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Omaha Hi Lo Tips

10 Simple Rules for Omaha Hi/Lo
by Patricia Moynihan of

This article is not for complete neophytes. But if you have at least an elementary knowledge of the game then read on!

Omaha Hi Lo is a game invented by a sadist to be played by masochists. Your four cards, no matter how disparate, entice you into every pot. Thatís why you need ten times more discipline to play Omaha Hi Lo than you do to play Hold'Em. If you obey the simple rules below, you'll be a winner at Omaha Hi Lo.

1. Be ruthless with your starting hands. You need both ends of the spectrum. As always, of course, if you're in the blinds you can limp in with A3 and 2 high cards. Thatís only because your moneyís already in the pot.

2. If the flop misses you, muck your hand. No exceptions. If you're not drawing to one end of the nuts, don't waste your money. That flop hit more than one player and a raising war can break out. If you're in there hoping to hit something, you're just burning money. There'll be another hand coming along. Wait for that.

3. Get your money in with A23, 10-K. Ace should be suited. You can happily raise and re-raise before the flop. If the flop hits you, keep up the good work. You'll find two or three players stuck in there hoping to hit something. Thatís who you want. Make them pay.

4. The whole point of A23, high card is the real possibility of backing into the nut high hand. You can't do this if you're going for high only but you can always do it with low cards. You're looking for a wheel or nut flush.


5. Note that you need to go for the nut flush only. Remember, this is Omaha. If thereís a flush possibility, someone is going for the nuts. Do not even think of trying to hit your 10 high flush.

6. We all know people who break into a raising war with 10,J,Q,K. You can make this play pre-flop. I don't do it because it ties me to one end of the spectrum. But I have friends who do it strictly to narrow the field. Thatís a futile exercise in Omaha Hi-Lo. You'll never get rid of the nut low draw so you have to be prepared to defend your position unto death. Again, if the flop misses you, muck your hand. You'll be tempted to stay if the flop comes A,4,9. Don't do it. Get away. Bite the bullet. Wait for the next hand. The nut low draw will join battle. The trip Aces or the two pair hand will start a war. Muck your hand.

7. I have friends who pick up their hand and find AA Low High, suited, and they don't raise. Thatís NEVER raise. They don't believe in raising pre-flop. They should be playing Go Fish. This is Omaha Hi Low. If you're lucky enough to find this hand, start a war. When the dust finally settles, you should have at least one end of the nuts and you'll be well paid.

8. Find your level. Omaha Hi Lo is not for the faint hearted. Itís all about aggression. If you're playing in a casino which allows a bet and four raises, you need to be comfortable with that kind of investment.

9. Manage your money. If you"re playing 4-8, sit down with $100. If it goes, think before you buy in again. There are games at the 3-6 level and you might want to hone your skills there.

10. These Rules were actually formulated for the 10-20 game. Thereís really no leeway in that game. You must be ruthless with yourself or you will be eaten by sharks. Remember, you draw to the nuts ONLY. NO medium cards. You pick up 7,8,9,10, suited or not, get out. You'll hit this hand once in a blue moon. In the meantime, you go broke. So, remember, nut draws only.

Good luck at the tables!

Counterfeited Lows in Omaha Hi-Lo
Reading the Board in Omaha Hi-Lo

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