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Before a player can sit down at an Omaha High-Low table, he or she has to “buy in,” and there is a minimum buy-in amount for each table, based on the table limits.
At a low pot-limit table, the buy-in is 20X the lower limit, or, for instance, $5.00 at a $0.25/$0.50 table. At tables with higher stakes, however, the buy-in is 10 times the minimum bet: $50 at a $5/$10 table, for example.
Every hand of Omaha High-Low Poker at William Hill Poker Canada begins when the Dealer Button moves one place to the left of where it was in the previous hand. The player to the left of the Dealer Button then posts the Small Blind and the player to the left of the Small Blind posts the Big Blind. These blind bets – placed before any cards are seen or dealt – are the first bets of the hand and the basis of the betting for the first round.
After the big and small blinds are posted, every player receives four cards, which are dealt face down. These are called pocket cards and they are seen only by the player to whom they are dealt. A round of betting follows the pocket cards, which ends with the Big Blind. In this and all betting rounds, players can bet, call/match the previous bet, raise the bet, fold their hands, or check.
Once the pocket cards are dealt and the first round of betting is over, the Community Cards are dealt into the middle of the table. First, the Flop is dealt – three cards – followed by a round of betting. After the Flop, the Turn (one card) is dealt, followed by betting, and then the River – the final community card, followed by the final round of betting.
After the last round of betting, the remaining players show their cards – known as the showdown – and the winners are determined based on the best high hand and the best low hand. Both the high and low hands can consist of only two pocket cards and three community cards.
At William Hill Poker Canada, no more than 10 players can sit at an Omaha High-Low table.
Table position is important in Omaha High-Low Poker (as it is in all version of Texas Hold’em), and the placement of the Dealer Button determines who acts first (and last) and who posts the blinds. The Dealer button – a round flat disc – goes from player to player in a clockwise manner, moving one place to the left with every hand.
The very first bets in Omaha High-Low Poker are called the “blinds,” because they are posted before any cards are seen. The player immediately to the left of the Dealer Button posts the small blind and the player to the left of the Small Blind posts the big blind.
The amount of the Small Blind is always equal to half the table’s minimum bet. At a $6/$12 table, the Small Blind is $3.00. The Big Blind is the equivalent of the minimum bet at the table (or twice the Small Blind); at our $6/$12 table, the Big Blind would be $6.00.
The first cards that are dealt – after the blinds are posted – are called pocket cards. These four cards are dealt face down so that only the players themselves can look at their cards. (This is the biggest difference between Omaha Poker and Texas Hold’em – in Hold’em there are only two pocket cards, while in Omaha there are four.) Once these cards are dealt, there is a round of betting, which starts with the person seated to the left of the Big Blind and continues clockwise, with the Big Blind betting last.
Betting amounts are based on the table stakes. At “our” $6/$12 table, bets can be $6 in the first two rounds of betting and then $12 in the next two rounds. There may be no more than three raises in each round.
During rounds of betting players can bet, raise, check, or fold. When a player “calls,” he or she matches the previous bet; a “raise” increases the previous bet.
A winning hand in Omaha Poker is comprised of two pocket cards and three “Community Cards.” Community Cards are dealt into the middle of the table face up, beginning with the Flop (three cards), and they can be used by all the players. After the Flop is dealt, there is a round of betting, starting with the player to the left of the Dealer Button.
The Turn is the fourth community card. It is dealt face up and it is followed by a third round of betting. (Remember: the first round took place after the pocket cards were dealt and the second round was after the Flop).
The fifth and final community card is called the River. It, too, is followed by a round of betting – the fourth and final round.
The “Showdown” occurs after the last round of betting: All the players remaining in the hand show their cards and the winner is determined. In Omaha High-Low Poker, there are two winning hands: the highest and the lowest. Both types of winning hands use just two pocket cards and three community cards.
Low hands consist of five cards with face values less than 8 and no pairs. High hands are typical highly ranked poker hands, although a low straight (say, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) or a low flush can be used as both a high AND a low hand. A low straight or flush can take both halves of the pot for a lucky player. Ordinarily, however, the pot will be split equally between the player holding the lowest hand and the player with the highest hand.
Every hand starts with the Dealer Button moving one place to the left (after the previous round’s pot is collected), the Small Blind being posted by the player seated to the left of the Dealer Button, and the Big Blind being posted by the player to the left of the Small Blind.
Bet-Ahead Button are a function that allows players to act ahead of their turn. The Bet-Ahead buttons are:
When it is actually a player’s turn, however, these buttons will no longer be accessible. Instead, the player will be able to use the main Fold, Check, or Raise button.