Omaha poker is currently the second most popular poker variant (Texas Hold’em is still the pack leader). For this reason, you’ll find the game offered at nearly every online poker room. The tables are less-populated than the holdem tables, but you’ll still find plenty of action at the low and middle stakes.
Despite the game’s popularity, only a few sites offer no download Omaha poker. That’s likely to change in the near future. As an increasing number of players continue to gravitate to the online tables, poker sites are getting the message: launch an “instant play” environment.
Below, we’ll help you get started by explaining how to play Omaha poker. We’ll take you step-by-step through a typical hand, so you’ll know what to expect at the tables. We’ll also explain the difference between Omaha and Texas Hold’em. You’ll discover that while the differences may seem slight, they change the game dramatically.
How No Download Omaha Poker Is Played
Omaha can be played in Limit, No Limit, or Pot Limit variations. Once the big and small blinds have been posted, four cards are dealt face-down to each player; they are dealt one at a time. These are the hole cards and can only be used by the players to whom they are dealt. Once the hole cards have been dealt, the first round of betting begins. This is called the preflop.
Following the last preflop bet, the flop is dealt. This is a series of three cards dealt face-up to the board. They are community cards, and thus can be used by any player to make his or her hand. This is followed by a second round of betting.
The next phase is the turn. This is a single community card dealt face-up to the board. A third round of betting takes place, after which the river is dealt.
The river is the fifth community card. It is dealt face-up to the board and precedes the fourth and last round of betting.
After the fourth betting round, all remaining players move to a showdown. They reveal their cards, and the highest-ranking 5-card hand wins (visit our poker hand ranking page to get a better idea of what qualifies as a winning hand). Each player must use two – and only two – hole cards to make his or her hand.
Omaha Poker Versus Texas Hold’em
Omaha and Texas holdem games are similar in many ways. In fact, the two games are practically identical with the exception of two “small” differences. First, in holdem, you only receive two hole cards. In Omaha, you receive four.
Second, in holdem, you’re not forced to use both of your hole cards to make your hand. You can choose to use both of them, only one, or ignore them altogether, and use five community cards. As noted earlier, in Omaha, you’re required to use exactly two hole cards to make your hand.
These differences may seem trivial, but they actually have a significant influence on the outcome of the game. That means they should play a key role in your strategy. For example, the average relative hand strength of the winning hands is higher (straights and flushes are common). This means your starting hands should be focused on connectors and suited cards, rather than pairs.
To get a better idea of how to play the game strategically, visit our Poker Strategy Pages.
Top Sites To Play Omaha Poker
You’ll find Omaha tables at all of the top-rated online poker rooms. The problem is, you’ll need to download each poker site’s software in order to play the game. Our list of recommended poker sites below includes one notable high-quality room that offers no download Omaha poker. At this room, you’ll be able to enjoy the game through your browser. Each of the following poker sites outpace their competitors in the areas we consider priorities (i.e. bonuses, promotions, game selection, fish factor, etc.):
- Bodog Poker – Bodog.com has become popular among poker fans due to their easy-to-use website and software, straightforward sign-up bonuses, and extensive tournament schedule. They also attract a lot of low-skilled players, so the fish factor is higher than you might expect. Bodog is one of the few sites at which you can play no download Omaha poker. They offer the single-table cash games through their “Instant Play” environment. Use bonus code “130347” when you register your account to lock in a 110% match up to $1,100 on your first deposit. For more information and details on this site visit our Bodog Poker Review.
- PokerStars – It’s impossible to ignore PokerStars, even though they only offer Omaha through their poker software. They dominate the online poker space by offering software everyone seems to love, generous bonuses, huge guaranteed tournaments, and massive table traffic. Lock in your 100% match bonus (up to $600) by using marketing code “kickasspoker.com” and bonus code “stars600″. For more information and details visit our PokerStars.com Review page.
Of the dozens of poker sites that we track, Bodog.com is the only one that offers no download Omaha poker while meeting our strict review standards. Start there. Then, take a few minutes to check out the other online poker rooms profiled above. Register your accounts, grab your sign-up bonuses, and hit the tables.