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Omaha

Omaha is one of the most popular varieties of poker. The game can be played by two to eight players at a time, while, in some cases, subject to the authorization of a poker club manager, a ninth player can participate in the game.

Overview

Omaha is one of the most popular varieties of poker. The game can be played by two to eight players at a time, while, in some cases, subject to the authorization of a poker club manager, a ninth player can participate in the game. Before the initial hand, two players seated in the first and second positions clockwise from the DEALER button place mandatory bets (small blind and big blind, respectively). The DEALER button’s position is randomly determined before the first hand at the table, and then each hand moves one position clockwise.

Each player is dealt four cards face down, which are called private or hole cards. The hand starts with the player in the small blind position.

After the mandatory bets have been placed and cards have been distributed to all players, the first of four betting rounds begins. A betting round is a process where the players take turns placing bets. During hands between betting rounds, the dealer alternately puts up to five community cards at the center of the table. The game continues until:

• one player who placed the highest uncalled bet remains in any of the betting rounds;

• in the last betting round, all aspiring winners have placed an equal number of chips in the pot, or, in any other betting round, the aspiring winners have placed all their chips in the pot. When all bets have been placed, the player who succeeds in collecting the best five-card hand wins. To collect a 5 card hand, it is possible to use only two of the player’s hole cards and only three out of the five community cards.

Basic Procedures

FIRST BETTING ROUND

PREFLOP

Once the cards have been dealt and all mandatory bets have been placed, the first betting round (PREFLOP) begins. The player clockwise from the big blind position opens betting. Players may use the following options in deciding on their next move:

• CALL: match the previous bet;

• RAISE: raise the previous bet;

• FOLD: leave the hand (PASS);

• CHECK: this option is only available to a player in the big blind position and only if none of the players have raised their bet.

The players, including those in the SB and BB positions, make moves strictly in turn. The betting round ends as soon as two or more players have put an equal number of chips into the pot. If there is only one player who made an uncalled bet left in the hand, then the hand is considered over and all the chips that were put in the POT earlier go to the winner.

SECOND BETTING ROUND

FLOP

As soon as the first betting round is over and two or more players remain in the game, the dealer burns the top card from the deck and deals three community cards (FLOP) face up on the table. The second betting round (FLOP) begins immediately after this. The player closest to the DEALER button counterclockwise opens betting. Players may use the following options in deciding on their next move:

• CHECK: skip betting without placing a bet (if the player is under the gun or if everyone has opted for CHECK before them);

• BET: place a bet;

• CALL: match the previous bet;

• RAISE: raise the previous bet;

• FOLD: leave the hand.

The betting round ends as soon as two or more players have put an equal number of chips into the pot. If there is only one player who made an uncalled bet left in the hand, then the hand is considered over and all the chips that were put in the POT earlier go to the winner.

THIRD BETTING ROUND

TURN

As soon as the second betting round is over and two or more players remain in the game, the dealer burns the top card from the deck and deals the fourth community card (TURN) face up on the table. The third betting round (TURN) begins immediately after this. The player closest to the DEALER button counterclockwise opens betting. Players may use the following options in deciding on their next move:

• CHECK: skip betting without placing a bet (if the player is under the gun or if everyone has opted for CHECK before them);

• BET: place a bet;

• CALL: match the previous bet;

• RAISE: raise the previous bet;

• FOLD: leave the hand.

The betting round ends as soon as two or more players have put an equal number of chips into the pot. If there is only one player who made an uncalled bet left in the hand, then the hand is considered over and all the chips that were put in the POT earlier go to the winner.

FOURTH BETTING ROUND

RIVER

As soon as the third betting round is over and two or more players remain in the game, the dealer burns the top card from the deck and deals the fifth community card (FLOP) face up on the table. The fourth betting round (RIVER) begins immediately after this. The player closest to the DEALER button counterclockwise opens betting. Players may use the following options in deciding on their next move:

• CHECK: skip betting without placing a bet (if the player is under the gun or if everyone has opted for CHECK before them);

• BET: place a bet;

• CALL: match the previous bet;

• RAISE: raise the previous bet;

• FOLD: leave the hand.

The betting round ends as soon as two or more players have put an equal number of chips into the pot. If there is only one player who made an uncalled bet left in the hand, then the hand is considered over and all the chips that were put in the POT earlier go to the winner.

