Texas Hold’em dominates the poker world, and that certainly includes online poker. But Omaha has seen its stock rise in recent years and most online poker sites now deal plenty of Omaha games online for real money.
Players looking to expand their repertoire of poker games will definitely want to check out Omaha Hold’em. This four-card version offers plenty of challenge and fireworks.
With so many players fixated on playing Texas Hold’em, boosting your skills in another game can give you a shot at winning more often in a different poker variation.
Best Omaha Poker Sites Online
Where can I play Omaha poker online?
If you want to play Omaha poker online – for free or for real money – you have a pretty decent amount of options.
Currently, five states offer traditional regulated online poker. Those include:
- New Jersey
Beyond those, West Virginia has also been legalized but hasn’t launched any poker sites as of 2021.
Within those states, most if not all poker sites run Omaha games.
Omaha players outside those states also have a decent option. Licensed sweepstakes poker is available throughout the US, only excluding the state of Washington.
The primary sweepstakes poker site, Global Poker, runs both free to play and “sweeps cash” Omaha games. Learn more about these unique games lower down on this page.
Play free Omaha poker online
If you want to play Omaha online for free you have two basic options:
If you live in a real money, licensed online poker state but don’t want to jump in with your own money, you can play the “play money” games at any licensed, real money poker site (eg. PokerStars in Pennsylvania)
If you live outside of a state with legalized online poker, you can also get in the game on those sites for some free poker. Many legal sites also offer .NET versions of their traditional real money poker platforms. These sites let you play for virtual currency and feature many of the games featured on the regular international or US-based site.
You can even join up with some friends to play online on a couple sites. All of these major poker sites:
offer free online poker. And that includes an opportunity to work on your Omaha poker skills.
Another free Omaha option is Global Poker. Global is a sweepstakes poker site, which makes use of a dual virtual currency system. Players can use Gold Coins to play practice Omaha games in a unique social gaming environment.
These have no cash value and can’t be exchanged for cash or prizes. However, those who purchase additional Gold Coins will receive a bonus in Sweeps Coins. These can be used in separate ring games, tournaments, sit & go’s and major tournament series events. Unlike Gold Coins, Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes and gift cards.
It’s a great option for players around the country looking to play some safe online poker with a real shot at some cash prizes.
Global has seen massive gains in 2020 with more than 1 million players now registered on the site. Of particular appeal are the frequent major tournament series with large payouts and big SC and GC prize pools. Even GC players can also win trophies and swag.
Global Poker offers three poker options:
- Texas Hold’em
- Crazy Pineapple
If you’re an Omaha player, or want to learn to be, you’ll find Global Poker a nice platform to bet, bluff, and hopefully rake some nice pots.
Players outside of the US will want to check out GGpoker for its Omaha cash games and tournaments.
How to Play Omaha Poker – Rules and Game Play
Omaha Hold’em is a fun game that can be swingy and include tons of action. It can be a bit more of a drawing game than players are accustomed to in Texas Hold’em. Here’s what to expect the next time you take a seat in an Omaha game online.
While Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em, there are a few important distinctions. First of all, players begin with four cards rather than two.
The preflop action, however, is similar to traditional Texas Hold’em, generally with the same betting structures and game play. Just like in Hold’em players will post a big blind and small blind. The action works its way around the table in the same fashion.
One difference between Omaha and Hold’em, is that the latter is played mostly in a no limit format nowadays. While Omaha can be played this way, it is more often found in a Limit or Pot Limit format.
Pot limit means players can only bet up to the size of the entire pot. That doesn’t mean pots can’t get big – a few pot-sized bets can really balloon a pot.
Also, players tend to play more hands because with four cards they tend to have more frequent draws for a big hand.
One great thing about playing Omaha online is that betting is simple and that includes determining the size of the pot at any one moment – the software does this for you.
Just as in Hold’em, once players have called or folded preflop, the dealer spreads three cards in the center of the table. The player to the left of the button also then has the option to bet or check.
