Omaha Discussion!

This is a general open Omaha Discussion thread and not specifically about strategy.

Recently I started watching some Phil Galfond challenges on YouTube. I’m fairly certain its all HU - Omaha, which is a little surprising to me simply bc Hold’em seems a lot more popular even though IMO Omaha generally is a “better” game. It’s a good watch & inspired me to play Omaha - a game I have never bothered to learn. Some questions & problems arise though:

1) Why is Omaha high/low so much more popular? I cant find any games of normal Omaha on RP only PLO. I would rather start & learn to play normal NL Omaha first. High/low seems to complicate an already more difficult game than holdem.

Apparently Omaha is significantly higher variance compared to Hold’em. I would guess that the high/low rule would reduce the variance somewhat although maybe Im completely wrong and it has the opposite effect. If it (hi/low) does reduce variance it makes a little sense to choose it for this intended reason. I would guess that most Omaha players choose the game over Hold’em and also the high/low variant simply bc of preference for that particular game play (fun factor) with no thought, consideration or interest in managing or reducing variance.

So generally I’m guessing more Omaha players like the high/low variant better & consider it a better overall game. Does anyone prefer normal Omaha? I can only find 1 PL Omaha very low stakes game with 9 players on peak hours on RP.

2) Basic tips, strategy & how to play NLO high/low? I would rather learn normal Omaha & play that to start out, but its pointless learning and trying to find games no one is playing. I know AAKK double suited is the best starting hand in Omaha. What is the best starting hand in O H/L? I would guess AA23 double suited or AA45 double suited maybe?

Any basic tips, strategy & how to play NLO H/L please. I don’t even remember the low card cut off, but think it might be 8. I would guess low straights, and weak flushes might be more more valuable & less of a liability due to the ability to also make a low hand etc?

This is a general Omaha Discussion thread and not specifically strategy. I might start I Omaha H/L strategy thread later if I enjoy playing it enough & get more serious about improving my game.


Regular Omaha is a game of the nuts. If the board pairs and you see a lot of action, expect someone to have a boat or quads. If there are 3 to a flush on board, expect someone to have the nut flush. Anything less than the nuts, try to pot control.

PLO is a good way to learn when/why to build a pot and when to not inflate the pot.

In hi/lo, you should always be playing hands that can scoop. AA23 double suited is the best, followed by AA24, You need a chance to win both hi and low. In general, you want at least 3 wheel cards to minimize the chances of getting counterfeited. For example, A2KQ is worthless on a 234JJ board, but A25K has a good chance of winning at least one way.

There will be a qualifying low about 80% of the time.

Try to avoid putting in a lot of money where you can get quartered. Heads up, losing high and chopping low is a disaster. For example, if HU and you each have 2k in the pot, getting quartered means you take 1k out. It’s even worse if it’s a raked game. Even 4 way, getting quartered is less than break-even in a raked game. Because of this, it sometimes pays to fold the nut low on unpaired, no flush boards where you are seeing a lot of betting if you don’t have a good high.


Omaha is my favorite game so I will be weighing in on this subject. My suggestion is try to practice playing the freeroll or play/watch some of the tournaments to see what kind of hands win. I tend to prefer suited connectors and pocket pairs, but watching low stakes MTTs will often show you what others are betting on and what hands end up winning. In these games, most people tend to think they have the best hand or draw post flop and are willing to bet and raise until half the table is all in. Watching these hands can tell you what wins, and what people tend to bet on that often doesn’t win :slight_smile: I agree with SPG that omaha is all about the nuts. If you don’t have it, someone else probably does. Omaha teaches you how to read a board, so you know how likely you are to have the others beat. I’ve lost with quads on my first hand in an Omaha tourney, when my only caller, to my all in, hit a one outer to make an inside straight flush on the river, lol.

