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Basic Strategy PeluangPoker Tips for Omaha Hi-Lo

PeluangPoker.com – Basic Strategy Tips for Omaha Hi-Lo
1. Since everyone has been dealt four hole cards instead of two, players will generally be able to make stronger hands relative to NLHE.

In Omaha variants, since each player is dealt four hole cards, six different two-card combinations can be formed with each starting hand. When there are multiple players contesting the pot, the chances at least one player will hold some combination of cards that will connect very strongly with any given board is high.

Be particularly careful when holding a mere overpair, or when holding similar hands that have not connected strongly with the flop, particularly in multi-way situations.

For example, on a coordinated flop of {3-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{5-Spades} an overpair is much less likely to be good facing two or three opponents in an Omaha variant than it would be in NLHE. This is especially the case since many players will be playing starting hands concentrated in low cards. In particular, you should fully expect that at least one opponent in a multi-way pot might hold the highly coveted {A-}{2-} holding for a flopped straight along with the nut low hand, possibly along with the nut flush draw.

2. A starting hand containing {A-}{2-} is valuable for its potential to make nut low hands, but the hand can still be marginal if it lacks other helpful supporting cards.

If a flop contains two or three qualifying low cards other than an {A-} or a {2-}, a hand containing {A-}{2-} will always provide the best low hand or draw.

For example, on a board of {4-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}, any player holding {A-}{2-} will have the best possible low hand (8-7-4-2-A). Note that 8-7-4-2-A is better than 8-7-4-3-A (made with {A-}{3-}), 8-7-4-3-2 (made with {3-}{2-}), or 8-7-5-4-A (made with {A-}{4-}), as examples.

WSOP Mixed Games Strategy: Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split (Eight-or-Better) 101
Therefore, while low holdings such as {3-}{2-}, {4-}{2-}, {5-}{3-}, and the like may look decent at first glance, they often contribute to second-best or worse low hands in multi-way pots.

Even {A-}{3-} and {A-}{4-} can be troublesome since they can be dominated by the {A-}{2-} holding for the low hand, but a starting hand containing {A-}{3-} or {A-}{4-} may have greater playability if the hand also provides for some flexibility with respect to the high hand (e.g., when the ace is paired, suited, or accompanied by a face card).

However, despite the star potential of the {A-}{2-} holding, when the board happens to contain an ace or deuce and a low hand or draw is possible, the value of the {A-}{2-} hand decreases significantly. Hands that would otherwise have been mediocre for the low hand portion of the pot can be elevated in status.

For example, if you hold {A-}{2-} and the flop happens to contain an ace such as {A-Spades}{5-Clubs}{7-Spades}, the player holding {3-}{2-} (to make a low hand of 7-5-3-2-A) will now hold the best possible low hand thus far. And, depending on the other cards in your hand and the number of opponents involved, you could be left with a mere pair of aces and a tenuous holding for the high hand at best.

Since the appearance of an ace or a deuce on the board can adversely affect the ability of an {A-}{2-} holding to make strong low hands, a backup low card, such as a trey or a four, to go along with an {A-}{2-} holding, is extremely valuable. This will provide some insurance against the possibility that an ace or a deuce will appear on the board to nullify your low hand, which can be especially painful if it happens on the turn or river after you thought you had the low hand portion of the pot locked up on the flop (when that happens, your low hand is said to be “counterfeited”).

3. Tight play will generally be rewarded in pots that can be expected to be contested multi-way. However, adjustments will usually be warranted when play is short-handed, or in potential steal situations.

Holdings that include at least one {A-} and a {2-} and in which all four cards work together to make multiple, strong two-card combinations (that might be playable to make very strong low or high hands), represent excellent starting hands. However, there are certainly situations where loosening starting hand requirements will be justified.

For example, in short-handed matches, or in steal situations, you can expect opponents to hold strong starting hands less often. Therefore, second-to-nut and third-to-nut hands — whether for the low or high hand — are more likely to be sufficient to win at showdown.

Furthermore, in heads-up situations, when you manage to make a decent hand for both halves of a pot that is likely to be split, it will be rare for your opponent to hold the perfect combination of hole cards that will allow him or her to win the entire pot.

Starting hands containing {A-}{3-}, {A-}{4-}, and even {A-}{5-} become more playable in these situations, as they can make hands low enough to win the low hand portion of the pot, while simply pairing the ace may make a sufficiently competitive high hand. Suited aces and supporting Broadway cards can also add significant value to these starting hands.

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