Omaha hold'em, more popularly known as just Omaha, is a kind of community card poker game that bears some similarities to Texas hold'em. In Omaha, players are dealt four cards and they must make the best hand using two of these cards and three of the five community cards. The exact origins of Omaha has yet to be known, although it is casino executive Robert Turner who first brought Omaha to the casino setting. He did this by introducing the game to Bill Boyd, who then started offering the game at the Las Vegas Golden Nugget Casino. At that time, Omaha was called "Nugget hold'em".

In casinos in North America, the term "Omaha" can be used to refer to several poker games. The original Omaha games is also more commonly known as "Omaha High". There's also a high-low split version that goes by the names "Omaha Hi-Lo", "Omaha eight-or-better" or "Omaha/8". In Europe, the term "Omaha" still refers to the game's high version and is usually played pot-limit. No-limit and pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better can be played both in traditional casinos and in poker sites, although no-limit Omaha is a lot rarer.

Omaha Hi-Lo

In the high-low split version of Omaha, every player needs to make a separate five-card ace-to-five low hand and a five-card high hand. The pot, which is the amount of money contributed by players at the start of the game and is the amount given to the winner, is split between the low and the high, which may end up being given to just one player. For a player to qualify for low, it's important to be able to play an 8-7-6-5-4 or even lower. This is among the reasons why the game is referred to as "eight-or-better" or simply as "Omaha/8". There are some casinos that use a 9-low qualifier instead of 8, although these casinos are rare. Every player can play any two of the four hole cards to create the high hand, and any two of the four hole cards again to create the low hand. In case no player qualifies for the low hand, the one with the high hand ends up winning the whole pot.

Pot-limit Omaha

Pot-limit Omaha, which is also sometimes called PLO, is a popular game played in Europe, online, and even in high-stakes mixed games that are played in several casinos in the United States. This game is usually played high. It can also be played high low, although this seldom happens. Pot-limit Omaha is a game that relies largely on drawing cards that make good hands. It's not enough to just draw second best straights and flushes, because these are often beaten. Since the amount in the pot can grow exponentially during the course of the game, playing second best hands to the end of the game and losing can turn out to be very expensive for the losing player.  

Playing Omaha poker online

Online poker sites offer a great alternative to playing in brick-and-mortar casinos. Novice and seasoned players alike play in various poker sites and even join tournaments online. What's great about this is that players can enjoy a good game of Omaha right from the comforts of their own home. To play Omaha poker online, it would be good for beginners to first do some research about various poker sites and to decide which ones offer the variations that they want to play.