• August 3, 2021

Omaha High-Low: What to Know About Starting Hands

The game of Omaha High-Low, (as known as Omaha8) is challenging at first. Once you learn a few tips, and have played a few hands, the challenge turns into excitement. In Omaha, players begin with four cards, as opposed to two in Hold ‘em, and share a five-card community board.
The object of Omaha High-Low is to win with a high or low hand using two cards from your hole, and three cards from the board. In order for a pot to be split between the winning high and low hand, there must be at least three different low cards on the board.
Low Cards:

  • Ace
  • Deuce
  • Tre
  • Four
  • Five
  • Six
  • Seven
  • Eight

Important Tips
Players transitioning from Hold ‘em need to understand the differences in the two games. There are some key pointers, and suggested starting hands. As new players begin to understand the game more, individual styles of play, hand preferences, and strategies will vary.
Anyone who pays Omaha will tell you a few things:

  •     It’s easy to play every hand. In order to be a winning player, you’ll need to develop discipline. Playing too many hands over a period of time will get costly.
  •     The best way to learn is by playing. Ask any Omaha player how they learned and it’s a guarantee they’ll tell you they learned by jumping in.
  •     The best way to beat Omaha is with a scoop. A scoop refers to the entire pot going to one person. This happens when there is no low possible, or when a player makes a hand that qualifies as both high and low.
  •     The game changes drastically with every turn.

Example: A(S) A(C) 2(C) 3(S) means nothing if the flop comes 8 (H) 9 (D) K (H).

  •     Don’t play mismatched, or disjointed cards.

Example: 33Q7 Rainbow (one of each suit).
Reason: The low is weak and a high hand is a stretch. If you flop a set, it’s weak, and more than likely it’ll get you stuck.
Starting Hands Favorites
Most players have their own preferences when it comes to playing Omaha High-Low. Starting hand favorites vary from player to player, but there some that are mathematically proven to be essentials.
AA23 Double-Suited is the best starting hand.
In Omaha the more possibilites you have, the better. Hand ranking is increases with based on different variables.
Suited cards are important to make a flush. Double-suited means there are two suits represented between four cards.
Connectors build straights and in this example, means you’re playing for a scoop. The value rises in this hand based on the suit of each card.
This hand not only represents three ways to make low, but is always fantastic to make a wheel (A2345), a set, full house, or four-of-a-kind.
Omaha High-Low is a game of skill, and patience. Technique comes to those who read about it, and play often.

Steve Carr

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