Here are a few tips since you are new to the game. First, remember that you have to use exactly 2 cards from your hand - this means a straight on the board doesn’t help you unless you have 2 cards to that straight, 3 suited cards on the board is actually more scary than 4, because 4 means there is less chance someone else has 2 of that suit, quads on the board means nobody has quads and the best boat will likely win, etc. Second, reading the board is the key to omaha. Relying on the hand strength on the flop will only make you overfold - they will tell you that you have Queen high, and you have to read the board well enough to determine if you can get there or not. If you have an OESD on a rainbow board post flop, chances are you will get there in the end, but go for the high end and let it go if it is the low end and/or bets get high (chances are, you are or will be beat). Third, the hand isn’t over until the river. You may have hit that straight, but the board paired along the way and somebody has a boat now. Recognize when you are beat.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more advice, when I’m not so tired :slight_smile: If you want to play some low stakes omaha rings, send me a friend request and we can set up a day/time. I am willing to show all my hands and try to explain how/why I play the way I do. However, as you know, I can only play omaha for 30 minutes to avoid a headache, on these new tables. Can resume play 30 minutes later though, to play another 30 minutes :slight_smile:


Thanks both for your input & tips, strategy.

Also neither of you commented on what game you prefer: PLO, normal Omaha or high\low. Why is H/L so popular on RP. I never even heard of H\L until RP. I’m surprised almost everyone on RP prefers H/L.

@SunPowerGuru I don’t mind starting with PLO but I think that might be normal Omaha, which I’d prefer to play as a start but there is very few players that play hence seems a waste of time learning. I’ll check the lobbies again later to be sure. I would prefer to play & invest my time playing H\L game and then decide if its a game I can enjoy.

That’s useful to know, important & higher than I expected. I guess on some boards or flops I can write off a low like if its a flop all above 8? A low qual hand requires 5 cards? I’m probably better off focusing on hand strength mostly to start with anyway.

Thanks for the starting hand strengths. As a noob winning the high and losing the low is frustrating & hand strength as mentioned & focusing on that will help me a lot Im sure. I’ll need to rewire hand strengths.

@bahia7: Thanks, playing freeroll sounds good. As I said there is no action or very little except H/L, so ill look for those games specifically. I like SnGs & ring, and it seems everyone plays H/L. Thanks ill send an friend request & in the next week maybe we can play & yes 30mins is more than enough playing Omaha atm. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yea & I think blockers are probably way more relevant & important. I think blockers are overrated, & not very relevant for the average player on RP Hold’em multiway pots.

I struggled to remember this the first time I gave Omaha a go a long time ago but I’ve it tattooed on my brain now.

I’m not sure how i’ll overcome this TBH. Some players are stupidly stubborn & optimistic with pocket pairs in Hold’em hoping to flop/turn/river a set & never folding. It seems more important to consider backdoor flush/straight or even quad draws in Omaha from watching Phil Galfond & expert commentators. Yea if I have nothing I do tend to fold a lot in Omaha especially considering the fact Im never bluffing in Omaha until I can actually play reasonably well.

I expect playing too tight, nitty & over folding will be something ill struggle with in Omaha.

Thanks for Tips i’ll send a FR & hopefully we can play in the next week.

Yeah, if the flop is all above 8, there can be no low. You need 3 lows on the board and 2 different ones in your hole. And yes, 5 cards, 2 of which must be hole cards. Hands like A234 are great because you will almost always have the nut low if low is out, and they can make straights too.

Pocket aces are good, not because you will often improve to get the best high, but because there is less of a chance for someone else to have the same low. Yes, they also have some value as a pair, but you won’t win many highs with one pair, and if the board pairs, you will usually be facing trips or better.

Another thing to remember in all forms of Omaha are the straight draws called “wraps.” A wrap is any straight draw where you have more than 8 outs. For example, say you have A345 and the flop is Q67. You will make a straight with any 3, 4, 5, or 8. As usual, you want to be careful if chasing the wrong end of a straight, and you don’t want to take a straight to a flush fight!

