Omaha Poker Phrases and Specialist Omaha Meanings.
All card games have terms that are peculiar to that game. Omaha poker phrases have developed in the last 30 years and there are now a wide range of Omaha meanings. In this guide we take you through the Omaha terms you might expect to hear at the table. Some of the Omaha poker phrases are the same as in Texas holdem poker so if you are familiar with that game you may recognise some of the common poker terms. If you are new to the game its good to find out what is being talked about and knowing what ‘Cowboys’, a ‘steel wheel’ or the ‘wrap around’ are, is good because it increases your knowledge of the game generally. In this glossary of Omaha poker phrases we list most of the specialist poker terms you are likely to hear, but by no means all. And of course there will be geographical variations with some Omaha poker terms.
Omaha Terms; A
Putting all of your chips in the pot. If you lose the hand you are out of the game.
This is when each player has to put chips into the pot before the cards are dealt. It doesn’t happen in every game but generally does in big games and is about 10% if the big blind.
Omaha Terms; B
Backdoor flush / straight
This is when you have a drawing hand and you make it on the river.
Getting unlucky and losing with the best starting hand.
Often used in Omaha 8, referring to high cards which don’t help a player who is drawing to a low hand, ie, ‘I caught bananas all the way to the river.
In low ball poker this is the best hand, ie A-2-3-4-5
The name given to AK.
The chips a player has to put into the middle of the pot before the hand is dealt. There is the small blind to the left of the dealer and then the big blind. The big blind is generally half the big blind.
Trying to make other players fold so you win the pot when you either have no hand or a poor hand.
The five communal cards which are revealed by the dealer.
Similar to a banana, a card which doesn’t help you get a better hand. ie you have a straight draw and none of the cards help you make it.
After dealing the dealer turns the first card face down, then the card after the flop, then the card after the turn, so that the deck is broken up and in order to prevent a player glimpsing the suit and value of a card which might give them an advantage in the hand.
Something used to identify dealer position on the table. Often a disc. Also the name give to the dealer position. ie ‘I was on the button and got aces.’
The amount you pay to play a game.
Texas Holdem Terms; C
To equal a bet that has been made or the big blind.
This is something you place on your hole cards to prevent them being interfered with or accidently mucked. Can be anything but often relates to a previous success in poker, like a token given for winning.
To pass your go without committing any action, ie betting or folding. Can only do it if there is no prior raise.
When you have a good hand, you check when its your turn, in the hope of inducing a raise from another player, then you re-raise their bet. So you get more chips.
Two connected cards in sequence. Jack/diamonds and 10 diamonds would be a great example.
Having a card in our hand duplicated by a communal card on the board, weakening your hand. For instance if you have 4/4 and the board is Q5Q85, anybody with a card of a value above your pocket 4’s will beat you.
Kings for hole cards
The seat to the right of the player who is dealing.
Texas Holdem Terms; D
In Omaha, this refers to a card that doesn’t relate to the other three starting cards in you hand. In Omaha 8 this would be A-3-4-9. The nine is very unlikely to help the hand unless two more nines come on the board, but at first glance it wont be useful to the hand.
Dead Mans Hand
A/8 is known as Dead Mans Hand because Wild Bill Hickock was holding it when he was shot in the back of the head in 1876.
Chips in a pot which came from a player either not in the hand or having folded.
The cards 9/5 make up the Dolly Parton hand. This is down to her Movie 9 to 5 and the hit song she sang in it Workin’ 9 to 5, just to make a livin’.
When after the flop or turn you have the possibility of a straight or a flush if the right card comes down on the turn or the river, then you have a drawing hand, ie you don’t have anything at the moment but you are drawing to a good hand. If you have 5/6 clubs and the flop is 3/ 4 diamonds, you need a two or a seven to make the straight, that is a drawing hand.
Having no hope of winning the hand or needing the right cards to come onto the board to make you hand, but even if you get them you will lose the hand.
This is when the flop had disconnected varied cards which are not suited and can’t make a flush or a draw. For example a two heart/ 7 spades / Jack diamonds on the flop.
Two’s in your hand
Texas Holdem Terms; E
Bet placed by a player who has just entered the table, returning from a break, or changing their position on the table. Generally used in cash games and at casino games.
Texas Holdem Terms; F
When each player on the table enters the pot, regardless of whether it is at big blind level or raised.
Playing a hand by placing bets and raising aggressively. It’s a good idea if you have a good hand but could get caught if the wrong cards come down. For example, having a pair of J’s, but the flop is 678.
An inexperienced or bad player who often loses money but sometimes takes a big pot by not recognising the meaning of betting patterns by better players.
Jacks as hole cards
After the first burn the next three cards put face up on the table.
A flush is five cards of the same suit, of any value, but the for the best flush you need to have the ace in your hand. For more about flushes look here.
When you manage to get other players to fold, without getting to the showdown. It’s the main objective of each hand, apart from winning or knocking someone out of the game.
When a hand becomes unplayable because a card is shown while dealing or another players cards land on your cards.
When you play a game which is free to play.
