Omaha High-Low Hands
In this section you'll find lists of the universal best and worst starting hands for Omaha High-Low, as well as information on trap hands and how to play them.
The Best Starting Hands
Following is a list of the universal best starting hands for Omaha High-Low poker, starting with the best hand on down to the final hand. If you do not already know them, commit them to memory before you play in your first online or offline game of Omaha High Low poker.
Ace-Ace-Two-Three, double-suited (As-Ad-2s-3d)
Ace-Ace-Two-Three, with one Ace suited (As-Ad-2s-3h)
Ace-Ace-Two-Three, with no suited cards (As-Ad-2c-3h)
Ace-Ace-Two-Four, double-suited (As-Ad-2s-4d)
Ace-Ace-Two-Four, with one Ace suited (As-Ad-2s-4h)
Ace-Ace-Two-Four, with no suited cards (As-Ad-2c-4h)
Ace-Ace-Two-Five, double-suited (As-Ad-2s-5d)
Ace-Ace-Two-Five, with one Ace suited (As-Ad-2s-5h)
Ace-Two-Three-Four, preferably with an Ace suited (As-2d-3s-4c)
There are also several other types of hands that are very playable; you should at least see the flop before deciding whether to continue playing your hand. The hands would consist of A-A-2-5 suited, A-2-3-5 with a suited Ace, A-2-3-K, A-2-4-K, and A-2-5-K, all with a suited A-K, and A-2-5-Q with a suited A-Q.
Although many people feel that a hand like A-A-K-K should never be played when playing Limit Omaha High-Low, because any hand full of paint, even if suited, should be deemed unplayable, others feel that a hand like that is worth seeing a flop with because if there's no low you have a good chance of winning the pot.
When you have a monster hand it means you are holding a very dangerous hand and that your opponents should be very careful. An example of this would be if you were holding an As-Ac-Kd-3c. The flop is Ad-Kc-2c. You have a set of Aces, a pair of Kings, and four cards to the nut club flush. And not just any club flush — you are on a royal club flush draw and the nut low draw.
When you hold As-Ad-Ks-2d and the flop is Ah-Kc-3s, you are holding a monster hand. You have a set of Aces and the best possible nut low, A-2-3-4-6. No matter what happens on the turn and the river, you know that, at the very least, you will be getting a piece of the low end of the pot and that you have a very good chance of taking the high end should you back into a flush or make your full house (if the board pairs).
The Worst Starting Hands
If you can imagine similar flops for each of the following examples, it will be easier for you to feel more confident when you begin to play Omaha High-Low online. There are many bad starting hands. Following are just a few examples that give you the gist of what not to get in the habit of playing if you want to win at this game.
Be aware of the danglers. Danglers are cards that do nothing to help your hand in any way. When you are playing in any poker game with four starting cards, you want all four of your cards to be able to form several different hands to ensure that your hand is the winner on the river.
You should never call on the flop with only a high draw when the flop shows two low cards and you haven't paired any of the high cards. Calling in the hope of something developing on the turn and the river is a quick way to financial disaster.
If you only want to play the high cards, then be sure that they are all high with no danglers. An example of a dangler hand could be Ks-Kd-Js-2c. The Deuce of clubs is the dangler. It is useless to your hand unless the flop looks like 2-2-2-x, with the x being anything, but don't count on getting that.
Trap Hands and How to Play Them
Sometimes starting hands that initially appear strong can lose their value quickly as you observe the action around the table. Such hands usually contain two face cards, K-Q-A-x, with the x being a 7, 8, 9, or 10, and most inexperienced players will call any raises before the flop with these types of hands.
You know you are trapped when you have a piece of the board but feel that you are beat. And you probably are if you are up against multiple opponents. Here are the most common trap hands:
Now you are probably wondering, “Why is the 2-3-4-5 hand considered a trap hand?” And you're probably thinking that you'd play that hand every time it's dealt to you. So let's take a look and see why it can be a royal trap and a possible disaster. The only conceivable reason you would want to play this hand is in the hope that an Ace will flop. But what if it doesn't? What if the “flop” looks like this: K-4-5?
Now, if the Ace comes on the turn, you'll have the nut low, right? So the action begins around the table and you see a call, and a raise, and a re-raise.
Do you hang in there and take one more card off the deck just to see the turn card?
Knowing when to hold them and knowing when to fold them applies in any game of poker. So if you are willing to absorb the cost — and make no mistake about it, this hand will cost you dearly, especially if that elusive Ace never appears on the board — then by all means call, or even raise, to see if the poker gods really do hear your prayers.
What does it mean when a player takes one more card off?
When you take one more card off the deck, you are taking the next card, after the burn card, off the top of the deck. This is usually the turn card; however, in offline games you will hear this referred to as the river card, too. And even though you will often hear it on the turn card, if a player does not get his Ace, he will probably call all bets in the hope that he gets there on the river. Ergo, he has trapped himself.
But on the flip side, don't kill the messenger if, after you did the right thing and folded, an elusive Ace lands on the river, which would have given you a piece, if not all, of the nut low.
Only four Aces are in a deck. If there are five callers in the hand, it is safe to assume that if you do not have an Ace, and there are no Aces on the board, then four of your five callers may have an Ace in their hands. The wise course of action is to fold after the flop if you got involved in this type of hand in the first place.