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Arrow  Omaha H/L Strategies
Omaha differs from Hold’em in two ways. Firstly,  each player is dealt four hole cards instead of two. And secondly, you must use precisely two of these hole cards when making your final hand.

The good news is that you can make use of six different combinations of hole cards when making a hand, providing a greater degree of certainty as to whether your hand will be a winner. Unlike Hold’em, which is a game of random accuracy, Omaha is a game of the nuts. When you’re dealt your hole cards, remember that you can win money with both the best high hand and the best low hand. But because of the range of hands that can be formed, you should be selective and play very few hands, that is an important point,  so get used to folding, folding and folding some more. Playing with hands other than those suggested here will, in the long run, land you in the mire.

Conversely, if you’re only playing starting hands with a high chance of paying off, you’ll want to raise when you do play a hand to get as much money into the pot as possible.

Strong starting hands that you should look to play on all occasions


Starting hands to play up to one raise

KQJ 10
QJ 10 9
KK 10 10

Unlike hold’em, in which there’s an inherent degree of randomness, Omaha is more a game of certainties where the outcome of most hands is known on the flop. If the flop comes down and you don’t have the nuts – or are drawing to the nuts – then get the hell out of dodge.

The Flop

As mentioned earlier, if you don’t have the nuts or a draw to the nuts, then get out. Don’t spend time, or even more importantly your money, playing or chasing second best… it’ll only end in tears.

Here’s a piece of useful advice; watch out for The Straight on Flop Trap (or SOFT for short), as these hands can be pure evil… you have been warned. Let’s illustrate by example. The flop comes 6d, 7d, 8c and you’re holding 9c, 10h, Ah, Kc, so whoppee-do you’ve hit the straight. But before you chuck your car keys into the middle and risk the shirt off your back because you’ve hit the nut straight, think about it. Any diamond will give someone a flush, and any 9 or 10 and it’s odds-on that someone’s going to have a higher straight than you. Also, it’s almost a certainty that someone’s made the low hand, which means you only stand to win half the pot anyway. And you could end up losing that too, so be careful.

Low draws on the flop can equal high hopes. If you’re holding a hand such as A234 and only one low card appears on the flop, unless you have a draw to a decent high hand too (such as an Ace high flush), then it’s probably best to bin it. Conversely, if two low cards appear on the flop, pump your money into the middle, especially if you hit the nut low and have redraws to a strong high too!

Similarly, if you have a high hand with no possibility of a low and the board looks like it’s giving a low, then only stay in if your high hand is exceptionally good. If it’s not, or you’re not sure, then get out.

The turn

Come the turn, you should have a very good idea as to whether or not you still have the winning hand, so it’s a simple matter of now betting accordingly. For example, if you have the nuts then don’t hang about, get your cash in the pot. If you don’t, be very careful indeed.

The river

Now excuse what may be an unfortunate turn of phrase, but if you don’t have the nuts then don’t act all macho. If there’s action on the river and you’re not holding either the nut high or nut low, then nine times out of ten it pays to bin it. Don’t let your commitment to the hand convince you that you have a chance of winning. Be brave, throw it away and live to fight another day.

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