Texas Holdem Terms; G
A hand consisting of cards that are more than one number apart. TQ is a two-gap hand.
Having a hand which after the flop you need one card to join up to make a straight such as having J/10 in your hand and A/K comes on the flop, so you need a 10 to get the gutshot straight.
Texas Holdem Terms; H
If there are just two players contesting a hand then it is called ‘heads up’.
If someone hits the flop, a card comes down that they need which either pairs their hand or makes it in another way.
The place or person that has organised the game.
Texas Holdem Terms; J
Some organizations collect money from their poker tables to put a jackpot together and give it to someone who loses a hand having great cards. Typically, these great cards are a full house of aces or better.
To go all-in in a game of no-limit.
Texas Holdem Terms; K
A card that has no pair, but works for deciding which one of two equivalent hands is better. If you have K/4, and there is a 4 on the flop, your king is the kicker and if someone has 10 / 4 your kicker is better and you will win the hand. But if you hit the King and someone else has K -8, your 4 is not a good enough kicker and you will lose the hand.
Texas Holdem Terms; L
A mistake you keep on making. If you work out what it is and stop it your results improve massively.
To enter a pot at the value of the big blind. Not always a good idea depending on position. See Poker Strategy for more thoughts.
When you have a hand against someone else, often when one of you is all in. If the other person doesn’t have a pair like KK, and even if you don’t have a great hand, but you don’t have the same cards as them, your hand is live. For instance you would be better with 7/8 against AK than A/9 because you have two card to hit to win with instead of the just the 9 in you’re a/9 scenario.
Texas Holdem Terms; M
A player who continually bets strong, aggressively, and bluffs. They love doing a lot of gambling and seeing as much action as they can, regardless of the cards they have.
The cards which end up discarded at the end of the hand including the burn cards and folded hands from other players.
Texas Holdem Terms; N
Being able to bet as many chips as you want at any time in a game.
When you have a hand which cannot be beaten by any other hand no matter what. Such as an Ace high flush when there are no paired cards or linked suited cards (for a straight flush).
As mentioned above an Ace high flush.
Nut Low Draw
In Omaha 8 the draw to the best possible low hand. If someone has A4xx and the flop is 23 J then the player has a draw to the nut low draw which would be a 5 in this case.
Texas Holdem Terms; O
A starting hand with different suits, ie Js/6d/3h/Kc.
A card game in which a player gets 4 cards and must use two of them to make a hand combined with three of the community cards.
Omaha 8 A form of Omaha which is a high/low split game. Players can win some of the pot with a low hand of 8 or better and with a high hand. If there is no winning low hand the high hand takes it all.
Out or Outs
When you have a drawing hand and need one or more cards to make a straight, a flush, a full house, a straight flush or a Royal flush, or even a card to make a winning pair, the number of cards that can do that for you is your ‘outs’. For instance if you have 9/10 hearts and the flop is the 8/Jack hearts / and the 2 diamonds, you have a lot of outs, any heart (of which there are nine more) will make a flush, any seven or queen (eight in total) will make a straight, giving you a total of 17 outs. As a rough percentage you usually double this and add two, so that you get 36% chance of making a great hand, which is pretty high in poker. If one of the seven or queens is a heart you will make a straight flush too. In the case of a gutshot straight, if you have 9/10 hearts and the flop is Queen / King hearts / Ace of spades and someone else has already made a straight with a J/10 off suit, you need the Jack of hearts and only the jack of hearts to win the hand. This is a one outer, which is just under 2% so not likely- but you never know!!
To win the hand by staying to the end and getting the card you want. “I outran your set with my straight.”
Making a bet over the top of two bets already made..
The card or cards with the highest value including the ones on the board. If you’re holding AJ, and the turn is 9-6-3, you may have nothing, but you’re still holding two overcards.
Having a higher pairing in your hand than any of the cards on the board. When a pair is higher than the ones that could be made by combining the cards on the board, it’s called Overpair. If you have JJ, and the board shows T-T-6-7-2, you’d be in possession of the Overpair.
Texas Holdem Terms; P
When you win the hand on the flop, for instance you have Kh and 4h, and the flop is AhTh3h. That is a ‘Pat flush’. (Also the nut flush)
When you have the best hand and you know you are going to win, then you put a big bet in and someone thinks they can beat you so they call your bet, this is the pay off.
The area of cards favored by a player. Usually the high cards but in Omaha 8 the low end also is a favored area, aiming for the bicycle (see above).
Play the Board
When the cards displayed on the board are all better than yours, you’re playing the board. At showdown, the best you can do is split the pot.
The hole cards when they are paired. ie when you get JJ in your hand, you have pocket jacks.
Putting a blind bet when you first sit down at a table, and also required if you change seats in a fashion that moves your blind turn away.
Chips in the middle of the table as a result of the blinds and then betting. “I won the pot”.
A type of poker where bets to be placed are determined by the current size of any pot. If there is $100 in the pot, a player can make a bet of $100 into that pot, The next player can raise that by calling the $100 bet to make it $300 and then raising by $300, which is the amout of the pot after their call.
