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Omaha High Low Poker Starting Hands. Part I

Omaha Hi Lo Fundamentals

Selecting Starting Hands in Omaha Hi-Lo Poker. The 1st Part

In choosing starting hands for Omaha high-low split the low part is of great importance. Let’s make a few examples.

Omaha split starting hands and drawing opportunities with a typical flop, say K-8-7

1. Ahearts Qhearts Jdiamonds 3clubs.
The hand is awful. You don’t have the possibility of drawing nuts. You need two on the flop in order to have good drawing hand for low. Playing of this hand on the flop is the same as giving away your money for nothing.

2. Ahearts Qspades Jdiamonds 2clubs.
You draw to low nuts but further ace or two will destroy your chances for low. If I were you I could call one bet on the flop but wouldn’t like to be involved in a hot fight for the pot, since the most I can get in this case is one quarter of the pot.

3. Ahearts Qspades 3diamonds 2clubs.
It is a lot better because any small card gives you low nuts and either five or smaller is a hand drawing to a wheel.

On the following examples we see some pattern appearing quite often in Omaha split. Your hand’s flexibility has to be able to deal with surprises. It is especially useful in games for low until one of your nut cards of low hand sees a pair on the board after opening a new card. If it happens it is you who are lucky and not your opponent.

We want to give some probabilities of successful completing low hand drawing still expecting two cards.

cardsIf you have A-2 and a pair of high cards then your chances for any low with two small board cards are 59% and your chances for low nuts are about 49%. If ace or two gets a pair on the board – you don’t have nuts. If you have A-3-2 and one high card, you will complete your low in 72% of cases and your chances for nut low are over 69%.

The key card of a starting hand in Omaha high-low split game is ace, since it is the top and the bottom card. There are few playable hands without aces.

The only good starting hands without aces are the ones from nine up plus if you get the board support on the flop then appearing of low is not likely and you have chances to take the whole pot. Let’s discuss how the eight-or-higher strategy aimed at the whole pot influences our choice of starting hands.

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