Omaha hi-lo can be a dizzying game if you are not used to it. With two opposing, possible winning options and trying to build a hand from four hole cards and five community cards, you have to keep your wits about you at all times.
Here we endeavour to make life that little bit easier, providing some helpful hints at what Omaha hi-lo hands are worth playing, and which hands are absolute poison that should be avoided like the plague. The greatest weapon in a game of poker is knowledge and once we’ve broken down what’s what you will confidently be able to traverse the seemingly daunting and sinister world that is Omaha hi-lo split.
The Best Hand
While every thoroughbred Omaha player may have their own personal favorite hand, A, A, 2, 3 (double suited), is the best hand to be armed with in Omaha hi-lo.
Now let us just have a look at what makes this such an effective hand, baring in mind that in Omaha hi-lo, each player must use exactly two of their hole cards and three community cards to construct either a winning hi hand or a winning lo hand, Aces are high and low, and a lo hand can only quality with an 8-7-6-5-4 or lower.
- You are sporting a pair of Aces, which is primo no matter which poker derivative you are playing.
- Double suited gives you two possible flush draws.
- A-2 or 2-3 gives you two possible straight draws which can result in a hi win and a lo win.
- Having the baby cards of A-2-3 has you in a very good position to also take the Lo pot.
Other strong hands
Generally speaking, Aces are premium, considering they are high and low and can help you win either side or both sides of a possible hi-lo pot.
Double suited low cards such as an Ace and Three of Hearts and a Deuce and Five of Clubs has you primed for two possible flush draws, a low straight flush, a low straight and a look at splitting the pot and taking the lo hand.
A combination of low cards and high cards can be advantageous too, because then you are covering both ends of the spectrum. A hand like A-K-4-2 with two of those cards suited would have you sitting pretty with a plethora of possible hands.
Unsuited middle hands can be an absolute grenade in Omaha hi-lo. J,9,8,6 unsuited is a train wreck. Sure you might be able to struggle a straight out of it, but there is nothing really on here. No flush. No high pair. No real lo winning hand. You should fold mid-range hands like this with extreme prejudice.
As odd and unlikely as it might sound, having quads (four of a kind) is the worst possible hand in Omaha hi-lo (the lower the four same ranked cards the worse, with four Deuces being the absolute worst). The best you can do with four of a kind is create a pair, so it is impossible to make the hand low. It is also not possible to make three or four of a kind, you have no chance for a flush, and any player with any matching card to the board automatically makes a higher pair than you.
So as special as it may look to be clutching a quad, give it a miss, even four Aces. Also, four suited cards (each card with the same suit), makes it less likely to create a flush.
Obviously, notes pointed here are not written in stone. A win can sometimes be manufactured outside of the cards you are concealing from the rest of the table. Can you bluff you way to a win? Can you be bluffed out of a win? What are the community cards? Who are you playing against? These are just some of the things you must take into account when playing Omaha hi-lo split.
Where to play Omaha hi-lo split online
Omaha hi-lo is available to play at cash tables, sit ‘n go tables or in tournaments with the following trusted poker sites. Each site’s sign up or welcome bonus is included for your convenience.
- 888Poker.com offers up to $888 in bonus cash when you register.
- PokerStars.com offers up to $600 in matched deposit bonuses.
- FullTilt.com offers up to $600 in matched deposit bonuses.