Many of the best starting hands in an Omaha Hi-Lo game are ones that could go in either direction, giving you either the best high or low hand by the end of the game. This is because it widens the number of cards you could draw to get the winning hand.
For example, one of the very best possible starting hands you could hope to be dealt is an ace with 2, 3 and 4, with one of the low cards in the same suit as the ace. In this scenario, you can hope for the nut low, a straight or the nut flush.
That’s not to say that the best Omaha starting hand isn’t still a pair of aces with a pair of kings (which doesn’t give you a shot at the best low hand). But even that hand is valuable not just because of the high pairs but because of the number of possible cards you could draw to come out winning.
Omaha Hi-Lo Strategy: Going for a Low Hand
When you assess your cards, it’s worth remembering that a low hand is often less valuable than a high one. Opponents in Omaha often share the same lowest hand – in which case, you’ll win only a quarter of the pot even if you make your hand. Also, if fewer than three community cards ranked lower than 8 are dealt, you won’t make a low hand at all.
Omaha Hi-Lo Strategy: Simple Tips for Reading the Best Hand
- another player can be holding a full house only if there is a pair of cards on the table
- another player can be holding a flush only if there are three cards of the same suit on the table
- another player can be holding a straight only if there are three cards within five values on the board; for example, community cards of 2 3 7 8 and Q. However, more often than not, the cards on the table DO allow for a straight.
- no winning low hand is possible unless there are three cards with different values below 8 on the table – meaning that if you have a potentially winning high hand, you can hope to win the full pot