Omaha Hi-Lo Cash Game Strategy
Omaha Hi-Lo cash games have been increasing in popularity in live and online poker rooms over the last few years. Many players go into these games with a somewhat weak strategy and end up regularly donating to the game. In this article, we will present you with a basic Omaha 8 or Better cash game strategy to help you donate less at the tables and win more.
In Omaha Hi-Lo the phrase “tight is right” definitely applies. Unlike Texas Hold’em, it is not going to pay off to speculate with hands in Omaha Hi-Lo. You are looking for hands with strong scoop potential. Suited or double-suited hands like A-A-2-x, A-A-3-x, A-A-4-5, A-2-3-x, and most A-2-x-x hands are going to have strong scoop potential.
Suited and double-suited hands with an A-2 and one or two wheel cards as well as hands like A-2-3-K, A-2-4-Q, and A-3-4-K are strong as well. Remember that you are looking for strong two way hands that give you a chance to win.
When playing Omaha 8 or Better pre-flop, you are not going to be raising that often in early position unless you are looking at a strong hand with A-2 like A-A-2-K, A-A-2-3, A-2-3-4, etc. If you are in later position, your decision to raise should be based on whether you are trying to build a pot. Since most Omaha games are going to be multi-way action to the flop, raising is usually going to do very little to thin out the field.
If action starts to get crazy pre-flop, you will want to get out of hands where you do not have strong scoop possibilities. Also, don’t fall in love with a bare A-2 or naked aces. When we say bare or naked, we mean hands that have no other coordinating cards to help out the A-2 or the aces. If action is crazy, abandon these hands or see a flop and get out if you do not catch.
How you proceed on the flop in Omaha Hi-Lo will depend on your hand and your drawing potential. If you hit the flop with hitting your hand or having a solid draw, it is time to fold. Also, if you are not drawing to the nuts, it is time to get out of the hand. When drawing for low only, consider the likelihood of being counterfeited. If you are drawing to a low that may be counterfeited with no shot at high, you need to get out of the pot.
When you have hands with multiple draws, such as a straight draw and a low draw, consider raising the pot to force out weak and one way draws. Also, smart players that have only a pair on the flop will likely fold as well. a
Once you reach the turn in Omaha 8 or Better, it is time to reevaluate the board yet again. If there are three suited cards on board and you do not have a flush, it is time to get out unless you have a strong low draw in a multi-way pot. The same applies to when the board pairs on the turn. When the board pairs, full houses are much more likely and you should probably get out of the way. Should a straight complete on the turn, it may also be time to get out unless you have a redraw to either a higher straight or to a flush.
Should you already have the nuts on the turn, it is time to attempt a check-raise. If your raise gets called and there are other potential draws out there, be careful on the river.
If you have the best hand on the river, it is time to bet. Many players, especially at lower stakes will call down a bet at the river with second-best hands for both high and low. You can extract value here many times.
About the only time you will want to consider slowing down is if the pot is three-handed, you have nut low with A-2 and think that the other player may have nut low as well. A bet here will cost you money. The reason we say A-2 is that most counterfeiting situations occur when multiple players hold A-2 and draw for low. However, if you think they are not likely to have nut low still bet.
When the board fails to bring a low on the river and you think your opponents were just on a low draw, a bluff bet may also take down the pot.
Omaha Hi-Lo cash games can be action-filled games as many players do not play a solid strategy. As a result, many players wind up blowing through stacks quickly and feeding the stacks of the solid players. With the above strategy, you should find yourself walking away from Omaha 8 or Better cash games a winner more often.