Omaha Hi/Lo General Strategy Tips


When you are playing Omaha Hi/Lo, there are a number of general strategy points to keep in mind. It is a bit harder to consider specific categories of starting hands with Omaha because of the fact that there are a number of additional combinations that come from the idea of four cards instead of two. However, the underlying principles behind starting hand selection and later betting round choices can and will be covered below.

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Starting Hands

In Omaha Hi, you want to pick hands that work well together. This is also true in Omaha Hi/Lo, but it is of critical importance in the latter variant because of the fact that ideally you want to have a stake in both ends of the win when you enter the pot. For example, if you take a look at a hand like A-2-3-4, that is obviously a dream Omaha Hi/Lo hand because it gives you a number of draws to the nut low and a number of draws to the straight.

A hand like A-2-T-J is also a good hand for these purposes. Any hand with A-2 is a good hand to have, but also be aware of the fact that if the flop comes A-2-6, then your great starting hand is counterfeited. This is why a hand like A-2-3-4 is such a great hand, because you have backups for when counterfeiting happens. If you have a hand like A-2-3-4 and the flop comes A-2-6, then you have a straight draw, two pair and the nut low.

Flop Play

In Omaha Hi/Lo more than in either Omaha Hi or Texas Hold 'Em, you want to have a sense of the flop really fitting your hand. The fit or fold strategy on the flop is the one you should be employing and therefore if you do not have a solid draw to both ends of the win or an ultra-strong hand on one end of the win, as a beginner you should not be going past the flop. Most people concede that if they go past the flop they end up at the river, so considering that you are going to be putting a lot more money in the pot if you go past the flop, you need an extremely strong reason to go past the flop.

Turn and River Play

Now that you are at the turn and the river, it is really just a matter of sticking it out and seeing if you get your hand. A lot of people choose to fold on the turn and most of the time this is a questionable strategy. If you are playing pot limit Omaha Hi/Lo and your whole stack is threatened then it is understandable, but if you are playing limit, why would you fold on the turn when a single bet gets you to the river?

If you have a good draw on the flop and there are at least two other opponents left in the hand, then you are practically guaranteed to have a good draw on the turn. Also, if you were thinking all the way to the river then you have already done the implied odds calculations and therefore should already have folded on the flop or been in the hand until the river. Playing well mathematically is the best thing you can do as a beginner until you get a feel for how the game works and make sure you do not allow emotions to override your mathematical logic in critical turn card situations.