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Omaha Hands

Omaha Hand Values - Starting Hands
by Jason Green of

Many people think that Omaha Poker is a river game, but this is not the case. Obviously, your great hand can be beat when a miracle card comes out, but that happens in Omaha or Texas Holdem, as any card game that has luck involved that is going to happen.

Picking the right starting hands when playing Omaha is one of the keys to being successful when playing. Many players go from playing Omaha and then play Texas Holdem and are then too loose. Omaha is a game of great poker hands, as you are dealt 2 more hole cards then Texas Holdem. In Omaha it is a game where straights or better usually take the pot. This is why the 2 pairs you have will generally not win.

Omaha Hi-Lo poker is a pretty tricky game, as players will be trying to make 2 hands at the exact same time, both the high and low hand. You need to know about the rules of the game before you begin to play as hand selection in this variation of the game is crucial.

Your hand value is important and the hands with the best value are the ones below in descending order.

The Best Hand

You are not sure what hand will be the one that wins the pot, but you want the hand that gives you the best chance to take the pot. The hand that gives you the best chance to win is:

Ace-Ace-2-3 with one Ace suited to the 2 and one to the 3 is the best Omaha starting hand. If you are dealt this hand you will have the best possible draw for both the low and high hand. You should remember that an Ace can be the lowest card as well as the highest card. If you get this hand you should raise.


Great Hands

Great hands are those with trip (3) Aces as well as with cards from 2 - 5 and trip deuces (2's) having an Ace kicker. If you have a hand such as Ace-Ace-Ace-4 or Ace-Ace-Ace-5 it is better for you if they are suited. If this situation you have good draws for both the low and the high hands. You have a good chance to win the pot with these types of hand, so raising is a good idea. You will not see these hole cards often and here are some hands that you will see more of.

Good Hands

There are a few groupings of good hands.

- Big Pairs (Ace-Ace, King-King, Queen-Queen) having small connectors (2-3,3-4,4-5) or big pairs with Ace-2, Ace-3, Ace-4, or Ace-5. Remember that an Ace can be added to your low hand.

- Good straight draws with lower cards, such as Ace-King-Queen-2 or Ace-King-Jack-4. You need an ace in this case, as this will make it more likely that you can make both the best high hand and low hand. Obviously, a flush draw will also increase your chances of winning the pot.

- Low card with an Ace, such as Ace-2-3-5.

Generally, you will want to play these types of hands when you are playing from any position at the table and even against any mount of raises that were before you.

Less than Decent Hands

There a few hands that are not so good and you may want to think hard before putting a lot of money in the pot.

- 2 pairs from Ace-Ace to 10-10.
- Ace-2 or Ace-3, small pairs, or suited cards
- High straight draws such as Ace-King-Queen-Jack or Ace-King-Queen-10.
- 2-3-4 or Ace-2-3 with any other card.

With the starting hands mentioned above you can play the hand, but only if there was not more than 1 raise at the table.

Other types of hands that were not mentioned are really not worth playing in Omaha and they are good ones to fold. Usually you should fold quads and trips, with the exception of Aces and 2's. If you are dealt 4 Aces or 4 Kings you can limp in with the other players, but if you are in the early position you may want to raise and try to steal the pot. If one of your opponents re-raises you or there is no other way to get to the flop without putting in a lot of money to the pot, you should fold.

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