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Preflop Hand Ranges in PL Omaha

One of the biggest obstacles for NL Hold'em to Omaha converts is learning what hands to play and which hands not to play pre flop. While actual hand ranges will always remain speculative and situation dependant, there are certain hands that are more playable than others. It goes without saying that AAKK double suited will always be worthy of a raise pre flop, but what do you do with 88AQ?

These are the types of hands that can be very tricky to play, for veteran and novice Omaha players alike. There is little debate that Omaha is a very tricky game, so it is always in your best interest to consider other possible ways of playing any given hand. Position is important in Omaha just as it is in NLHE, but it is not quite as important.

In NLHE players are allowed to make a big raise or go all in whenever they would like, while Omaha players are restricted to a pot size bet. Pot size bets can certainly be very large, though, and position remains an important factor as a result. Never underestimate the power of position in poker, even when your bet and raise sizes are limited.

Early Position Hand Ranges in Omaha

There are so many different possible starting hands in Omaha that it would be an impossible task to actually list and consider how to play each and every one. In fact, the hands are so diverse that it is difficult to even lump them into fair groups. Nonetheless, we are going to try to effectively break down which types of hands are most playable from early position in Omaha.

Stay away from the complete junk. Some players would say that this should go without saying, but there are a lot of ambitious poker players, especially in Omaha, who will play almost any hands. Identifying a truly junk hand in Omaha is more difficult than it is in NLHE, but it is hardly impossible.

Think about a hand like A58J. This is a hand with next to nothing going for it, particularly if it is not suited. All that this hand could make is a few different random straights, and you will find that straights in Omaha are hardly a gold mine.

In contrast to this hand is something like 8899 double suited. You can profitably raise this hand pre flop and even afford to call a re raise. In addition to all kinds of sets and full houses, there are a variety of straights and flushes that could also earn you the pot at showdown. Try to play tight when in early position in Omaha, and don’t be afraid to throw away a hand that seems borderline playable.

Middle Position Hand Ranges in Omaha

As you move into later positions at an Omaha table, the range of playable hands really begins to expand. You can start messing around with some random suited connectors and other hands with big potential. Always look for spots where you can see a flop with minimal risk while standing to win a big pot.

Limping in is almost always a bad idea, but opening with a mediocre hand like JJT9 can be profitable if you are able to flat a re raise. JJT9 would allow you to hit a big set or any number of different straights that would be tough to beat. Don’t overextend yourself in middle position, and still be prepared to throw away modest hands, but also give yourself a shot to get involved by trying out hands that were questionable in early position.

Late Position Hand Ranges in Omaha

Late position is the best place to be in a game of Omaha. You can play smaller connected hands and pairs that would otherwise have too little big pot potential to ever be worth playing. Late position in Omaha isn’t quite what it is in NLHE, though. You aren’t going to be stealing nearly as many pots in late position and there isn’t a chance to raise the action with any more than a pot sized bet.

As a result, you should be looking to sneak into hands where you can call the current bet and head to the flop. Remember that making value bets is crucial each and every step of the way in Omaha as you will have limited opportunities to build up a big pot. Late position is to your advantage, but it won’t be much of a benefit if you don’t capitalize on opportunities with hands that you wouldn’t have a chance to play in early or middle position.

More PL Omaha Strategy
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