SHOWDOWN

The fourth betting round is final. If during the fourth betting round there is only one player left, then this player is automatically declared the winner in the current deal and wins all the chips put into the pot. If, after the fourth betting round, two or more players remain in the game and no more bets are possible (two or more players have put an equal number of chips into the pot), then the SHOWDOWN is announced. At this point, the cards speak for themselves. The player whose five-card hand tops that of the others is declared the winner and takes the entire pot. If several players collect the same higher five-card hand, then the pot is split between them in equal shares.

Additional Procedures

ALL-IN

No player may put more chips in one hand than was announced before such hand. Players are barred from removing or adding chips to their stack throughout the hand. Thus, if a situation arises in which a player does not have enough chips to call another player’s bet, this does not mean the player has to fold the game (call PASS). A player with insufficient chips for a full call to a bet has the right to put all available chips into the pot (ALL-IN).

If at the end of the current betting round only two players remain in the game, then the player to have put the most chips into the pot gets change equal to the difference between their bet and the ALL-IN bet of the other player. Considering that it is no longer possible to continue betting in the current hand (one of the players has already put all of their chips in the pot), the dealer has to deal all COMMUNITY cards (unless they have been dealt earlier) and announce the SHOWDOWN. As a result, the entire pot goes to the player with the top five-card hand.

If at the end of the current betting round, two or more players with sufficient chips to continue the game remain, then the amount equal to the ALL-IN bet is withdrawn from the bet of each of such players and is put in the main pot together with the chips of the player who has made the ALL-IN bet. Any difference between the ALL-IN bet and the bets of the players who called the bet is not returned to the players, but is collected in the SIDE POT in full. In this case, the player who has placed the ALL-IN bet may only claim the main pot. Only those players who have chips left may take part in any further betting rounds (if any). All chips bet by players in betting rounds happening after the ALL-IN bet are put in the side pot.

If several players have put all their chips into the pot (ALL-IN) in one hand, then, in addition to the main pot, several side pots are created, which means that, in addition to the main pot, each of the players who have placed the ALL-IN bet may only claim the side pot (s) that includes the chips they bet. The players who have bet the most chips in the current hand may claim both the main pot and all the side pots.

STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE

The rules of the CASH game allow for players to place side bets (STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE). No more than two side bets may be placed in one hand: one STRADDLE and one RESTRADDLE, and the RESTRADDLE may be placed only if none of the players in this hand folds. If at least one of the players in the hand declines the RESTRADDLE, then such bet may not be accepted by the dealer.

Several basic requirements apply to STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE bets:

1. Only the player who is already facing the big blind/STRADDLE may place a STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE bet;

2. All side bets must be placed before the first card hits the first play area. Any STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE bets after the first card has been distributed are invalid and must be recalled.

3. The value of the minimum bet in the first betting round in the hand depends on the value of the STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE bet.

4. To the player who places the STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE bet in the hand, the same options are available as to the player in the big blind in a hand without the STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE bet.

5. The STRADDLE/RESTRADDLE bet may not be placed on the small and big blind positions. Subject to the prior authorization of the manager, the STRADDLE bet may be allowed in the small blind position in a heads-up game.

6. The STRADDLE bet must always be exactly twice the previous bet (big blind).

7. The RESTRADDLE bet must be exactly twice the STRADDLE bet.

MISSISSIPPI bet. This is a special variety of side bet that may be used in the game only subject to the personal authorization of the poker club manager. Only the player in the DEALER button position in the current hand may place the MISSISSIPPI bet. In the first betting round of the hand involving the MISSISSIPPI bet, the player in the small blind is under the gun. The MISSISSIPPI bet may be accepted by the dealer only before the first card hits the first play area in the hand. One hand may only contain either a STRADDLE or a MISSISSIPPI bet. In a disputable situation, the player wishing to place the STRADDLE bet prevails.

