About Omaha Hi/Lo
Omaha Hi/Lo is a more complicated version of Omaha Poker. It takes the game of Omaha and doubles the complexity, requiring a player to divide his thought process between both the high and low of his hand. It takes a bright mind to grasp all aspects of Omaha Hi/Lo at the same time. It’s a challenge for those who seek to stretch and strengthen their poker abilities.
One of the most fundamental strategies to Omaha Hi/Lo is knowing which hand to play. Familiarizing yourself with hand evaluation techniques before you sit down at an Omaha Hi/Lo table will benefit your game significantly. Beginners often make the mistake of playing every hand based on the theory that any combination of a player’s pocket cards has the potential to win the pot, which is not always the case. The smart Omaha Hi/Lo player will know before the flop whether or not their hand has potential.
By definition of a Hi/Lo game, two players are ultimately intended to split the pot, the one holding the best high hand and the one holding the best low hand. A better result would for one player to win all with both the high win and the low win, or “scoop the pot” (take it all without a splitt). Winning the whole pot should be your primary goal. Keeping this in mind will help you evaluate your starting hand based on the value of your cards and the number of players in the hand.
In Omaha Hi/Lo, Aces are the most valuable cards. Since the amount of hands dealt from the deck affects the chances of all Aces being in play, the number of players should be considered when evaluating your hand. If ten players are dealt into a hand, there will be 40 cards used, which means it is very likely that the winning hand will have to be the nuts. Therefore, a lot of players fold if they are not initially dealt an Ace. But this isn’t always the best option.
At fuller tables, hands that have no chance of winning the low should be played with caution and should not prompt a raise or attempt to withstand another player’s high raise. Hands full of mid-range cards (6-9) should always be folded. It is safe to play pocket cards that have potential to win only the low hand against a full table because the pot will be substantial enough to be a lucrative split. You can also cautiously play hands with middle valued cards (6-9) but these hands should be folded if a decent hand doesn’t come up on the flop. One disadvantage to playing at a smaller table is that fewer players mean smaller pots. Therefore, split pots are less profitable and high hands and hi/lo hands are more substantial.
Hi/Lo games are refined variations of poker and attract many deep-thinking poker players, who at experienced levels are very hard to beat, and they won’t hesitate to take you down when they smell a novice at the table. Play smart and practice often, and you will be among them in no time.