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Omaha Hi-Lo Basic Strategy

Omaha Hi-Lo is an interesting and complex game, but one that because of that very nature offers some basic and easy strategies to come ahead in the long run. Because of all the cards in play, and the fact that often times there are two winning hands and the pot will split, a lot of action is created in Omaha Hi-Lo, and even the best pros in the world disagree vastly on strategies, sometimes even offering conflicting advice.

Because of the activeness of Omaha Hi-Lo, you will never find a game with more bad hands being played, and even raised on, all the way to the river, or even after they are beaten. Because of this, logic dictates that you only play very strong hands. Because of the sheer number of players who don't even understand the basics of what they're doing (or who only know to raise on A-2 and nothing else), if you play an extremely conservative game of Omaha Hi-Lo and keep yourself from chasing, you will always come out ahead in the long run.

The best hand mathematically is A-2-3-4, because it will win a piece of the pot over 40% of the time, which is astounding, because it gives you all the plays on the best low hand as well as straight cards, and if the ace is suited with only one other card, that still leaves decent flush possibilities. Basically any hand with A-2 is playable because it gives you a good shot at the low. A very good hand is one that gives you a good chance at the high and low. So A-2-K-3 with the A-2 suited and the K-3 suited is a great hand because you have a shot at two high flushes, the two highest straight cards, and the three lowest cards. This gives you a great shot with most flops to make something out of your hand.

In a game of Hi-Lo, you never want to be scooped. Scooped is where you miss out on both hands and get nothing back, that's why having a hand that can go after the high and the low is so important. Four high straight cards like A-K-Q-J are also worth playing because if the low hand misses completely on the flop, the high hand will take the whole pot. You only want the strongest hands. Do not play anything that is "kind of" strong, "decently" strong, or "fairly" strong. These are the hands that will end up getting scooped the most often.
 

Omaha Hi-Lo

Because of the action in Omaha Hi-Lo, you can play ultra-conservative and still rest assured that when you play, you will still see action, and that's the key. Why go in weak when they will still call you when you're strong? Always look for A-2 or A-2-3, or high straight cards. Suited is better than not (and only two cards suited is fine, but don't chase a low flush--it will be beat) as well as straight cards. A-2-K-J and A-2-7-8 are both much better hands than A-3-9-7. Don't play because it looks like there might be something; that's how you give away your money.

Play ultra-conservative, bide your time, and push hard when you hit your hand to cash in. Play like that, and you will be amazed how much your chip stack can improve, even with only two or three hands an hour. Let players and pros argue over strategy, just play like a rock and in the long run you will come out ahead.

Here's our Online Poker Articles 1, 2, 3


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