Quick Run Through of the Betting and Dealing Action Minus Some Important Elements

In l imit Omaha, t here are f our rounds of betting. During t he first and second rounds, you can bet $1X, and for the third and fourth rounds you may bet $ 2X. ( In these particulars, the game i s identical to Hold'em.) To show you what I mean by "$1X" and "$2X," if you were playing $400- $800-limit Omaha ( you'd better bring $50,000 to that game!) all bets and raises would be made in $400 increments during the first two rounds, and in $800 increments during the last two rounds. In a game like that you can easily lose $4,000 in one hand.

As in Hold'em, a button and two blinds (small and big) are used (if these concepts are unfamiliar to you, you skipped Chapter 2), and after the blinds are posted, you are each dealt four cards facedown. After you've all l ooked at your cards, the first round of betting begins. When that round of betting is complete, the dealer turns three cards faceup in the middle of the table. These three faceup cards are community cards, available for use by everyone. As in Hold'em, these cards are commonly called the flop. After t he flop, there i s a second round of betting, stiil at $1X, and when it i s complete, t he dealer t urns up a fourth community card, c ommonly called fourth street or the turn card.

Now the third round of betting begins. Remember: this i s when the stakes double. After this round of beting is complete, the dealer turns up the fifth and last community card; this one is commonly called the river. Now the last r ound of betting pro-

Omaha Flop

ceeds, and although the dealer is done dealing cards for this hand, h is j ob is far from over.

After the last round of beting is complete (several players have no doubt folded by this time), the dealer helps determine who won the pot, because i n Omaha, d etermining who won is a bit more c omplicated t han i t i s i n Hold'em. S ince e ach player must use exactly two cards out of his hand, beginners ( and often even experienced players) s ometimes misread t heir hands. That's why I say the dealer's j ob is far from over when he has finished dealing the c ards i n Omaha ( of c ourse, o ften the dealer i s wrong too).

This is also why it's a good idea for beginners and intermediates t o lay their cards f aceup on t he t able, a ll o f t hem visible, at the end of each hand, even if they think they've lost. I f you expose your cards at the proper time, the dealer may notice that you have a better hand than you thought, one you may have overlooked. Don't be l azy, though; don't depend on the dealer to read your hand for you. After all, you've been checking, betting, calling, or raising on the basis of your own ability to read your hand, a ll the way through the hand. Laying your hand down at the end is j ust a fail-safe move to make sure you don't accidentally overlook a winning combination.

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