Omaha 8 or Better: Winning at Hi-Low Poker

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How to play Omaha Hi-Lo – Rules, FAQ, Strategy and Tips

Assume the flop is 3 4 T , and that you're last to act. You have the nut low draw and a middle flush draw. If the betting comes to you raised, you need to consider what may be out against you: someone is drawing to the nut flush draw, there may be a set of tens, and there may be other A2 draws out. I am not saying that you should fold this hand; however, I am saying that you need to be wary with trap hands.

Another trap hand is AA without suited cards or connectors. These are hands that hold'em players, especially, will overplay. Take a flop that looks good for this trap hand: A 6 8. You've flopped the nut high three Aces , with a back-up straight draw. You should have seen the two key flaws for this hand: you're going after just half the pot undoubtedly someone will have a better low than your hand and if a backdoor flush comes you may end up with none of the pot. If you can't raise to limit the field which is usually the case in low limit Omaha games , A A 9 7 can be mucked from early position.

Yes, you may be missing an occasional big pot but you will save money over the long-term. Most Omaha games are played with two blinds: a small blind immediately to the left of the button and a big blind to the left of the small blind. The blinds receive one advantage: they act last before the flop. However, after the flop the blinds will act first. In many Omaha hands the pot is not raised and the big blind will have but two choices: to check and see the flop for free or to raise.

When you raise from one of the blinds, you will get the rest of the table's attention - you are saying that you have a very strong hand raising will be covered in more detail in Lesson This is not to say that you shouldn't raise; rather, you should vary your play so that you are not that predictable this is a good idea in any case. If the pot has been raised, the big blind has the additional option of folding.

Obviously, you should be calling with your good hands and checking or folding your trash hands. But what about pot odds? Say, for example, you hold K J 7 4 in the big blind and the under-the-gun player has raised and everyone has called. I ran a simulation with this hand and assuming that everyone stays until the river this hand actually has the correct pot odds to call the raise. However, I believe that calling a raise with this trash hand is a bad mistake because you will not recognize many of your winning hands on the flop.

Assume that the flop is 5 6 7. You check, and by the time the betting has returned to you the betting is capped. Do you really want to call and hope that your Jack-high flush will win high? Instead, play the big blind conservatively.

Limit HoldEm

Check most hands and call raises only with hands that can scoop and that you can recognize scoop-potential flops with. Remember, a bet saved is money earned. Remember that you will be out-of-position in all the subsequent betting rounds. I recommend that you play conservatively from the small blind: play your good hands and only the marginal hands where you will recognize that the flop has hit your hand.

In the next lesson we will look at playing the flop. You are in the big blind for questions 1 through 3. Assume the pot has not been raised. Assuming you check there will be five players seeing the flop. Will you a check, b raise, or c fold? In questions 4 and 5 the under-the-gun player has raised the pot.

If you call there will be a total of five players seeing the flop. Do you a fold, b call, or c raise? The pot is unraised. Assuming that you call and that the big blind checks, five players will be seeing the flop. The under-the-gun player has raised the pot.


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Assuming that the big blind calls and that you call, five players will be seeing the flop. Answer c is, of course, a trick answer - you should never fold the big blind in an unraised pot. However, this is a trash hand and you will need a miraculous flop in order to stay around in the next round of betting. Your hand is better than the first hand but you will still need to hit the flop to be around.

You have a premium hand that should raise some portion of the time.


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Raising is used to either increase the pot size, limit the field, or both. My decision as to whether to raise with this hand would be dependent on my table image, the other players at the table, and how often I have been raising. This is a trap hand that can rarely scoop the pot. Marginal hands should be routinely thrown away.

Omaha High-Low Split in Detail

You have a premium hand so folding is out of the question. My decision as to whether to raise or not is dependent on the factors listed in the answer to question 3 and the passivity of the table. There are low-limit Omaha games where the betting is routinely capped before the flop there are also games where a second raise will drive away much of the field.

I infrequently re-raise from the blinds because I prefer to disguise my hand strength. This is a very marginal hand and I will not stay after the flop if I don't hit my hand.

Omaha hold 'em

I have many ways of scooping and many of them will be apparent on the flop. Ideally, I'd like to flop nut low or a straight. The key to playing marginal hands is to fold when you miss the flop. The situation with this hand is very different than from question 7. Save your money and wait for a better opportunity.

Dealing Omaha hi lo

This is a good hand but the second deuce, the nine, and the fact that you have three spades detract from the hand's value. It's certainly worth seeing the flop but it is not worth re-raising. A lot of the training material out there will teach you the foundations of conventionally solid play The Board:. Player 1 wins high with two pair , Kings and Fours with an 8 kicker. Player 2 only has a pair of threes with an Ace, King, Eight kicker note the Queen from Player 2's hand cannot play, since the A3 already plays and are the required two cards.

If you compare the two low hands, you'll see that is lower than , thus Player 1 wins the low and scoops the pot. When comparing two low hands, you start from highest to lowest and the first player with a lower card is the winner. So beats , for example. In part this phenomenon occurs because Omaha is not as widely-understood as Hold 'em , and much of the conventional wisdom of Hold 'em cannot be applied to Omaha without adaptation. For example, whereas two aces are a monster hand in HE, dominant against any other hand, AA without much to go with it -- particularly if neither ace is suited -- is only a mediocre drawing hand in O8 unless you can get the pot heads-up.

At low limits, you simply can't. End of story. Another example is mediocre non-nut straights, or medium straights with a good possibility of being outdrawn by a flush or full house. In essence every Omaha hand has something to like about it, but few have enough to really give them the best of it against mediocre hands.

Limit Omaha High-Low Strategy | Beginner Omaha Hi-Lo Strategy

By sticking to those hands, a player with a little Omaha knowledge can go a long way. Since you are starting with more cards than you are in hold'em, you must have tighter starting hand requirements than you do in hold'em. You're going to like the looks of your cards and want to play more, but don't fall into that trap. A high pocket pair is a terrible hand unimproved. A straight can be strong if you have the high end, but be very careful with straights if the board shows three suited cards or a pair. For example, if there are more than two people in the pot and there are three of a suit on the board, the odds are extremely high that someone has a flush.

In general the temptation for you to draw will be huge. Also, remember you're trying to scoop the pot; don't play for just half the pot. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki.