Silver Sands Poker has three (3) versions of Omaha, with the only difference between them being the amounts and limits available for each betting round. In a Fixed Limit game, both the bet and raise amounts for each round are a pre-set amount. For example, in a R5/R10 Fixed game, both the bets and raises for the first two rounds of betting must be R5, no more, no less. The last 2 rounds have a bet/raise amount of R10. In a Pot Limit Game, the maximum bet/raise can't be more than the current pot amount. So, if the pot is R20, you can’t bet more than R20.
The final game type is No Limit. The name says it all there are no maximum bet limits. You can bet as much as you like during any round of betting, with the minimum bet the same as the big blind amount. No Limit Omaha makes for some pretty big pots and lots of action.
Pre Flop - The Pocket Cards: The dealer deals each player 4 cards face down. Only the player can see his/her hole cards. After the deal, the next player after the big blind decides whether to call, raise or fold the big blind. Each player in turn is given these options, until all bets are called and the big blind checks. Don’t forget, in a fixed limit game, any raises are limited to the lower stake amount and in a pot limit game, the bet can’t exceed the pot amount.
The Flop: Now the dealer turns over the first three community cards, called 'the flop'. All betting rounds start with the player directly to the dealers left. For fixed limit games, this round of betting still uses the lower stake, so in our example R5/R10 game, any bets or raises must be R5. The pot limit and no limit rules don’t change.
The Turn: The fourth community card is dealt and a new betting round begins. The bet amount for fixed limit games increases to the upper stake. Betting continues until all bets are called.
The River: Here the final community card is shown and the last round of betting takes place. The bet amount for fixed limit games is still the big stake.
The Showdown: All the bets have been 'called' and it is time to show the cards. The last player to bet or raise during the final betting round will show their hand first. If all the players checked through the river, the player to the left of the dealer will show first. The remaining players hands will be automatically revealed moving clockwise, you’ll have the option to show or muck. The best five card hand takes the pot. Remember, a winning Omaha hand must use 2 hole cards and 3 of the community cards to make the hand.
The Stakes, the Cap and the Blinds
The Stakes: The stakes are tied directly to the game type you select. For a Fixed Limit game, the stakes dictate the bet and raise amount for each round. Let’s use our R5/R10 stakes example again. In the first two rounds of betting, both the bet and the raise must be R5, no more, no less. The last 2 rounds have a bet/raise amount of R10.
The Cap: In Omaha, each round of betting can consist of one bet and has a maximum of three of allowable raises, known as the cap. So, if a bet is made, that bet can only be raised three times, after which all players must call or fold. However, if only two players remain in the hand the cap is increased to a maximum of 5 raises. In both the Pot Limit and No Limit games, the stakes represent the amounts posted as the blinds.
The Blinds: The blinds are mandatory bets posted by two players at the start of each hand, before any cards are dealt. The player directly to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, which in a fixed limit game is half the small stake, rounded down to the nearest dollar and in pot limit/no limit games is equal to the small stake. The player to the left of him posts the big blind, which in a fixed game is equal to the small stake and in pot limit/no limit games the big stake. In Omaha we use blinds as an incentive for players to play a hand and build the pot.
Consider the blinds like a mandatory bet and raise, any players that want to play the hand must match the big blind to stay in. The blinds are considered live bets, so when the action goes around the table and returns to them, they have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding as they see fit. Some other notes about blinds, any player has the option of sitting out and waiting for the big blind to reach them.
However, if a player sits out and misses posting the big blind, then that player will be required to post a big blind and a small 'dead' blind before returning. This rule is in place to prevent potential abuse from players who join a table and then leave before having to post the blinds.
The Dealer Button
The Button is a graphic symbol that represents the theoretical dealer. After each hand the button moves clockwise to the next active player, who becomes the dealer for that hand. This player is considered to be 'on the button' and is the last person to act in the betting round. The first player to the left of the button is the first player to be dealt cards and is the first player to act in each betting round.