HEADS UP

The rules of the HEADS UP game are essentially similar to those of any regular game. However, a number of significant distinctions apply:

1. Only two players participate in the game.

2. The player who has the DEALER button on their play area in the current hand has the small blind position.

3. Cards are dealt starting with the player in the big blind position.

4. Starting from the second betting round, the player in the big blind is under the gun.

ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY CARDS

If not all community cards are yet dealt in the current hand and all the aspiring winning players have put all their chips in the POT (ALL-IN), then it is allowed to deal one or several boards of additional community cards if all the players wish to do so:

• in the PREFLOP: main FLOP, TURN and RIVER + side FLOP, TURN and RIVER. In this case, the POT is split into two equal parts, one of which goes to the player who has collected the best five-card hand using the main community cards, and the other part goes to the player who has collected the best five-card hand using side community cards. If several side boards were dealt, then the pot is split into the corresponding number of equal shares, and the winners of each of such shares are identified on an individual basis.

• in the FLOP: main FLOP, TURN and RIVER + side TURN and RIVER. In this case, the POT is split into two equal parts, one of which goes to the player who has collected the best five-card hand using the main community cards, and the other part goes to the player who has collected the best five-card hand using the main FLOP cards and side TURN and RIVER cards.

• in the TURN: main FLOP, TURN and RIVER + side RIVER. In this case, the POT is split into two equal parts, one of which goes to the player who has collected the best five-card hand using the main community cards, and the second part goes to the player who has collected the best five-card hand using the main FLOP and TURN cards, and side RIVER cards.

In total, no more than two side boards of community cards may be turned.

If several side boards were dealt, then the pot is split into the corresponding number of equal shares, and the winners of each of such shares are identified on an individual basis.

If any of the players objects to the portion of the pot that they contend for being played out using additional community cards, then this procedure will not apply or will only apply in those cases when any side POT that such player does not claim will be played out using additional community cards.

MAIN OMAHA VARIATIONS

Omaha Hi-Low

This Omaha variation includes two types of hands:

1. High hands cover all the classic hands (from high card to royal flush)

2. Low hands comprise a set of any five unpaired cards ranking 8 or below. Ace is the lowest card. The lower the highest of the five cards, the higher the rank of the low hand (5-4-3-2-A representing the strongest low hand; 8-7-6-5-4 — the weakest low hand).

All basic procedures for playing Omaha Hi Low are the same as in regular Omaha. However, when comparing hands (SHOWDOWN), one half of the pot is claimed by the player with the best high hand and the other half of the pot — by the player with the best low hand.

Five-card Omaha

This variation of Omaha has virtually no differences from the classic version. The only difference is that each player is dealt five instead of four hole cards. In some cases, by prior agreement with the poker club manager, a variation of Omaha is allowed in which the players are dealt six or more hole cards.

Double board Omaha

This is a variation of Omaha, in which two sets of community cards (two BOARDS) are dealt at the same time. Normally, up to seven players may participate in the game. The number of hole cards distributed to the players also depends on a prior arrangement (four, five or more).

When comparing different hands (SHOWDOWN), one half of the pot is claimed by the player who has collected the best hand using their hole cards and cards from the first BOARD, and the other half — by the player who has collected the best hand using their hole cards and cards from the second BOARD.

MIX GAME

By prior agreement of the players and subject to the relevant authorization of the poker club manager, it is possible to combine several OMAHA variations in one game (for example: five-card Omaha & double board Omaha, etc.).

Shared Rules

Throughout the game, players must comply with all the rules and staff instructions, which may include the following:

1. All game participants are required to strictly comply with the applicable poker club rules.

2. Players taking part in the game must be either at the table or in the immediate vicinity of their play area.

3. Throughout the hand, under no circumstances may the players exchange information on their cards.

4. Cards must be kept above the table and must be visible to the dealer and other players at all times.

5. Players may not come into contact with other players’ cards.

6. Players may not give or seek advice from other players at the table.

7. Players may only place bets when their turn comes.

8. Gaming venue staff may not advise players on how to play their hand, but it is permissible to help inexperienced players by listing all possible decision-making options.

Failure to comply with the rules of the game may result in:

At the manager’s discretion, the player who fails to comply with the rules may draw a penalty ranging from a warning to a partial or complete termination of the game. In exceptional cases, the player may be barred from entering the poker club or denied admission to the casino.

Manager’s Discretion

The decision of the Poker Club Manager shall be final for the purposes of resolution of any disputes.

Any changes in the rules may be made exclusively subject to the authorization of the poker club manager.

Credit and cash bets are not accepted
Each table has its own table of minimums and maximums
In controversial situations the management’s decision is final