Top 5 Mistakes Made By Omaha Hi-Lo Players
Omaha Hi-Lo is one of the most popular forms of Omaha Poker played in the United States, but it is also the version most prone to mistakes. Many of these mistakes are made by beginners just learning the game of poker, but they are made frequently enough to warrant their own article.
Today, we will present some of the top five mistakes made by Omaha Hi-Lo players. You’ve likely seen or even committed many of the mistakes on this list.
Playing Too Many Board or Hole Cards
In Omaha Hi-Lo, you play two cards in your hand and three on the board. This is exactly like Omaha High. However, there are some online poker players that forget this and get excited when they a hand like Ah-Kh-10h-8d and see the Qh-Jh-4h hit the board. The player thinks they have made a Royal Flush when in actuality they have only made an ace-high flush.
I will admit that I made this mistake the very first time I played Omaha Hi-Lo. I thought I had made a straight flush and ended up losing the hand when my second-nut flush lost to a full house.
Playing the Same Cards For Both High and Low
The best part about Omaha Hi-Lo is that you don’t have to use the same cards to make both your high and low hands. If you are dealt Ac-2c-Ks-Qs and the board runs out 3s-4s-6d-8d-Jc, you can play the A-2 for your low and K-Q for your king-high flush.
Some beginners are under the assumption that they have to play the same two cards in their hand for both high and low. Fortunately, you can pick which two to play for both pots.
Failing to Recognize When You’re Counterfeited
For those new to the game, counterfeited means when a card hits the board that makes your hand the second-best hand. For example, if you have A-2-8-10 and the board comes 2-4-5, your 2 no longer plays and you have an eight low. What’s worse is that A-3 is now the nut low.
When people fail to realize they are counterfeited, they continue playing hands that they should fold and end up getting fleeced by nut hands.
Failing to Slow Down on a Paired Board
When the board pairs in Omaha Hi-Lo and you do not have a full house, it is time to slow down. You are likely not in the lead for high and unless you have an uncounterfeitable low, you are playing for half the pot at best.
Some players flop a straight, flush, or low and go crazy betting. This is fine as long as you can scoop or have one side locked up. However, these same players see the board pair and continue betting with reckless abandon thinking their high hand is still good.
This concept is doubly important if the hole card that paired is a low card. Not only are you behind for high, but you could also be in danger of playing for just one-third of the pot if you tie for low. Slow down and reduce any potential bleeding.
Overplaying Non-Nut Hands
The worst mistake made by beginners and experienced players alike is overplaying non-nut hands. There are times where you will win a hand in Omaha Hi-Lo with a second-best hand, but you do not approach all hands in that manner.
Omaha Hi-Lo is a game of nut hands, especially low hand. If you are chasing down pot with second or third best hands on a regular basis, you’re guaranteed to be a losing player. There are times you’re going to call a bet at the end with a hand that got outdrawn on the river, but playing an entire hand where you’re second best is a recipe for a losing session.