Omaha Hi Lo Myths

Strategies to Avoid When Playing Omaha High Low

Omaha Hi Lo is one of the few games where you have two shots at winning the pot. In Omaha 8 players will play for the hi or low pot, although your best strategy is to win both otherwise called ‘scooping”. This page provides a few of the more common misconceptions and myths you’ll hear when playing Omaha and will ultimately cost you  a considerable amount of money if you use these false strategies to win the game.

Omaha Hi Lo Myth #1 – Play All Hands With an Ace

This is not Holdem. It’s far from it and although an Ace looks good in Holdem it can spell disaster for any Omaha player who is aiming for a low hand only and depends on that Ace in their hand to pull through.  Suppose the hand is A-7-5-5 – you do have multiple combinations available but your hand is still limited to the low pot unless some miracle flop presents itself. The A itself is dependent on situations where you want the hand to have a shot at scooping the pot. Playing marginal Aces will put you in a position where you could find yourself committed to seeing 4th and 5th street and still find yourself coming up short. If you’re unsure which hands are playable in Omaha Hi Lo, please see our starting hand requirements for Omaha 8. Non aced hands can spell disaster unless the Ace presents itself on the flop. Realistically, the Ace will probably not make the flop and non-aced hands should be avoided unless you’re in LP and it’s been folded to you or the other players have limped.

Omaha Hi Lo Myth #2 – Only Play For the Best High Hand

High hands look great from the moment you see your cards, to the moment you have your hand made. The problem is, in Omaha Hi Lo you’re playing for both hi and low where as straight up Omaha is played for hi only. Assume you have a made hi hand and you’re playing against two other players. You’re fairly certain one player has low, but you haven’t quite pegged the third opponent. If the three of you are building a huge pot, and your only holding the high hand which at this point isn’t the nuts, the value you’re going to extract from the pot is minimal at best and even more so if you end up splitting for hi. This is why you don’t want to limit yourself to just the hi or just the low pot. You leave yourself open to being vulnerable to the other players.

Omaha Hi Lo Myth #3 – Calling Bets On Future Odds

It’s fairly common to see players call additional bets because they think there hand has the potential to turn around and come back as the nuts. Yes the odds could be there but you should never justify chasing a hand when you don’t have the odds at that very moment. By doing so you can find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation where you commit yourself to the hand. To avoid situations where your calling bets based on future outcomes you need to tighten up your starting hands. If you’re not sure which hands to play, have a look at our Omaha Hi Lo starting hands requirements. Calling bets without having the odds to do so now will cost you more in the long run.

Omaha Hi Lo Myth #4 – Keep Tabs on All the Outs

Unlike Texas Holdem, Omaha Hi Lo has plenty of combinations to be had. There are more cards on the table, more outs and often bigger pots. Unlike Holdem you don’t need to worry so much about the all the outs as you do for playing for the nuts. The absolute worst scenario you can find yourself in is being quartered which happens when a player doesn’t pay attention to the table, and ends up splitting either the hi or low pot with another opponent. Determine your hand strength on the flop and pay attention to only your outs that give you the nuts.

While these Omaha Hi Lo tips should help you avoid some of the more costly mistakes they are dependent on the situation in play. Position and the style of your opponents should have a say in your decision making on how you play a particular hand. For more Omaha poker strategy tips you may want to read our article on Bluffing in Omaha and Omaha Hi Lo strategy guide.