The action continues around the table and players have the option to check, bet, or raise. It’s important here to note another key difference from Hold’em.
While a player has four cards in Omaha, they are allowed to use only two of their hole cards at showdown to make a high hand. This applies to the “high” version of the game, meaning players are simply trying to make the highest hand possible and there are no split pots (more on the high-lo version later).
PLEASE REMEMBER: Players can’t use one, three, four, or zero cards. You can use two (and only two) of your hole cards with three of the community cards on the board.
It’s also important to note that because players have many more options and draws, Omaha generally produces much higher hand values than in Hold’em. Because of this, players must also be willing to fold bigger hands than they might expect to lay down in Hold’em.
The Turn and River
In Omaha, the action generally follows the same betting as you might expect in Hold’em on the turn and river. Again, the action will probably generally be in fixed or pot limit varieties of the game as no limit is rare to find.
Once the turn card is dealt players can check, bet, or raise and those actions are repeated again on the river card. When the river betting is complete, players will expose their two best hole cards to complement three cards on the board to make their highest hand possible.
As noted above, there are generally higher hands made in Omaha. A paired board may have a player taking caution for an opponent with a possible full house.
Three cards of one suit may also have you tapping the brakes, realizing that a flush from an opponent is also likely. Omaha is a fun game, but realizing what is on the board and what he may have done for your opponents is a key to winning more than losing.
Luckily, the poker hand rankings in Texas Hold’em are the same as those for Omaha (with the exception of low hands in Omaha Hi-Lo, of course. More on that below.)
Beyond the traditional “Omaha high” games, there are some other popular versions of the game. The great thing about playing Omaha online (and even for free as outlined earlier) is that you can give some of these varieties a shot for smaller stakes than you might find in a traditional casino.
Here’s a look at some you might find online and in a casino poker room.
Omaha Hi/Lo (8 or Better)
Omaha is one of the more popular poker games and players will not only find it online and in casinos, but also in major live tournament series around the world such as the World Series of Poker and European Poker Tour. Omaha is also very popular among cash game players around the world.
The Hi/Lo (8 or Better) version is a split-pot game, meaning a player can use any two cards for a high hand and any two for a low hand. Because of that, one player may win with a high hand and take half of the pot. Another player can also have the lowest hand possible and win the other hands.
There are some other caveats to keep in mind. The “8 or Better” part of the game applies to players hoping to hit the low. The “8” part of that limits the low hands. A player’s five-card low hand must be no higher than an 8 – such A-2-3-4-8. The A-2-3-4-5 would be the nuts for a low hand and would beat the 8-low hand.
Because of the “8 or Better” rule, it’s important to realize that all hands may not qualify for a low. For example, if the board produced something like 4-9-3-K-K, there wouldn’t be a low hand because a five-card low hand can’t be made with the highest card no higher than 8.
In other words, if you had A-2 in your hand, A-2-3-4-9 wouldn’t qualify. Where no qualifying low hands can be made, there would be only one winner. When a low hand can be made, one player may also have both the high and low. For instance, two of his cards might make a straight for the high half of the pot.
But in Hi/Lo a player can use any two cards as high and any two cards as low. So that same player may also hold A-2 and use that to make the best low hand. In this case, that player is said to “scoop” the whole pot – quite a nice feeling.
Occasionally, players may have the same hands for high and low. These players then split the half of the hand that they won with the other tying player.
Omaha Hi/Lo adds some nice twists and extra elements to the game and because the game can be so swingy, the split-pot elements can spread some of the chips around the table and give others a chance to rake some chips.
Big O (Five Card Omaha)
If you thought there was already plenty of action and draws as part of the Omaha action, this game adds even more. Players in Five Card Omaha obviously receive an extra card, meaning you’ll be dealt five cards when the hand starts.
While the number of starting cards may be different, the same rules apply. Players still use two and only two cards to make their best hand.
