Omaha 8/b is a community
card game. Also known as
Omaha Hi/Lo or Omaha/8.
Learn to Play Omaha 8 or
Better.
Poker Strategy lesson
by Jennifer Harman.
Learn to play omaha poker
Omaha 8 Poker Strategy
Poker Tips, Poker Lessons, Poker Strategy Articles
Learn to play Omaha 8, or Omaha Hi Low poker
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Lesson: 43
Thoughts on Omaha-8


In an earlier tip, I gave advice for playing Stud-8 or Better. For this article, I'll
look at the other popular hi/lo split game, Omaha-8 or Better. In my article on
Stud-8, I encouraged players to look for hands that have the possibility of
scooping entire pots. The same goes for Omaha-8: whenever possible, you
need to position yourself to take every chip from a big pot.

The best Omaha-8 hands have four cards that work together. Something like
Ad-Ks-2d-4s is a terrific hand. It gives opportunities for high hands with
flushes and straights. It's also likely to make a winning low. When you see a
hand with this sort of potential, play it aggressively pre-flop. You also want to
play hands like Ad-2c-3h-5s, Ad-2c-3s-8c, and Ah-2d-3c-Qc, but since these
hands don't have as many opportunities to make great highs, you may not
want to be as aggressive.

Some players overvalue any hand that contains A-2. For example, a hand like
Ah-2c-8s-Jd isn't all that great. It's got a chance to win the low half of a pot,
but it's unlikely to make a decent high. Another problem is that a hand with
A-2 and not much else is in danger of "getting quartered." That means if
another player holds A-2, you'll only win half of the low half. Getting
quartered in a big Omaha-8 hand isn't much fun.

That warning aside, in very loose Omaha-8 games where six or seven players
are seeing every flop, you should play most hands that have A-2. The pots
will be large enough to justify playing for only the low half of the pot. But
even in a multi-way pot, there's no need to play every hand with A-2
aggressively. When you have little chance of winning a high, you're better off
seeing a flop cheaply.

In tight games, where only two or three players are contesting most pots,
you can muck a hand like Ah-2c-8s-Jd pre-flop. When the pots are small, you
don't want to get involved in any confrontation where you have little chance
of making a good high hand.

Many players undervalue hands that contain four high cards. For example, a
hand like K-Q-J-T is a solid Omaha-8 hand. Any flop that has two cards above
a 9 will give K-Q-J-T a straight draw, two-pair, or a set. On such a flop, there
probably won't be a qualifying low, so there's a great chance to scoop. (In
Omaha-8, three of the board cards must be 8 or below for anyone to make a
low that can take half the pot.) If the flop has three low cards, you can
abandon K-Q-J-T, knowing that it's got essentially no chance to win.

Should you find yourself playing a hand with four high cards, don't be
seduced by a flop that gives you only top pair. A flop of K-5-2 is not good if
you're holding K-Q-J-T. With such a flop, you can be pretty sure that some of
your opponents are playing the low end of the deck and are working on
powerful lows and straight draws. In fact, in multi-way pots, you should be
wary of any single pair or even two-pair. It usually takes a strong hand to
take the high-half of a multi-way Omaha-8 pot; a five-card hand - a straight,
flush or full house is often necessary to win.

Omaha-8 attracts players who love to play pots. Many draw too frequently
and play hands that can only get them in trouble. If you learn to play
Omaha-8, you can take advantage of these loose players and turn a solid
profit.

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