Basic Omaha Hi/Lo concepts

If you’re a beginner and you’re eyeing the Omaha tables having realized that you will not become a long term winner at Texas Holdem any time soon, I have one piece of advice for you: if you thought it was tough to play Holdem against seasoned vets, wait till you see the carnage at the Omaha tables. Most rookies do not stand a chance in Omaha, because the nature of the game gives a huge, and – unlike Texas Holdem – immediate short- and long term advantage to good players who understand the mechanics behind winning Omaha.

Bottom line is: you’ll be like a lamb led to slaughter if you venture onto the Omaha tables unprepared. Does this mean that you should never play Omaha? By no means. How would you ever get good enough at it to punish rookies if you never played it? You do not have to take the fatalistic approach of paying for your tuition the hard way either. All you have to do is make sure you understand what this game is about and what winning it should be about too.

Let us now take a few glances at some of the basic components which make Omaha the game it is.

Staying focused and keeping your eye on your odds and on the probabilities of yours being the best hand at showdown is important in every poker variant, but it takes on an entirely different dimension in Omaha. If you allow yourself to be distracted by irrelevant aspects of the game like who holds the lead and why, by how someone made a bad call that was so sophomoric it was laughable, you will not spend your time in the optimal manner.

In Omaha, the edges involved are much bigger than in Texas Holdem, therefore, correctly assessing your odds and measuring them up well against the pot odds becomes extremely important. Certainly, this doesn’t mean you will never get unlucky, and when you do hit a bad beat it’ll be extremely tough to swallow because of the very fact that your edge was huge. Large edges however mean that you’ll be able to financially recover from bad beats much faster too.

Your starting hands are extremely important. You know how they say that in Texas Holdem good players play their opponents rather than their cards? It is also relatively common knowledge that the real skill-part of the game comes after the flop. Well, in Omaha, winning poker begins right after you get those four cards in your pocket. In Omaha, good starting hands are enormous overall favorites over bad starting hands. Exercising proper starting hand selection is one of the simplest and most straightforward ways to becoming a winner in Omaha.

Schooling is one thing you won’t have to worry about in Omaha. I hope you know what schooling is… In a Holdem game, when a single player calls your made hand right down to the wire with a gutshot straight, he is making a huge mistake. When several players make similarly bad calls though, they improve the pot odds for each individual fish, and they protect each other because their cumulated odds become significant enough to seriously threaten a made hand that a good player is trying to milk to the max.

In Omaha, you will not get such schooling. There, the phenomenon will only aid good players. Players with few outs continuing to call someone who has a whole bunch of them will not affect the good player’s odds adversely. This is why they call Omaha the game of nuts, and this is where the biggest secret behind winning Omaha lies.

If you ever manage to get yourself in a position in which you could profit off other player’s bad choices, you basically have it made.

Don’t forget to sign up for rakeback when you hit the Omaha tables. It’ll give you money back on just about every real money hand that you play.