Omaha Hi-Lo Poker Strategy

Omaha Hi-Lo looks confusing but do not worry, even pro casino dealers sometimes have trouble determining the best hand. You have to look for the high as well as low hands with many card combinations so its easy to sometimes get a headache, but when you get used to the game, you’ll mature in the ability to spot potential draws and winning combinations.

Omaha Hi-Lo Poker Strategy - Omaha High/Low

With four cards in your hole, many players have trouble laying down weak hands because it appears that they always have something worth chasing. Because of this, beginning players can often be considered a favorite in lower-limit games because they may simply be more disciplined in their hand selection. The split-pot structure between the Hi and Lo hands can create an illusion that one can play many hand combinations, but the reality is that superior players will consistently make good choices in hand selection.

Position strategy is much the same as standard Texas Holdem in that you can choose to play lesser hands in late position if the pot hasn’t been raised. Strategy is also the same as Texas Holdem in the fact that the flop should fit your hand. If the flop misses your hand you should consider releasing your cards.

Omaha Hi/Lo Preflop

The critical skill in Omaha Hi/Lo is hand selection. Bluffing and Reading are of little value in Omaha 8. Also, before you decide to call with your 4 cards, ask yourself a what kind of flop would best fit your hand.

What if you’ve been raised?

Bluffing isn’t much of a factor in Omaha Hi Lo so if you’ve been raised after the flop, there is a highly likely possibility the raiser probably has one of three hands:

  • The Best possible high hand
  • The best low hand with a draw to a high hand
  • A high hand with a draw to a good low.

In this case you need to credit your opponent with a good hand. In all forms of poker, you need a stronger hand to call a raise than to initiate one. Call only if you believe you have a stronger hand. If not, you need to make the right choice and release it.

Playing the Turn in Omaha Hi-Lo

If you’re playing the turn you better have a very strong hand. Your hand should be one of the following:

  • Flopped the best high hand
  • Drawing the best high hand
  • Flopped the nut low hand
  • Drawing to the nut low
  • Believe you can win and one of the two areas and have a shot at the other. –Two way hand.

Tips for Playing the Turn in Omaha High Lo

  • If you’ve made the best possible hand on the turn, bet very aggressively
  • Lets say you have the nut low with an extra card to protect counterfeiting. Bet and call, but avoid raising. Don’t risk driving out other hands that would pay you off. Since bluffing is not much of a factor, you’re raising may very well push players out.
  • Unlike the previous tip, if your hand is the nut low and drawing to a high hand, raise from late position. You’ll win the low and possible win it all. If you do win it all, there will be more money in the pot.
  • Good ole pot odds. If your on a draw to the best hand and need to decide whether to call, consider the pot odds. If the pot odds exceed the odds against making your hand than make the call.

Omaha Hi Lo River Play

Texas Holdem is a game where the flop is frequently the defining moment in hands. In Omaha Hi-Low this isn’t the case. With the 4 hole cards combining with 5 board cards, there are tons of straight, flush, and full house possibilities in Omaha Hi Lo. This is why many hands in Omaha High Low are defined on the river.

If you have the best high hand on the river, you can bet and raise fearlessly. You know you’ll get at least half of the pot and possibly steal the whole pot if there is no low hand. However, betting with a good low hand isn’t quite as simple. If you have the only nut low, you can bet and raise fearlessly. On the other hand, if an opponent has the same nut low as you, you’ll be quartered and will not profit much. This happens frequently in Omaha Hi Lo.

Another situation is having a two-way hand. If you know you have the best hand in one direction and maybe the other, bet aggressively and you can possibly scoop a big pot.

Note: For additional Omaha Hi-Lo information, check out Poker Splendor’s Omaha Hi-Lo Rules as well as their reviews of the best poker sites.