Todo… Nada… All or Nothing

Going all-in is definitely one of my favourite moves in poker.

Omaha Poker

Omaha Split

Since in this game the pot is to split into two parts, the strategy should be base on the goal to win not the half, but the entire pot. Thus, the evaluation of the hands should be totally different. Aces are very valuable here since they can play both high and low. A good starting hand in Omaha should contain an ace and a card lower than 5, 2 is preferable.  An ace and 2 give the best low expectation. One of the best starting hands could be, for example, ace of diamonds, king of spades, 3 of spades, and 3 of diamonds. These cards give a chance for two strong flushes as well as a chance for the best low. An advantageous situation is to have already formed a high combination during the flop and to expect the low. What strategy you are going to choose depends on the style of the play at the table. If there are mostly aggressive players there, you should also play aggressively in order to make the pot bigger. To win the half of the bank is more important when there are more than 3 4 players. In case you play against very conservative and not many players, you need to use some techniques that you won’t use in other cases. When your opponents play conservatively and they enter the flop, that means they expect to form good high as well as low combinations. In that case, the only right low hand to enter the game is an ace and 2.  And since most of the players’ goal is to get the entire pot, they probably won’t form the high combinations. Here, in contrast to the normal Omaha, most probably the high combination that wins half of the pot would be a pair or two pairs.

So, in case you have a complete low hand and you have good expectations for the high one, you can enter the game and in some cases, you can even bluff. As it was mentioned above, the effectiveness of bluffing is proportional to the number of players in the pot.  When the pot involves a large number of players, bluffing makes no sense. It can make sense if you play against two or three players. For example, if the community cards give you good low expectations – the flop is the king of diamonds, three of hearts, and four of spades. Activity during the pre-flop gives us reason to believe that the opponent has an ace and a two. But the turn and the river are, for example, 9 and 10 of different suits. None of the opponents managed to form the low combination and the pot is taken by the player with the highest combination. The information we have gives us reason to think about bluffing since if the opponent counted on the low combination, most probably has not a strong high combination. Thus, the number of possible hands of the opponent is reduced. Of course, the last statement cannot be absolutely correct. Bluffing is not one of the preferable techniques for Omaha, but in some cases, it is acceptable for Hi /Lo.  It is to be used only when you have reliable information about your opponents’ style of playing and you managed to read the hands. Based on the above mentioned, it is possible to formulate the general rules for a successful game in Omaha Hi /Lo. 

The main goal should be to try to form a hand that could win the whole pot, not only the half. This principle should a decisive factor in choosing the starting hand and the strategy after the flop. These principles are very important when you play with a small number of opponents.
Omaha Hi /Lo is one of the most complicated variants of poker. In order to play successfully, you need to know a lot, you need to learn how to analyze the situations well, and you need to use the right techniques. The ability to win in this type of poker is a great skill, indeed.

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