Online Omaha Hi/Lo is an action game. It is simultaneously called Omaha Eight Or Better. Few hands end before the river. Because of this, novice players tend to play all hands believing that any combination of pocket cards can potentially win the pot.
Any player who wants to win a hand at the river needs to know how their hand rates before the flop. This article is a basic introduction of how to understand the pocket cards that the player is dealt, and is for anyone just starting to play this fascinating variation of poker.
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Evaluating A Starting Hand Against Many Players
The key to any hi/lo game is to scoop the pot, or win both the high and low hands. Keeping this in mind, players can use two things as a basis for evaluating their starting hands: The value of the cards and the number of players at the table.
Aces are most valuable in online Omaha Hi/Lo since they are often needed to have the best possible hand, also called the nuts. The number of people at the table changes the chances of all four aces being in play. For example, with 10 players at a table, 40 cards are dealt as hole cards. With that many cards in play, it’s extremely likely that only the nuts will win the hand. Many players, therefore, opt to fold any hand that doesn’t have an ace because of the high probability that all aces are out and an ace will be needed to win.
It does not mean that all hands without aces should automatically be folded. Cards with only high cards (kings, queens, and jacks) or with three high cards and one low card (so there is no hope of winning the low hand) can be played, but with caution. Players with these hands should not raise and should not stay in the hand if another player makes a high raise.
Pocket cards that have hopes of only winning the low can be played against a large number of people because of the chances that the pot will be big enough that winning half will still be a lot of chips. Remember, low hands often end in ties as well, which means players may be working for a quarter of the pot, which means only getting the bet back, or worse, losing money. A player who wins a quarter of the pot only gains if there are five or more people in the hand.
Evaluating A Starting Hand Against A Few Players
With fewer players at a table, three or four at most, chances are better that the player does not need the best cards to win. With four players, 16 cards are dealt at the start, which is less than one-third of the deck.
Aces are still the most powerful card, but hands without aces should be played more often. Hands with mid-cards only (sixes, sevens, eights, and nines) which should never be played at a full table, can be played with extreme caution against a low number of players. These hands should be folded after the flop if no decent hand has been made.
Fewer players, though, means it is less likely to be profitable to play for only half of the pot. That means hands that can potentially win both the high and low hands, or only the high hand in case there is no low hand, are more important than those that can win only the low.
If opening bets from other players start to get high, hands that can only win the low — those with twos through eights – should be folded. Hands with three low cards and one ace can be played as long as there is another card in the hand of the same suit, giving the player a shot at the best possible flush. If there are no cards of the same suite as the ace, the hand can be played with extreme caution, with the player being prepared to fold if the flop does not give any chance of making any kind of high hand.
What is Online Omaha Poker
Each player in online Omaha poker is dealt four cards rather than the two with Texas Holdem. The players all share the community cards. The community cards are dealt just as they are in Texas Holdem. The first three cards are the flop, the fourth is the turn and the final card is the river. Prior to the flop and after each round there is a period of betting.
In Omaha you must use two of your four cards. An example of this would be if you were dealt Q-2-3-4. The flop is dealt and the cards are A-K-J. The turn is a 10. You do not have a straight. You can only have a straight if you had a Q plus one of the other cards shown in the community cards.
It is more complicated in strategies as everyone has four cards. Think of it in terms of Holdem. In Holdem you get two cards 8h-9d. You have the chance to hit an eight, a nine or a straight. It’s pretty straight forward. In Omaha you have 8h-9d-Ah-2s. You have all three options you would in Holdem. You also have flush possibilities, mid straight or low straight, A’s or 2’s or any combination. If we only look at the denomination of the card only and leave out the suit options we have 8,9 in holdem. In Omaha having 8,9,A,2 you actually have 6 possible hands to look at-89,8A,82,9A,92,A2.
Imagine playing Holdem with six hands to choose from. It sounds like it would be great until you realize everyone else has six hands too. Holdem tends to be a game of pairs because of this. Omaha is a game of flushes and full houses. Most of the time if you don’t have the nuts, someone else does.
Because of the nature of the game the best hands tend to be high cards and midrange straight cards. High flushes are often worth chasing also.
According to a 22bet review website, one of the biggest mistakes Holdem players make when they move into the Omaha arena is to think they can bluff the same way they did in Holdem. It is much harder to bluff in Omaha mostly due to the fact that with four cards each someone is apt to have the cards you need. If you have a straight and there is a possible flush on the board the chances are high that someone has the flush and you will lose your bet. Don’t think for a minute having the flush gives you the win because it only takes pairing the board for someone to snatch the pot from you with a full house.