NL Omaha Hi/lo Strategy

How about some of you Poker Champions give us some advice on learning to play this game well.

I don’t play it much though someone told me the best starting hand for Omaha hilo is AA22 suited.

AA23 suited gives more chances of getting top low. Also a better chance of a low straight.

NOT AA22, dbl suited, but AA23 dbl suited, with AA2K dbl suited close behind

Suited Aces are always good. Both High and Low possibilities are desirable. Avoid stragglers (i.e., hands where one or more of your cards is/are is/are isolated from your other cards). Avoid 9’s. Don’t chase straights when flushes are possible. A big bet on the river almost always means the nuts. Pre-flop raising should be avoided unless you have the very best possible starting hands. Don’t bet the nut low unless you have a good high as well. Play like this and you will be a world class chump, like me…

The worst starting hand you should play is A2XXo, lo and 9JQKo hi. Any worse hand should not be played in hi/lo. Needless to say, the flop is everything. All other hands should be abandoned. All in my humble opinion.


keep in mind the best payoff is a winning hand not lo. lo pot splits a lot more often then a winning hand. Its not uncommon to win a lo hand and lose money. Main thing to remember is be patient like all forms of poker your not going to win every hand wait for your winning hand.

I’ve had that exact hand twice and lost both times… Stuff happens…

The only advice I ever got on this game is “It’s a lot harder than it looks”…

That has turned out to be true in my case… Nevertheless I think it’s more
fun - for free - than any of the other games played here…

Try to play hands that have both opportunities to win hi and lo – you want to scoop the whole pot if possible. It is my opinion, that this is the one game that you want to see every flop when the blinds are low. Pay attention to the situations that might get you quartered. Understand when you have the nut. This is the hardest game for me to win at in multi player tournaments.

Back here in the mountains, we have an old saying, 'You can’t teach an old dog new tricks". Although the AA22 or AA2K would be the ideal starting hand, sitting and waiting for those would be a new trick for me and that dog just won’t hunt. Also another one would be “Don’t skate on thin ice”. After playing here for 3 years and in the process of also learning what little I have about NL Hi/Lo, it seems that expect thin ice each and every time you sit in on a table. Most of all play it to have fun, be nice to all try not to get upset when you lose a million chips because you did something just plain dumb. Although Replay Poker gets ragged out when we are losing, always be thankful that they provide a fun and friendly place for us to get together and gripe about things we don’t like, still looking for ways to improve my game

Mike Cappelletti, arguably the best Omaha High Low player who ever sat down to play wrote the strategical guide on how to play and win at High Low. “If you know what you are doing,” he wrote, “you can win more money playing Omaha High Low than any other poker game; that’s why it is my game of choice.” The name of the book is How To Win At OMAHA HIGH-LOW POKER.

You can buy a used copy at Amazon for a buck; the postage will be another $3.

This is the real deal.



My strategy is to bet preflop when I have A2A3 usually pot or more to at least make some of the field fold especially the ones in the blind. This way when things fall into place I have a better chance of winning the hand or at least splitting it.

I’m just learning this silly game, but here’s what I have learned so far…

You mostly want to play hands that can win both high and low, as has been mentioned. If you find yourself heads up with a one way hand, don’t build a huge pot, even with the nuts. If you chop the pot, you don’t get your money back, you get your money back minus the 5% rake.

Almost all hands worth playing contain an ace, ideally suited. If you are double suited, all the better.

Look for hands that contain an ace plus 2 wheel cards. You normally want that ace, plus at least 2 good low cards in case the board counterfiets you. For example, on a 234KQ board, your A2KK hand is no good for low.

Avoid hands such as 5678, or other middle holdings. If you make low, you will usually lose to a better low, and if you make a straight, you will often lose to a better straight. Hands like this just aren’t worth playing.

The real game starts with the flop, there’s just too much that can go wrong on the flop to make big moves preflop. For example, a double suited A23K is a decent hand, but becomes almost worthless on a 23J wrong suit type flop. Make your moves after you see the flop.

Getting quartered sucks. You will tie for low more than you will for high. You will tie for high with straights more than with any other high hand. You will never tie with a flush. You will lose chips (because of the rake) if you get quartered in a 4 way pot. There’s really no way to avoid getting quartered, but in those situations where it’s likely, try not to build a huge pot.

That’s all I can think of right now. If any experienced players think I’m wrong about any of this, please let me know. As I said, I’m new to the game and want to learn.

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Mike Cappelletti, arguably the best Omaha High Low player who ever sat down to play… He also said repeatedly “Only a madman would play Omaha Hi-Lo No Limit.” Since that is virtually the only version of the game always available here, that’s what we play. I have come to both agree and disagree with him. If there are players trying to bingo their way to stardom by going all in preflop every hand, the correct response is almost always to fold. On the other hand, if you can see the flop for a reasonable price, and can read your opponents even a little for which way they are betting, you can do fairly well. The Pot Limit games tend to be far more rational. The whole game is situational depending on the flop and how if fits–or doesn’t fit–your hand. And, bluffing seldom works unless you’re heads-up. My copy of How to Win at Omaha High-Low Poker is about 4 feet from my elbow as I sit here typing; good book. GL at the tables. Ron (Alan25main)

I am new to poker, I like omaha hi/lo the best BUT I do not know if when it comes to lo if i have 2345 etc, and op has ace 2,345 with an ace on board if my cards would be eligible for the low (using the ace on board??? any help would be appreciated

Are we discussing strategy for live games or on the website? There is no strategy required to play on this site because everyone plays poor hands. You can have your ideal A2A3 double suited and reraise a raiser and still get 5 callers. Odds are against you and you still lose with the best hand…most times.

This is wonderful advice for live games…but not to be applied for online gaming.

If you play that hand in live games…you’d do better…lol

This is simply not true. It is equivalent to saying you will lose most of the time with AA in Texas.

Here are the odds of one such random hand where Hand 1 is AA23 double suited and all hands go to the river:

Hand 1
wins HI: 1686 (33.72%)
ties HI: (0%)
wins LO: 1531 (30.62%)
ties LO: 43 (0.86%)
scoops: 1345 (26.9%)
equity: 41.77%
Hand 2
wins HI: 753 (15.06%)
ties HI: 96 (1.92%)
wins LO: 88 (1.76%)
ties LO: (0%)
scoops: 410 (8.2%)
equity: 12.93%
Hand 3
wins HI: 721 (14.42%)
ties HI: 120 (2.4%)
wins LO: 449 (8.98%)
ties LO: (0%)
scoops: 435 (8.7%)
equity: 15.47%
Hand 4
wins HI: 842 (16.84%)
ties HI: 56 (1.12%)
wins LO: (0%)
ties LO: (0%)
scoops: 584 (11.68%)
equity: 14.62%
Hand 5
wins HI: 858 (17.16%)
ties HI: 20 (0.4%)
wins LO: 243 (4.86%)
ties LO: 43 (0.86%)
scoops: 422 (8.44%)
equity: 15.23%

The best hand yields the best return no matter how loose the other play may be.