Omaha High-Low is a game where you can create two options for a better hand - high and low. In Omaha Hi-Low, one half of the pot wins the strongest hand, and the other one is the weakest.
One player can at the same time collect both a weak and a strong hand. In this case, to create a weak hand, he can choose two pocket cards, different from those he chooses to create a strong one.
The main rule of Omaha remains in force: the player must use two pocket cards and three general to create a combination.
To make a winning combination in Omaha High Lo you should create a poker combination consisting of 5 cards where the highest card in it should be not higher than 8. On order to create a lo hand combination one may use an Ace as the smallest card (the Ace may be both the highest and the loest card to help you making the corresponding combinations), Straight and Flush aren’t counted as lo combinations here.
According to the abovementioned, it’s rather easy to guess that the best hand in Omaha High Low consists of 5-4-3-2-Ace. And again, keep that in mind, the Straight and Flush are not counted here. Or even in case all your 5 cards will wear the same suit (all hearts for instance), and if the Flush is not counted, yes, this will be the ideal combination for Omaha High Low. And you must also remember that any pair here will count as high. So in that case, 2-2-4-5-A will not make a «low» combination.
Low combination is made up of 5 different cards not higher than Eight. Straight and flush are not accounted for in this case, and the Ace is played as a lower card (accounted for as one). Which of the low combinations has won is defined by the higher cards of the combinations. The lower it is by rank, the stronger the combination is. If higher cards are of the same rank in the combinations, then next ones are compared one by one, and so on. The lower the card, the better the combination.
Example: low 6-5-4-3-2 will be higher than 7-4-3-2-А, but lower than 6-4-3-2-A.
When none of the players managed to create a low hand, a player with the highest hand wins. On the contrary, when there ae two players, one with the highest hand and the other with the lowest one will split the bank. In rare cases the player with both possible combinations in a single hand will take both High and Low parts of the bank. In a course of this game a player is expected to make the high hand first and only then (when it’s possible) create a lo hand. And the same rule acts for the showdown: the highest hand winner is determined the first.
How to play in Omaha High Low
As it has already been said, the game is played almost the same way as Texas Hold’em with the only two differences: the players are dealt 4 hole cards instead of two as in Texas Hold’em and the second difference is that the entire pot is divided into two parts – one for High hands and the other for the Low one. Each player is supposed to create a 5-card combination for the High hand and the Low combination for the Low one. All the winnings are split correspondingly. In case none of the players has managed to create a low hand combination – the entire pot comes to the player with the highest hand. In case a single player wins both the high and the low hands – he takes the entire pot.
Omaha High Low Strategies
Alternatively to the Texas Hold’em each player is dealt 4 hole cards. You should also remember that this game will happen to be rather unprofitable for those players who have not defined at least a basic strategy. This is especially crucial when fewer players fold in the first rounds of the game. You’ll understand the reason why in the process.
Omaha High Low Strategy – Remember 2+3
For evaluating your potential combination correctly, you must always keep in mind that only two out of your four cards are needed to form a combination with only three out of 5 cards on the table. This rule is highly important to remember in order to recognize the possible strong hand. On the other hand in case you do not pay special attention to it, in a course of the game your hand may appear higher than you expected.To form the strongest possible Low-hand combination, it’s highly recommended to understand and remember these 2 basic rules:
1. Avoid any pair cards in your combination
2. The highest single card value in your hand may not exceed 8
Omaha High Low Strategy Nuts Low
First of all let us give the definition of the «Nuts low». To have a Nuts low hand means to have the strongest possible combination. The newbie players may not define it right away for the first time, though it’s quite easy and which is more important, it’s rather essential to know in order to win in Omaha High Lo. Here is a small tip for you to remember for convenience of reference: «Nuts Low» is «2+3». It means in case two of your four cards in your hole cards are deuce (2) and Ace – you’re holding a Nuts Low combination.
