Playing the Flop in Omaha

Tips For Playing Omaha Poker Post Flop

Omaha poker is the most common game that players turn to when they are either beating the games they are at or are burnt out for some reason from playing Texas Hold’em.

Well, Omaha Poker is a rather easy game to learn since the structure is almost identical to Hold’em in the sense that the betting rounds are the same and there is a flop, turn , and a river with the best 5 card poker hand winning at showdown.
However, the big difference between Omaha and Hold’em is the fact that players are dealt 4 hole cards as opposed to only 2. This makes the game quite interesting as any 4 hole cards can create several different combinations of hands if the flop hits correctly.

But the flop is where many players get themselves into trouble. It’s not because they don’t have the best hand at the time, but because the best hand can change drastically on the turn and then again on the river. And many players get themselves into trouble on later streets because of their actions, or lack thereof, on the flop. To help those of you that may be looking for help on how to play the flop in Omaha, we have provided some tips and strategies for you below.

How to Play the Flop in Omaha

Watch the Flop Texture

While discussing how to play the flop in Omaha, it should be noted that we are discussing entering the flop with solid starting hands. That alone will make your life, and playing the flop, much, much easier. When playing the flop one of the first and most important thing that players should do is analyze the flop. When doing so, here are some things to think of:

  • How has the flopped helped me?
  • What is the best possible hand that could be made from these cards?
  • How does my hand compare to the best possible hand?
  • Are there any draws on the board?
  • Is it likely that the flop helped my opponents?

It is absolutely necessary to run through this checklist when determining what to do first. If you are holding Aspades-Addiamonds-Kspades-Kdiamonds, a great hand, and the flop brings 9diamonds-9clubs-8clubs, then your hand really does not seem as valuable. Sure, it can very well be the best hand still since you have an over pair but depending on the amount of opponents that are involved in the hand, it is too likely that your over pair is dominated by trips or a full house. Not to mention that there is a straight and a flush draw on the board.

As you can see, in the few seconds that it took you to read that paragraph, you already have gone through the checklist. Now it is time to figure out what to do.    In cases such as this, it may be worthwhile to see a turn depending on the cost. But more times often than not, you will have to fold your over pair. Now, on the other hand, if the flop came 9diamonds-8clubs-5spades, then it is safe to assume that your hand is best aside from trips or two pair and is worth playing aggressively. You will want to make a bet or re-raise a bet to try to block draw attempts.

How to Value Your Omaha Hands Post Flop

As we explained above, it is important to go through our checklist to see how the flop has helped you, your opponents, and how it can help on future streets. This brings up another common mistake made by Omaha players. Many players tend to overvalue their hands in Omaha. They see a pair, two pair, and even three of a kind and figure that it is the best and step on the gas, just betting and raising only to find that their hand is 2nd or 3rd best. Without trying, this again goes back to figuring out what the best possible hands are and comparing it to yours. If your hand is only 6th or 7th best out of all the possible hands, then it is not worth shoving all your chips in the middle. Hands like that need to be bet for what they are worth with the mindset that the value may change, for better or for worse, on the turn.

Betting on the Flop

When deciding what to bet on the flop, the most important thing to consider is the draws that are on the board. The last thing that you want to do is bet small and give your opponent the odds to call and chase one of their many draws. Regardless of how much you bet, you are sure to still get the occasional player that chases. But at least you did not allow them to do so for free. There are few circumstances, if any, where playing passively such as checking or slow playing a hand is a good idea just for the obvious reason that giving free cards to your opponents will hurt you. It is always a good idea to bet for value.

Make Sure The Odds Are With You Not Against You

A player needs to realize if they are getting the correct odds to try to chase their drawing hands. Most gut shot straight draws will not be worth the money to go and chase; but often times flushes and open-enders will be. It is important to figure out if you are getting the correct price to call to ensure that your move is correct in the long run. While this is true in all poker games, Omaha attracts players who like to chase and draw and because of this you are likely to receive a few suck outs from time to time.

On the other hand, it is important to compare your drawing hand to the best drawing hand on the board. This is because you may have an 8-9-6-7 in your hand on a board such as 10-J-5 giving you an open-ender, but if a Q comes on the turn, it is possible that you are beaten by a higher straight. This will not always be the case, but is important to think of.

Playing After the Flop in Omaha Poker

Playing after the flop in Omaha is difficult for many players. It is really too easy, or tempting, to play harder with hands that just seem as if they could not be beaten. But as many of you know, that is not the case and because of this, many players lose a lot of money. This can be avoided if players follow our tips above and just keep in mind that it is important to analyze the flop, make sure they are getting the right price to chase their hands, and make sure that they are not allowing their opponents to see a free card when they have a made hand themselves.