The extra card adds even more possibility to make a big hand. Players must take that into account as they view the board texture and consider opponents’ possible hand combinations.
HORSE and other Mixed Games
Players who enjoy games like Omaha may also enjoy some other mixed games and the game is also included in games with several varieties of poker. HORSE Is a popular mixed game offers with the games changing among the following:
- H – Texas Hold’em
- O – Omaha
- R – Razz
- S – Seven Card Stud
- E – Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo – Eight or Better
HORSE is a popular mixed game format and is regularly played in limit format, although that can be adjusted. This multi-game option is even featured in several tournaments at the World Series of Poker.
Omaha is also regularly a part of other game mixes, especially in cash games. That includes online cash games at sites like PokerStars. Online poker players can find plenty of Omaha action to suit any bankroll or interest – including opportunities to take down some major tournaments.
While this is technically a variation on Texas Hold’em, Omaha players may also find it interesting. It can be played in fixed limit, pot limit, or no limit format.
The game is played like Texas Hold’em, but players receive three cards. After the flop is dealt, players bet and then discard one of those. The game offers some interesting dynamics of Hold’em and Omaha.
Global Poker has two regular daily SC11 No Limit Crazy Pineapple events. What makes these even more fun is that they’re also Progressive Knockout (PKO) bounty events. In these types of events, half a player’s buy-in is placed in the bounty pool.
In a traditional bounty tournament, any player knocking out another receives that player’s bounty in his own winnings. In a PKO, however, a portion of those bounty to winnings are added to the bounty on his own head.
The game offers some nice action and may be something Omaha pliers might also enjoy checking out.
A Look at Omaha Starting Hands
One thing to recognize is that unlike in Hold’em, big pocket pairs are less powerful in Omaha. Just the sheer number of cards a player has and the combinations possible with four cards make winning with a single big pair much less likely.
A big pair can be good when hitting the board for trips, but there are other things to keep in mind. Players generally prefer big drawing hands that offer several possibilities at big hands on the flop, turn, and river. Here are a few concepts to think about when regarding
In Omaha, a wrap is a straight draw with more than eight outs – meaning your cards have multiple ways to make a straight. These are much more than can be found in Hold’em. A player’s holdings literally wrap the cards n the board
For example a player holding Q♦ J♠ 10♣ 7♥ has numerous outs when a flop of 9♥ 8♠ 2♥ – any 6 (four), 7 (three), 10 (three), Jack (three), and Queen (3). That comes to a big 16 for players in this situation.
Add in similar hands with flush draws and the hand becomes even more powerful. However it’s important to realize when you might have a sucker wrap draw, meaning drawing to hands that will give you an inferior straight can be costly.
This means you have a starting hand with two different suits, creating bigger possibilities for flush draws. A hand like A♦K♦Q♣J♣ is double suited and could be a nice hand to see a flop with.
In fact, the best hand in Omaha is a double-suited A-A-K-K with a host of possibilities – nut flushes and straights with the two best pairs possible.
In the Hi/Lo version, double-suited A-A-2-3 would be the best hand because you’re starting with the best pair, double nut flush draws, numerous straight draws, and multiple draws to low nuts as well.
Players involved in Omaha Hi/Lo should be willing to see lots of flops with hands including A-2 and A-3. However, calling too many bets chasing a low can be costly in the long run. Also, just as in Hold’em, playing too many starting hands can also be costly.
Another thing to avoid is raising with an A-2 hand in early position. That raise could send players folding, costing you a chance at a nice low pot with many players chasing a hand – and possibly even a nice scooped pot.
Types of Omaha Games Online
Players in the US regulated online poker market can generally find some Omaha action. That includes:
- Cash games
- Sit & go’s
- Major tournament series events
Now that you’ve got the basics down, here’s a quick look at getting started with your trip to the virtual tables to play some Omaha.