By the way, the best wraps have 20 outs! These happen when you have the 2 cards above and the 2 cards below 2 connected board cards. For example, you have 6, 7, 10, J on a board like 8, 9, 3. Here you would have 20 outs, and 14 of these would be the nut straight.

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thanks for “wrap” explanation. Whilst watching Galfond challenges when commentators mention wrap I guessed it was reference to blockers.

Strategy wise this is also meaningful too. I don’t expect it will be overly game changing to begin with but already I feel understanding this is a small boost that will help significantly later.

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Although it seems counter intuitive getting 4 cards to start, you should be folding more than you would in Hold’em. Bluffing should be a very rare play. As in any of these games, the fewer the players left the more of the lesser quality hands should be played. Although it doesn’t always happen, in a 9 player table figure someone has the nut. I just played an MTT game and saw the river twice in 30 minutes so wait- finished 16th( paid 15) because the position algorithm in this new format is not correct.

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I played this hand recently OH\L 4 way on the button calling min raise 6MAX: 625232461


Hand 625232461

Its a pretty weak hand with limited potential so its pointless raising, but its worth seeing a flop IMO and I like low cards to make a low hand.

The flop isn’t good with a flush draw & two high Broadway draw cards, but I decide to call a min BB bet, with a wheel draw. And good low hand draw. I’m still drawing to the nuts but dead to a flush and have a strong L hand.

The turn is a T offsuit completing a possible Broadway draw and I decide I’ve wasted enough chips & fold for 1 BB.

I still have what I consider a strong L hand draw on the turn.


I feel like the low hand is a liability and irritant to be considered on the side. I’m looking & focusing to make the best High hand all the time & trying to make sure my low hand is OKish. The high hand is obviously most important.

How do you conceptualise or weigh up your hand with consideration to H/L hand etc.

This is my default nit setting as someone who is not good at Omaha. I’m happy to play a wide range of hands in Hold’em & be loose and aggressive bc it works well, and I’m also playing 6/4 MAX games. Im not bluffing until Im decent at O H/L.

Yes 9Max games are too slow & boring, so i’ll stick to 6MAX. I tried to play two 6MAX O H/L tables and its difficult to keep up or even learn anything like that.

That’s not a hand I would be very excited about. You’re not strong either way.

In the tournaments I play, any raise is likely to be AA with at least 1 good low card. I’m guessing you are playing 6-max ring, so I dunno how they play. but I’m not calling the preflop raise.

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I basically play H/L as if I was playing normal Omaha. I make a few concessions in the hands I choose for the low, but mostly I am going for the high hand.


Thanks. Irritating no one plays normal Omaha.

Yes 6MAX ring. Yes I certainly wasn’t excited about it. They are Donks often throwing their stacks at tiny flop pots & 3 way calling etc. Its really up & down, and unfortunately players bust out and just leave. Not a lot to be learnt really. OFC its a hand I would almost certainly fold in a tournament and even in ring its poor.

Now I know why players hate "bingo."

Hold 'em was started because the same good poker players kept beating the same bad players over and over and over. So much so that everyone but the compulsive addicts just stopped playing. Hold ‘em was invented out of necessity to bring back the chasers and the dreamers. Just go all-in and pray for the 2 of clubs on the river, the only card that will help you. You’ll only hit it one out of 52 times, but the rush is addictive, especially to the addictive types. Sort of like a hole in one,
Of course eventually, the cream rose to the top, and they had the same problem. Hey, how about we give them 4 cards? Voila’, it worked. Not only did most of the dreamers and chasers come back, but quite a few bingo players started wandering in the door. Of course, most of them didn’t last long since Omaha is actually a lot more complicated than Hold 'em.
Now what? How about we do a Hi/Lo split? OMG, bingo parlors around the world had to close down, while poker rooms propped up everywhere. The rich still got richer, and the poor still got poorer, but the poor still kept chasing the 2 of clubs, now with dreams and prayers of a sweep.
What a country.

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