No Limit Omaha: Rules & Strategies
A relatively less popular version of the poker game of Omaha is no limit Omaha. Due to the fact that the game plays so big even in its pot-limit version, it is not very common to see players playing no-limit Omaha. However, the game does exist and is played in some private games and occasionally online.
The slightly more popular version that is played as no limit is the no-limit Omaha hi-lo, which offers players an opportunity to split the pot between a high and a low hand, thus making big bets more appropriate. In this short guide, we teach you how to play no-limit Omaha, what rules to look out for and what popular strategies you should start applying.
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How to play No Limit Omaha
Before you can start playing, you will need to get familiar with the basic no-limit Omaha rules. These include the way the game is dealt with, how players are seated, the betting rounds, and the winning hands. So, let’s get into it and teach you how to play no-limit Omaha.
As we already mentioned, no limit Omaha is not played very commonly and when it is, it is often played in the hi-lo variant. No limit Omaha poker can be played with anywhere between 2 and 9 players seated at the table, but most commonly it is played in a six-handed format, with six players dealt into the hand. The game uses a standard poker deck of 52 cards, which means there are enough cards for everyone to get their four and plenty remaining for the community cards.
Once all the players are seated at the table, the dealing can begin. Two players at the table post the blind bets to get the action started and they are the first players to get cards. Cards are dealt in a circle, with every player receiving four hole cards in total.
Once the hole cards have been dealt, players get to act on them as they take turns making their preflop bets. After the betting round, a flop is dealt with, with three community cards on it. Two more community cards, the turn, and the river are dealt with following the flop and further betting rounds.
In total, every player in no-limit Omaha gets to use nine different cards to create the best possible poker hand. However, it is important to remember that three community cards and two hole cards must be used by players to make their hands, and no other combination can be accepted.
No limit to Omaha betting rounds
As we already mentioned, there are a total of four betting rounds in a hand of no limit Omaha. The first betting round starts when the hole cards are dealt and before the flop. In this round, players have to post blind and ante bets as required by the game they are playing and other players get to raise the bet, call it, or simply fold their cards.
Thanks to the no-limit format of the game, players can make raises to any size they choose, much like in no-limit Texas Hold’em, the most popular poker game. This is contrary to the more popular pot limit Omaha version, in which bets are capped at the size of the pot.
After the flop is dealt with, players get to make further bets, again with no limit as to the size of the bet. Keep in mind that players can only bet the number of chips they have at the table and no more than that. This is true for all four betting rounds, including pre-flop, flop, turn, and river.
No limit Omaha hi-lo explained
Often called no-limit Omaha 8, the game offers a twist on the classic version. With no limit Omaha hi lo rules, players get to win half of the pot if they can make a low hand, which is comprised of cards lower than a nine.
In no-limit Omaha hi-lo, the high hand always wins at least half of the pot. If there is no low hand possible, then the high hand wins the whole pot. On the other hand, the low hand can never win the entire pot.
Showdown: Tabling the cards
When all the betting and dealing are done, if there are still players remaining in the hand, it is time to table the cards and find out who won. In no-limit Omaha, players must use two hole cards and three community cards to make a winning hand, so it is important to know that the player whose cards play best with the board is the winner regardless of the preflop hands. Once the cards are tabled, the dealer will help players determine what the winning hand is, in case there is any confusion.
No limit Omaha Rules: Hand rankings
Before you can actually start playing the game of no-limit Omaha, it is important to know what hands beat others and how the hand rankings work. Fortunately, hand rankings in no-limit Omaha are pretty simple and similar to other popular forms of poker. The following are the poker hands you will need to know to play the game:
- Royal flush: Made up of the five highest cards of any suite
- Straight flush: Made up of five consecutive cards of any suite
- Four of a kind: Made up of four cards of the same face value
- Full house: Made up of three of a kind plus a pair
- Flush: Made up of five cards of the same suite
- Straight: Made up of five consecutive cards that are not suited
- Three of a kind: Made up of three cards of the same face value
- Two pairs: Made up of two pairs
- One pair: Made up of one pair (aces are the strongest pair)
- High card: A hand with no pairs or other poker combinations
If you play the high-low format of the game, it is important to also remember that making a low hand with cards between ace and eight will count for half the pot. The best possible low hand is A, 2, 3, 4, 5 which is also called the wheel and can often be good for both parts of the pot.
No limit Omaha strategy basics
No limit Omaha poker strategy can be very complicated and it would take an entire book to describe all the intricacies of the game. However, as a beginner just getting started with Omaha cash games or tournaments for real money, you will want to know at least a few basic tips.
The first thing to consider is the strength of your own hand and there are many factors to keep in mind. In no-limit Omaha, you are dealt four cards, so you will want to look for hands with high cards which are suited or even double-suited. This way, you get the most potential to hit high straights, flushes, and full houses, or at least draw to these hands after the flop.
Playing low cards in no-limit Omaha can often be a big mistake as these hands tend to make small straights, flushes, and the wrong ends of full houses, which can win you a small pot or lose you a big one. For starters, stick to playing high cards with suites and you will have an edge over other inexperienced players.
The differences in the limit Omaha strategy definitely start to appear when we look at the hi-lo version of the game, in which small cards become a lot more interesting. In Omaha 8, you will want to play combinations that hold an ace, a suit, and another small card to go with the ace.
In both versions of the game, it is important to also keep track of your position and play as many hands as possible from the button and cutoff positions, while reducing the number of hands played from the blinds and other early positions.
No limit Omaha FAQs
What is no limit Omaha?
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What is no limit Omaha hi lo?
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Can I win at no limit Omaha?
The game of no-limit Omaha is far from being the most popular poker variation, but it is still played from time to time both live and online. If you are looking to play it online, your best bet is the tournaments, especially the high-low version. You can sign up with any of the top-rated poker sites in the US right here and start playing some no-limit Omaha yourself against players from all over your state and beyond. Join today to get your starter bonus and jump straight into the juicy action.