Omaha Hi Lo Tips

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Tips in Omaha Hi/Lo

We have had many discussion on the Alternate Poker Forum about the ins and outs of Omaha Hi/Lo, a format of poker which is a particular favourite of mine. Now i do not wish to write yet another piece about the basics of the game as i think this has already been covered in depth on many other poker sites and forums. In fact i would strongly recommend the section on Omaha Hi/Lo (or O8) in Doyle Brunsons book “Super System 2” as an essential read alongside the wealth of information already available online. What i want to do here, is point out a few tips that may seem obvious to some but are often overlooked by the budding hi/lo player. Many of these tips have come directly from the discussions we have had on the forum and more will be added over time.

Overview of Tips
 A2A3 DS is generally regarded as the best starting hand in O8.
 Be extra aware of cards seen and folded.
 Table position is especially important.
 When having the nut low hand on 4th street.
 Be careful not to over value hands after the flop.

 A2A3 DS is generally regarded as the best starting hand in O8.

Why ?

Why is it better than AAK2 DS? Because with the AAK2 your low draw may very well be counterfeited. With the 23 in your hand you have insurance against flopping either a 2 or 3. So if the flop were to come say 2c 4s Kd the AA23 is still in great shape whereas the AAK2 is now relatively worthless. Whilst it`s true that the AK combination offers higher straight possibilities you`re not really looking to make straights in Om8b because they`re so often beaten. The real value in these hands are the flush draws. That`s why double suited hands are so popular in Om8b.

 Be extra aware of cards seen and folded.

Why ?

Newer players to this format do not take into account the cards they see (or have seen) on the board. Calculating your own and your opponents possible drawing cards is extremely important especially when chasing reasonable odds on flushes and straights. Often when you think you’re odds are good when they are in fact far more limited by what you have seen out there but not counted. If you have 3 or even 4 cards to the flush, have you counted the everything you have seen that went before ? Naturally the same goes when playing for the low if you have noticed 3 or 4 players in pre-turns with low cards showing. this usually means there will be limited low cards available.

 Table position is especially important.

Why ?

There is generally a bigger variety of starting hands you can play in Omaha Hi/Lo and many potential draws. With this in mind, table position is very important if you are playing on an aggressive table pre-flop, and post flop if and when you are asked to pay for a draw. Look to do this when drawing to the best possible hand. And to re-iterate the point above, pay particular attention to the board as to what it can make for your opponents even more than what it can make for you. This point becomes even more relevant when playing poker online and certainly holds true for most formats.

 When having the nut low hand on 4th street, never make huge raises but make value bets to keep as many players in the pot as possible.

Why ?

Because you will often end up splitting the low hand pot and force equal hands to call you prior to the river. At best this means you will lose money to the high hand (sharing the low) and if disaster strikes and the wrong low hand comes up, you could well be losing most of your chips.

If a player has already raised before you then he may well be playing the same low hand …..a call is the best play here unless you have a really good possibility of a scoop in which case you could re-raise at this point.

If that wrong card does hits, you have protected yourself and still have an out and if you still have the nut low hand, the high hand will normally do the betting for you.

So make small raises to build the pot and keep those other players in whilst adding to the overall pot.

 Be careful not to over value hands after the flop.

Why ?

Here’s a great example of the dangers of a hand like KK34 in a mock up of a classic 4 handed scenario (using an Odds Calculator). You get what looks like a dream flop but note what your percentage is to win the hand from the flop. This is a really good example of how easy it is to overvalue a hands in omaha hi/lo.

Ask yourself this, could you lay down this hand facing a raise and a re-raise ?

Summary
Omaha Hi/Lo is a great alternative to texas hold’em and there is no doubt that with a little dedication and patience, there are great rewards to be gained from playing this format. Unlike hold’em, you can always find a money game with others online who are merely dabbling with the format or rank beginners. In a game like this, that will give you a huge edge. Another bonus will be your advanced knowledge of odds which will make going back to holdem a breeze in comparison. You may even find that Omaha Hi/Lo could well be the game for you!

Omaha Hi/Lo Tips was written by Marc (harry_lime) Alexander.

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