When new players stumble across the game of Omaha Poker, the most challenging aspect for them is trying to figure out what hand they hold, not to mention what your opponent has. That’s because in Omaha Poker you start out with four hole cards, instead of two in Texas Hold’em, so right off the bat there’s more to comprehend.
It may seem obvious, but with nine cards being dealt, instead of the seven in Texas Hold’em, Omaha Poker can take some time to figure out. Throw in the Hi-Lo versions of the game, and it gets even trickier.
Hi-Lo Omaha Poker, especially if you’re a rookie, is a game where you should always let the dealer call your hand at the time of the showdown. With so many combinations available, you want to make sure you’re not mucking cards you should be playing.
With five community cards dealt in both Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker, the differences may at first seem slight. But there’s an entirely different strategy that must be employed when making the switch, and because you can only play two of the four cards in Omaha, deception sets in right away.
If you are dealt four 10s, you really only have a pair with no chance to hit trips (because you have the other two 10s in your hand). If you start an Omaha hand with four suited cards, you really only have two suited cards, and your potential flush is damaged by having those other suited cards.
Since you’re starting Omaha Poker with four cards, which yield six combinations right off the bat, you may think you’ll be playing more hands. In fact, you should be more cautious. If you’re at a table with nine other players, that’s 54 combinations you will be facing, making it wise to tread carefully when choosing which hands to play. Playing too many starting hands tends to be a common mistake for beginner online Omaha Poker players.
Since Omaha can be played in a Hi-Lo version, it can make the game more complex than Texas Hold’em. With this in mind, follow some simple rules to avoid confusion.
Limit playing high hands to when you’re holding a combination of 9s and higher. Only play the low hands when you have A-2, A-3 or 2-3. Fold most hands that include a 6, 7 or 8.
Limit your play after the flop, but when you hit a good hand play aggressively. Since someone will likely have the nuts after the flop, make sure you have enough outs if you’re going to stick around.
Bluff infrequently in Omaha, and play hands that have a chance to scoop the entire pot (both the low and high pots in a Hi-Lo game). And finally, raising from late position is dangerous in Omaha because more players will hang around to see the flop. Only raise from a late position if you are quite certain you have the best hand.