Getting Ahead at Omaha Hi Lo Poker
Getting ahead in Omaha Hi Lo is not difficult because, in spite of the popularity of the game, not many people play it that well. There is very little strategy to learn in Omaha Hi Lo Poker because the game is more odds-focused than Texas Hold´em and the cards that players are dealt will determine what their betting action should be.
As with every other form of poker, Omaha Hi Lo strategy takes third place behind understanding the betting actions of the other players on the table in relation to the position in the betting action that a player is in (you can read more about being the last player to act on our ‘Blinds, Dealing and Betting’ page).
Identifying that an opponent makes a certain size raise when they have a particularly strong hand – or limps into a pot when they have a speculative hand – will give a player in ‘position’ an edge on that opponent when it comes to make a betting decision.
The DO of Omaha Hi Lo Poker
The ‘DO’ of Omaha Hi Lo poker is ‘D’ for Discipline and ‘O’ for Outs. Profitable Omaha Hi Lo poker is a very boring game, as players should only get involved in pots that they have a very strong likelihood of winning. Whereas in Texas Hold´em poker players can justifiably limp into a hand with suited connectors and small pairs, that sort of speculative hand in Omaha Hi Lo will cost players a lot of money!
Being aware of the number of outs a hand has is also essential. If a player knows that his or her hand has 22 outs after the flop, and there are 45 ‘unseen’ cards which could be dealt on the Turn or River, he or she has an almost even money chance of improving their hand. The decision to continue in the hand or not can then be made depending on how much money that player has to pay to remain in the hand in relation to their chances of winning it (also known as ‘pot odds’).
Playing only the strongest hands and acting on them with the knowledge of how likely they are to be successful is not ‘sexy poker’ or very much fun, but it is the only way to consistently win money playing Omaha Hi Lo.
The Dont of Omaha Hi Lo Poker
The big ‘don´t’ of Omaha Hi Lo poker is don´t get sucked into to playing badly on a loose table just because everybody else is. There are times when it is appropriate to bet on a hand which does not have a good chance of winning (see our page on ‘Winning Omaha Hi Lo Secrets’) or when it is established that the next players to act are likely to fold under pressure.
However, as we mentioned at the top of this page, Omaha Hi Lo Poker is a game that not a lot of players play well. By getting too involved in a loose game of Omaha Hi Lo (which is admittedly more fun) players are likely to enjoy fewer winning sessions and even see the standard of their game deteriorate to a point where they are relying on luck, rather than skill and Omaha Hi Lo strategy, to win pots.
The final piece of advice on this strategy and tactics page is don´t go crazy with A2xx. A2 on its own is no better than a viable starting hand (more about this on our page about ‘Omaha Hi Lo Starting Hands’) and the ‘xx’ cards in A2xx should have some chance of winning the hand by themselves before a player commits themselves to a pot.