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Omaha Hi/Lo Strategies     


Omaha Hi/Lo is an exiting poker variant which works on the split pot concept. Each player has to make a high hand and a low hand and the pot is split between the best high and the best qualifying low hand. Thus the game requires a high level of skill and practice to master. Omaha Hi-Lo requires a player to have the skills of a high game as well as a Lowball game. In this section, we have listed out some of the best strategies to excel at Omaha Hi/Lo Poker.

Play to Scoop the Pot

The fundamental goal any poker playing Omaha Hi-Lo is to scoop the pot, i.e., winning the both- the high and low hands of the game. Many times, you may have experienced chopping of pot into two but scooping is always better than chopping. It helps in building the huge stack of chips in a short period of time. In this poker variant, ace two suited and ace three suited are considered the best starting hands because there is foolproof opportunity to win both sides of the pot. Another hand that can scoop the pot in Omaha Hi-Lo is a ace king suited and a ace jack suited. This hand has the potential for a straight or a flush, and can be fruitful if there is no qualifying low hand at the showdown.

Determining the Low

In Omaha Hi-Lo, the most important task is to determine the nut-low. A low hand is usually five unpaired cards with the highest card not greater than 8. In the same way, any hand of 5 cards that contains cards of 9 or higher do not qualify as a low hand. A-2-3-4-5 is the best-ranking low hand and 8-7-6-5-4 is the worst-ranking low hand. In Omaha Hi-Lo, straights and flushes do not apply to low hands. Furthermore, low hands are known by their highest-ranking card. For example, 8-6-5-4-2 is called "an eight-six" and is lower than "an eight-seven"- 8-7-5-4-A. As a poker player, you should also know about a smooth low hand wherein the remaining cards after the highest card are very low (8-4-3-2-A), and a rough low hand wherein the remaining cards are high (8-7-6-5-A).

Throw Away Starting Hands

Quads are considered good hands in Texas Hold’em but in Omaha Hi-Lo quads are the hands that a player does not play. If you receive three of a kind as hole cards, then you can only use two cards and third card of same rank does not hold any value. This is because the card cannot be used with community cards on the board making it difficult for you to make a set with that card. For example, if a player is dealt 7h-7s-7d-Kd, then he can throw away his cards. Hands like 8h 9h are also considered weak hands because to make the high end of a straight, you will have to make the cards that are also qualifying low hands. Thus, you can fold hands with four of the same suit like 2h-8h-9h-4h. Here, two spades that you need to make a flush are not available and extra spades actually do not help you anyway. Other starting hands that should be folded are Lowest Card from 4 through 9 Paired or Unpaired (4567, 67QQ, 47JK).

Manage your Bankroll

Omaha Hi-Lo is considered to be a high-variance game, and a player needs to be skilled in bankroll management in order to handle, and survive in the game. In Omaha Hi Lo, even when strong players come across weak hands, they have to ride them out. Following a strict bankroll help you to play in disciplined manner and master the game. For example, you started playing at $25 PLO. You should continue playing at this stake unless you built the bankroll of $2000. And later you can move ahead to play at $50 PLO game. However, many times, you will find players who get into playing high stakes because they are losing at low stakes. This is an unworthy thing to do as you will lose everything and end up with nothing in hand. Therefore, for a bright poker future with a steady income, you need to follow bankroll management rigorously.

Avoid Playing High Hands

By high hands, we mean hands like K-K-Q-Q, K-Q-J-10. The value of these cards is low in Omaha Hi-Lo because players are well aware that they are playing for half the pot. Though in this poker variant, you may not come across a low hand at times but it is always worthwhile to play high hands if the flop dealt is competitive. For instance, a hand like 8-9-T-J double-suited is used an imperfect hand because it has no crack for the low hand. Or, if you hold T-J-Q-A with no spade and flop runs 7s-9s-Tc you will not at all qualify for a low draw, or a flush draw. Moreover, high cards are always the inferior cards to any two low cards in a heads-up Omaha Hi-Lo game.

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