But you should also keep an eye on the community (board cards, cards on the table) cards, as three of them consisting of 8 and loer and cards with no pair will be added to your deuce and Ace and form the loest possible combination right in your hand. Another favorable outage for you will be created by Deuce and 3 and Ace on the table. As in a course of the game two more community cards will be added, like 8 or lo and a couple of no-pair lo cards – you’ll certainly have the Nuts low. In this case we highly recommend you to raise the bets as in this situation you have some rather high chances to take at least the Lo hand pot.
Omaha High Low Strategy Nuts Flush
As you must have already guessed, the best possible Nuts Flush combination is a Flush. All the players should know how to distinguish Nuts Flush at least for the purpose of getting obviously closer to the pot. Take a look at this example:
Your hole cards: 2c – Ac
The community cards: Dc – 9c – 7c.
As most of your opponents are likely to have the Flush hearts, you may keep calm as you know you’ve got the highest possible Flush – Nuts Flush. Being able to recognize this kind of combination may significantly improve your situation in the game and help you define your further bets volume.
Omaha High Low Strategy Your odds vs The Odds of Your Opponent
Ideally you should know how to define the best possible combination of your opponent and if there are three cards of the same suit on the table. You must realize that in such situation at least one of your opponents may theoretically have a Flush. In this case if you are 100% sure your hand is not strong enough to beat a Flush - you must fold. On the other hand in case the community cards on the table form a light Straight as 3-4-6-8-9, it will get much better in case you are having at least Straight or a hand strong enough to beat it, on the contrary – you’d better fold.
In the mentioned example 3-4-6-8-9, there are at least 5 ways to form a Straight with two of your hole cards and 3 community cards out of 5 on the table:
Of course these examples may seem somewhere between science fiction and facts, though they clearly demonstrate the necessity of the player’s high attention to the possible cards of the opponents.
Omaha High Low High Hands Strategy
As this game involves a great deal of winning combinations, be ready to the fact that the number of them will seriously exceed the number of possible combinations in Texas Hold’em. So be sure to understand that Three of a Kind or a Pair are far no those combinations that often win in Omaha.
Common mistakes in Omaha
One of the most usual first players’ mistakes is that they are messed with defining the value of the starting hand after receiving their hole cards. That happens for the reason that most of them have discovered the poker world while playing in Texas Hold’em and that makes them overestimate their high cards while playing in Omaha poker.
For example a pair of Aces would have seemed a pretty strong combination for the PF (preflop), while it often appears to be the no-winning one when the flop doesn’t show the third Ace.
Another vivid new players’ mistake is an uncontrollable raise in case of a high pair right after the deal. Such evident raises are usually easily predicted by the experienced players who tend to draw parallels between bets and raises while waiting for the strong card in the flop.
Another obvious mistake is the lo skilled self-evident attempts to bluff. Moreover this is one of those mistakes that may become a pure disaster when most of the players will reveal this bluff by drawing the analogy between the previous bets and raises and so the bluff will just remain unreasonable. So here is the small tip for the new Omaha poker players: keep your fair name and try to avoid bluffing until you feel secure enough for your defined strategy.
When switching from Texas Hold’em to Omaha, some new players will obviously to notice the parallel between the usual volume of the traditional Hold’em and Omaha High-Low's pot which tend to be well above.
While most of players fold just after the flop when playing in Texas Hold’em, Omaha players with 4 hole cards in hands along with a vast number of odds will unlikely fold their cards after the first deal.
Another common mistake for the new players is not folding their cards with Nuts (the highest possible hand at the moment) after the flop. For instance you happened to get Nuts after the flop, let’s say it was high Straight with Ace. So what happens next? The players will raise until it’s your turn to make a decision. And when the players are obvious to make a bet rather than waiting for a Flush, your best decision will be folding your cards and pick your better moment.
What is a pot limit
Pot limit is a kind of Omaha poker, which is also known as PL. This means that any bets or raises in a course of this kind of game are to match the amount in the pot. In other words, the pot volume will be acting as a limit during the betting round. The max bet in the first betting round should be equivalent to the sum of the Small and the Big Blinds. For instance, in the $10/$20 bet limit game, the first bet shouldn’t exceed the sum of the Big and the Small Blinds, in terms of the current example the bet may not exceed $30. Thus, the next player may either match the bet in the amount of $30, or raise it up to $60.