Omaha h/l Poker Strategy in a HORSE Game


The high-low games in HORSE are my favorites and Omaha being the first one, we will take a short look at that today. There are actually a number of starting hands that you can play in Omaha h/l depending upon your position, chip stack, point in the tournament, etc. Obviously a hand like A-A-2-3 double suited is a nice place to start, but you can get by with playing a pretty wide range.

First off, don’t make the mistake of falling in love with any hand containing A-2. Yes, that is great for a low, but many times there is no low hand. Or a 2 comes on the flop. Now what? Now you end up losing chips if you have committed too many already. Many players make the mistake of playing way too hand when they are dealt A-2. You are looking for hands that give you a shot to sweep the entire pot, not split it.A-2-X-X double suited. A-2-3-X, A-2-4-k double suited, etc etc.  Barring that, you are actually better off with a hand that gives you a great shot at the high pot because there is complete certainty that a high pot will occur. Not so with the low pot.

So, hands that are double suited, especially with an Ace-suited, are fine to play. Hands like K-Q-J-T can play very well. 5-6-7-9 or something like that as well, suited is better, but not necessary. Just remember, if you are not suited, if that flush draw hits, get out. Somebody has it. Online players will play any suited cards in Omaha h/l even more than NL Holdem.

Do not get carried away with high hands where you are dealt something like Q-Q-X-X or K-K-X-X. A high pair seldom wins pots in Omaha and even A-A-X-X is not the greatest thing in the world. I have seen many hands where someone went to the wall with A-A only to have the board pair up 2 of his opponents junk cards and his A-A lost to 2-pair. Worse, you might be playing for only 1/2 the pot if the low hand hits.

DO NOT play hands that contain trips. J-J-J-X, 8-8-8-X etc are worthless and will only get you into trouble. I also don’t get real excited to play a  hand where I have 3 or 4 suited cards, as it just makes it that much tougher for me to draw to a flush with 1 or 2 of the cards I need already ‘dead’ in my hand.

Omaha h/l is a very fun and sometimes frustrating game and there are a lot of ways to play it. I tend to play tighter in my starting requirements depending on the table I am sitting at. If I can limp a lot and I know I don’t have to commit many chips (as a lot of times will happen in limit games with fairly novice players) then I will play a wide range of hands. Otherwise, I am looking for hands that give me a chance at both pots and otherwise doing a lot of folding.

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