Related to the statistical and strategic approach to the game. If the pot reaches $40, and you have to bet $4 to continue playing, you must consider the pot odds, which in this case are 10/1, which make it a very good call to make. If your pot odds, or chances of winning the hand, are better than the money you’re risking, go ahead.
Guessing the hand another player is likely to have and then playing through the rest of the streets on the basis of that guess.
Texas Holdem Terms; Q
The next highest ranking hand after a Straight Flush, A Four-of-a-kind. For example, AsAhAcAd. See Winning hands.
Winning just a quarter of the pot by splitting the low half of an Omaha 8 hand.
Texas Holdem Terms; R
Ragged (or dry flop)
A board -or flop- that doesn’t help anybody. An example of a flop that might have come down as ragged would be Jd-6h-2c
According to the house rules, a player may or may not buy more chips after losing them all. Tournaments often offer one or two rebuys.
To stage having a particular hand. If you raised preflop, and raise on a flop containing an Ace, you’ll be representing having an ace, even if you have nothing.
The last card dealt of the five community cards in Omaha. Also called 5th street.
A player who only plays good hands and always make the most of them, or can get out of a hand when they see that they are going to lose. They are predicable but patient.
Texas Holdem Terms; S
Tournaments that work as funnels for other tournaments, their prizes are “seats” at bigger tournaments coming up.
Having a good hand but playing it in such a way as to draw other players into the hand and maximising your win.
In Omaha have three cards a pocket pair and combining with a card of the same value on the board. In Omaha this is then a draw to a Full house. Check out winning poker hands for more information.
Having the least number of chips either at your table or in the tournament.
The point at which betting has finished and each player must show their hands in order to determine who has won the hand.
When a player has gone all in and two or more players are still in the hand, a side pot is created. The main pot is the one the all in player can win but he cant win more than that. A second side pot can be created if a second player with more chips goes all in and there are two or more players still in the hand with more chips.
Slow Play / Smooth Call
Having a great hand and faking a weak one to induce betting against you so you get more chips.
Having the winning hand but taking a long time to reveal the cards, making the other person think they have won the hand. This is bad etiquette.
The player sitting to the left of the button has to place a small bet, which is half the value of the big blind. See also “Big blind.”
Going easy on some other player for unrelated to the game reasons. It is prohibited in tournaments and can lead to disqualification or penalization.
When players reach showdown, only to find their hands are equal in value. The pot is split according to the number of players left in equal amounts.
When the player to the left of the big blind (under the gun) puts a raise out (often large) before the cards are dealt, in the hope that everyone will fold and they take down the pot, or get very lucky with the cards. Under the gun is the only position that can do this.
String raise / String Bet
A bet which in which a player puts a chip or chips in the pot and then puts more in after, or even has several chips in his hand and drops a couple and then a few more. This is a string bet and they must take back any chips over the value of a previous bet, or if no one has bet, his bet will then only equal the value of the big blind. It is a similar case if a player puts a single chip in the pot of greater value than a previous bet without announcing a raise. He is then forced to make his bet a call instead of the raise.
Having two cards of the same suit such as AK hearts.
Texas Holdem Terms; T
A general rule in poker that prohibits any player from betting with money or chips that is not in front of them.
Having a feature of your game which informs other players of the type of hand you are likely to have. Such as scratching your nose when you have AK or AA.
Ten point cards
Any card of rank 10 or more, a terms used by Omaha/8 players referring to starting hand with four ten point cards ie JJAQ, which would be a 40 point hand.
Three of a kind, where you have one card in your hand an two more of the same value come down on the board.
The action of dealing the fourth community card. Also referred to as “4th street.”
Texas Holdem Terms; U
The person who is very unlikely to win with the hand at that point in time, specifically in all in situations.
Texas Holdem Terms; V
Value betting is the attempt to get the most chips you can out of another player when you put your opponent on a hand and you know yours is better. The value bet is just the right amount to incite your opponent to make the call. If you bet too much they will fold, or to little and you don’t maximise the opportunity. So you need to have a good ‘read’ of their hand and bet accordingly.
Texas Holdem Terms; W
A wet board is when the flop and then the turn and the river are suited and or connected in ways which give a lot of potential for straights flushes, sets etc. For instance if the flop came Ace clubs/King clubs/ King diamonds.
A hand in Omaha 8 showing a straight from A through 5. If its spades, it’s the Steel Wheel. An Ace to 5 hand will always be the best possible low hand and sometimes the best high hand too, so the player with that hand will win the entire pot.
When your four Omaha holecards consist of three sequenced card that combine with the flop enabling a large number of cards on the turn or river to make a straight.
Understanding Omaha terms is useful at the table or in discussing hand with other players, it increases your ability to ‘get’ what is happening at the Omaha table. Terms are varied though and wont’ be the same at every game / location but you should pick up the gist. Quite a few of the terms are Omaha meaning specific so if you are coming from a Texas holdem background it would be useful to catch up on them. Good luck on the Omaha poker tables!!