions- Following a Bet.

  • Call-  You can make a call by placing abet equal in value to that of your opponent. The next card will be dealt provided no other playersdecide to raise this bet.
  • Raise – By raising your opponent’s bet, you force the player to place additional money into the pot in order to see the following card.
  • Fold – Folding places you out of the hand- you will not be able to place money into the pot or win any share of the prize poo

Poker Etiquette

Poker Etiquette

Poker is a game that requires you to follow some basic etiquette, whether you are playing the game at home or in an online casino. Good Poker Etiquette helps to ensure that everyone enjoys the game in a friendly and civil environment and this may also greatly improve a player’s poker game.

i)                     Do Not Play Out of Turn

Players must always wait their turn to raise the pot or to fold hands and avoid jumping the gun or getting too excited when holding a good hand. This can only serve to expose your information to other players and may work to your detriment.

 

ii)                   Avoid Discussing the Status of Your Cards

Avoid chatting to other players about your cards or intentions because this can give them some information that they may use to their advantage.

 

iii)                 Don’t Show Your Cards (Until the Showdown

Once you have folded, you must avoid flipping or flashing over your cards because this may give out some information that may change the way in which the rest of the hand plays out. Cards should only be exposed when you are heads up, all-in or during the showdown.

 

iv)                 Avoid Splashing the Pot

When a player tosses his bet in a huge mess right in the middle of the pot, this is referred to as splashing the pot. This betting habit makes it extremely difficult to account for how much you have bet. It is advisable for players to stack their chips in a neat pile in order to keep a good record of how much they have bet.

v)                  Do Not Make String Bets

Avoid making string bets, you cannotdeclare a raise and place the chips into the pot in multi-stages.

vi)                Don’t Be Rude or Mean

Players must always be courteous and polite even when facing a very bad losing streak. Being rude and mean to other players or the dealer will win you neither pots nor friends.

vii)               Play Familiar Games

It is important to learn the rules of the game you want to play before going into the poker room. This can be very frustrating for other players.

viii)             Keep a Cool Head

Be as much a professional winner as a professional player. If you happen to win a hand before the showdown and you want to show cards, turn your cards up for the whole table to see what you were holding. Even though it’s no fun to lose, be a good loser and live it with a smile. Remember it is just a game and you should never take it personally.

ix)                Slowrolling is a No No

When a player waits for a long time before turning up his winning cards he is said to be slow rolling. Slowrolling is unacceptable because it slows down the game and misleads other players into believing that they are holding the best hand until you show them your winning hand.

x)            Pay attention to the game.

It is always crucial to pay attention and keep up with the actionwhen you are dealt in a hand. Always keep an eye on your table position and act out of turn. It can be very frustrating for other players if you act out of turn or if you are constantly being reminded to play your turn. In addition this may influence other players to play the hand in a different manner and can also disrupt the flow of the hand.