Omaha Cash Games Online
While not as prevalent as Texas Hold’em, Omaha is a fairly easy game to find on all of the main online poker sites in the US. First you’ll need to create your account to get in the game and using the links on this page will help you earn some exclusive bonuses to begin.
Most tournament lobbies at sites allow players to navigate among tournaments, cash games, and sit & go’s. Sites available to players in the US include:
- WSOP.com – Nevada and New Jersey (the country’s only shared liquidity market that also includes 888poker in new Jersey)
- PokerStars – New Jersey and Pennsylvania
- partypoker US Network – New Jersey (also includes the BetMGM and BorgataPoker.com skins)
- 888poker – available in New Jersey as well as Delaware in partnership with the state’s racetracks: Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway
Cash games are for real money and players can lose their entire stack they sit down with. Unlike a tournament, players can also get up at any time and cash in their winnings.
There doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment for an online cash game, unlike some tournaments. These operators generally have cash games starting at $.01/$.02 and can go even higher.
Those outside legal online poker states may not have these options, but should check out Global Poker. The sweepstakes site is available for players in the US (excl. WA) and Canada.
Look for the Pot Limit Omaha games. You’ll easily find low stakes ring games from SC.01/SC.02 and higher, even with some SC5/SC10 on the weekend and even as high as SC10/SC20 on the weekends.
Omaha Tournaments Online
Players who crave some tournament action will find plenty of options. Just like in Texas Hold’em, you receive a certain amount of chips when you buy in for a tournament. Players continue throughout the event as the blinds escalate. Once a player is out of chips, that person is eliminated from the tournament.
Rebuy and re-entry tournaments, however, allow you to get back in the action for a certain amount of time. These are real money events and you can win major cash prizes.
WSOP.com, PokerStars, and partypoker US Network (along with BetMGM and BorgataPoker.com) all offer regular tournaments throughout the day.
These sites also offer major guarantee events on Sunday. Some of these are also of the Omaha variety. When these sites also offer regular tournament series, a few events usually feature some form of Omaha. That especially goes for WSOP.com and PokerStars.
In fact, WSOP.com holds an annual “PLO Mania” series each fall with nothing but Omaha events. In 2020, that series featured a $1.3 million guarantee.
PokerStars also usually offers some nice events as part of its series like the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) and PACOOP. Sometimes these series include the five-card version of the game as well as hi/lo.
Sweepstakes for players at Global Poker will find several PLO tournaments throughout the day including the SC110 Oracle each Sunday, which comes with a SC5,000 guarantee.
Global also includes plenty of PLO events in its major tournament series such as the GOAT and Eagle Cup. The latter even features several Omaha tournaments with Low, Medium, and High buy-in levels. That makes some big guarantee PLO action available for players of all bankrolls.
And remember, Global Poker players have the chance to redeem those Sweeps Coins for real cash prizes. Omaha fans will find plenty to like about this browser-based platform.
Omaha Sit & Go’s Online
Tournament players looking for some action with a shorter time limit may want to check out some other options. Sit & Go’s offer single and even two-table events, offering the thrill of a tournament but without a large time investment.
These types of events not only feature Hold’em but also plenty of Omaha. While these events may not fill as fast, they are pretty regular and getting in an event is pretty simple.
Players will find buy-ins of all levels, starting as low as $0.25 and running as high as $100 or more, although some of those higher-stakes events are a bit more difficult to fill. Depending on the operator, look for events featuring:
Sit & go’s can be a nice way to work on your tournament skills. You can also get in some tournament action in a shorter amount of time. Some players like them so much they play sit and go’s for real money exclusively. They’re a fun alternative to deeper-field tournament events.
Omaha Means Bigger Hands, Bigger Action
Omaha can be a great game for players looking to move beyond Texas Hold’em. There is plenty of action and players may like making even bigger hands. Playing the game online offers plenty of fun with four cards. From cash games to tournaments to sit and go’s, plenty of real money Omaha action is available at regulated US online poker sites. It’s a fun game to check out.