Omaha Hi/Lo poker is one of the most widely-played split pot poker games across the globe. Before you learn any strategies about Omaha Hi/Lo, it is essential that you are well acquainted with the rules of Omaha, since the rules are the same for both the games. The only difference is that the pot is split between high and low ends. In Omaha Hi/lo, the low hand should be higher than 8. In case the game ends with no legitimate low hands, the pot will be won by the highest hand.
Omaha hi/lo strategies are centered on winning the whole pot. It would be foolhardy to say that a half pot is not acceptable. However, most winning players go for the entire pot more often than not. Scooping the pot requires an effective Omaha Hi/Lo strategy to win the lower end of the pot. At the same time, your Omaha Hi/Lo strategy requires that you know the strong starting hands.
Omaha Hi/Lo Strategy for the Low
Most players who havent played Omaha Hi/Lo a lot would be confused about the nut low. It is essential to understand that the straights and flushes have no effect on the low. Therefore, the best possible low that you can make is the Wheel 5432A. While determining what the most effective Omaha Hi/Lo strategy is, you also need to understand that the low hands will be ranked from the top to the bottom, which means a player who holds a 7432A (a 7 low) will lose to an opponent who has a 65432 (a 6 low). It is not surprising that players think that the former will win since it has an Ace as the lowest card.
Imagine a situation where a player has an AAA33 hand, while the opponent has a 6432A. This situation is a classic example of a split pot. The player with the AAA33 hand will win the high end, while the player with the 6432A will win the low end. However, the player with the 6432A has a nut low, meaning no other player can beat him in the low side. Imagine another scenario where a player has a full house with a KKQQQ, while there is no legitimate low hand. In this case, the entire pot goes to the player with the full house even when another player has a very good low hand.
Starting Hand Strategy in Omaha Hi/Lo
Basic starting hand strategy in Omaha Hi/Lo requires that you hold a very good starting hand. This means you need a hand that is good enough to scoop the entire pot. Hands that cannot make a low cannot scoop the pot, which means a strong starting hand like AKQJ or JT98 will have to split the pot with a low hand.
One of the best Omaha Hi/Lo strategies is to play tight. Selecting a strong starting hand is critical to your winning chances. And you need to be extremely patient to make a hand that can hit a nut low. Hence, hands that look very good at the outset, like an A49T, should be dumped because they cannot make a nut low.
In Omaha Hi/Lo, the best starting hand is AA23 double-suited. At the same time, you will be well served with hands like A234, AAxx, A2xx, A345, A36K, 2345, KQ23, etc. An effective Omaha Hi/Lo strategy is to be cautious about the A3-hands. Winning players make sure that they are in control while playing these hands. It might appear good. However, it can lose you a lot of bets when it makes the second nut low.
The Ace Strategy in Omaha Hi/Lo
In Omaha Hi/lo, the Ace is a very important card. It can work for both the high and low sides of the pot. It can make a nut low and is also a great kicker for the high side. In fact, a lot of good poker players believe that the Ace is indispensable in Omaha Hi/Lo games and that no hand can be played without an ace. If you are a beginner, the best Omaha Hi/Lo strategy for hands is to fold when you do not have an Ace.
Position in Omaha Hi/Lo
Position also plays a very important role in Omaha Hi/Lo, often as important as in Texas Holdem. Hence, an effective Omaha Hi/Lo strategy with regard to position is to know when to play marginal hands. For instance, a hand like JJ24 has to be played in a late position when the pot hasnt been raised.