5 Card Omaha is one of the rarer poker variants out there. Typically it is only played as part of mixed game rotations and very few online poker sites offer the game. The game is virtually identical to traditional four card Omaha (PLO), but with the obvious difference that each player receives 5 hole cards.
This has quite a large impact on how hands play out. When playing standard four card Omaha, you need to use exactly two of your hole cards to make your hand, so you can think of yourself as holding 6 combinations of Hold’em hands. This has the effect of making the average winning Omaha hand much stronger than the average Hold ’em hand. Now if we extend that line of thinking to Five Card Omaha, you now hold 10 combinations of Holdem hands, so as you can imagine the winning hand at showdown in 5 Card Omaha is typically very strong.
As with four card Omaha, the game is typically player with a pot limit betting structure, where the maximum bet or raise allowed is the current size of the pot.
How to Play a 5 Card Omaha Hand
5 Card Omaha is very similar in structure to No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha. The hand begins with the two players to the dealer placing blind bets before the cards are dealt. The player immediately to the dealer’s left place the ‘small blind’ and the player to his left places the ‘big blind’ which is typically twice the small blind. Each player is then dealt 5 cards face down, one at a time, starting with the small blind.
The action then begins with the player to the left of the big blind who may call the amount of the big blind, raise or fold. Action continues around the table in a clockwise direction until all players have acted and all raises have been matched by at least one player. If a raise goes uncalled, the raising player wins the pot. If there is no raise by the time the action reaches the big blind, he may check and the hand moves onto the next round. After betting is complete, the dealer places three cards face up on the table as with Holdem and PLO. These cards, known as the flop may be used by all remaining players to make their best hand.
After the flop is dealt, there is a round of betting which begins with the small blind who may bet or check, passing the action along to the next player. All players can check as long as they’re not facing a bet.
When the flop betting round is complete and two or more players are still in the hand, we move onto the turn.On the turn, the dealer places another card face up on the table which can be used by all players. There is another round of betting after the turn which follows the same pattern as the flop betting round, with all bets and raises limited to the size of the pot.
After the turn betting is complete, the dealer places a final card face up on the table, known as the river. There is then a final betting round. If the last bet is called on the river or all players check, the hand goes to a showdown, where players must turn over their hole cards to claim the pot. The pot is awarded to the player with the best five card poker hand using the standard rankings, but they must use exactly two of their five hole cards and three of the five community cards to make their hand.