Omaha Hi


Experince in Texas Hold’em partially may help after the Flop, but the most important aspect for a successful game in Omaha is the evaluation of the starting hand.
Most players overestimate their pocket cards and make wrong decisions regarding entering the game or the amount of the wager. For instance, a hand like King of diamonds, King of hearts, 8 of spades and 3 of clubs is quite low no matter that there is a strong pair. A pair of Kings in your pocket cards in Texas Hold’em is considered an extremely strong hand, but in Omaha any hand consisting of two useless cards is not valuable. If the 3 or the 8 are of the same suit with the Kings, or instead of the 8 you have 9, the hand will be much stronger. In Omaha the starting hand should have much more options for improving during the Flop. Exactly the same situation as in the previous example arises in cases when player sees in his pocket cards, two good hands for Texas Hold’em. For instance, Ace of spades, Queen of diamonds, 7 of hearts and 7 of clubs may look very attractive to a player since it has two very strong starting hands.
With Ace of spades and Queen of diamonds or a pair of 9s, of course, in most cases you should enter the flop when you play Texas Hold’em. However, in Omaha there are six possible starting hands, and in order to evaluate the situation right during the pre –flop, you need to consider all these variants. In the above mentioned hands we may use Ace of spades and Queen of diamonds;  Ace of spades and 7 of hearts; Ace of spades and 7 of clubs; Queen of diamonds and 7 of hearts; Queen of diamonds and 7 of clubs; and 7 of hearts and 7 of clubs. None of these combinations has a chance to form a flush since suits don’t match and only with the Ace of spades and the Queen of diamonds you have a little chance to form a straight. You need to know that in Omaha the value of the hands is lower and even straight is not stronger than three community cards of one suit. Thus, in Omaha, with a hand like the afore mentioned, you should better fold.

The key to the evaluation of the starting hands is to analyze all possible combinations of two cards that can be used. The more these combinations are acceptable for entering the game, the higher is the value of the hand. The most valuable hand is the one that allows you to play with the all six combinations. For instance, your hand is: A king of diamonds, a queen of hearts, a jack of diamonds and a 10 f hearts. This is a great hand for Omaha since all cards correspond to each other. A good flop can give you the opportunity to form a straight. In this case you will have two pairs, which can be transformed into straight and a lot of flush draws are possible as well. Hand like this, even if it does not form a straight or flush during the flop, has a lot of outs. You can also consider a strong hand the hand containing good pairs, when the suits of rest of the cards are suitable or there is a probability to form a straight. For instance, your hand is: an ace of spades, an ace of diamonds, 10 of spades and 9 of diamonds. This is a very strong hand since it can help you form two of the best flushes and several straights not to mention that you can get a third ace during the flop. This is a potential full house or four of a kind. A good flop for this hand can bring a lot of outs. Never forget that without proper evaluation of the starting hands, you cannot achieve good results. Let’s see another example. You hand is: 4 of spaded, 4 of hearts, 3 of diamonds and 3 of clubs. This is a very weak hand and the best thing is to fold.

Always remember that you play with 4 cards and don’t make mistakes when you evaluate your hand. Omaha Hi is a very simple game compared to Hi /Lo and to choose the right strategy is simple enough. In most cases is a good idea to play aggressively when you have a strong hand and to stay in the game with a hand which has a good potential. It is very important to know what cards you need to buy. Never forget that in Omaha hands have lower value than in other poker games. Another common mistake is to show much aggression with a formed combination during the flop or the turn. In case the flop helped you to form a straight, but it has two cards of one suit, don’t forget that your hand is weak since it can be beaten by a flush. In case that after the river you have the strongest possible flush, but there is a pair on the table, be very careful. There is a probability one of your opponents to have a full house. So, in order to play successfully in Omaha, you need to evaluate right your starting hands as well as to concentrate on forming the best possible combinations and in most cases you need to avoid using the standard poker techniques like bluffing and slow play.

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