Omaha Post Flop Poker Strategy

How to Play the Flop in Omaha

The decisions that are made pre-flop in Omaha have to simply be the most important decisions made in Omaha because players are choosing what hands to play and how they decide to monetize these hands; be it by flat calling, checking or raising.
Now, however important these pre-flop decisions may be, once a player has seen the flop the decisions made prior, good or bad, will have very little to do with the decisions made on the flop because a good starting hand can turn into a hand that is worth nothing on the flop and vice versa. At the very most, the decisions made pre-flop have made the decisions post flop that much easier to make.

When trying to make solid educated plays on the flop, players will need to concern themselves with a few different factors to avoid costly mistakes that many newer Omaha players make. These factors consist of understanding board texture, understanding how many outs you have so you know how valuable your hand is or isn’t and knowing your opponent’s tendencies so you can anticipate how your opponents will act based on the actions at the table. All of these factors have been detailed for you below.

Omaha Post Flop Strategy

Board Texture – Board texture is very important to understand and analyze in Omaha because how wet or dry the texture is will ultimately dictate how it has helped you and how it has helped your opponents. To explain this a bit better, we have provided a few examples.

Your Hand: Ahearts-Khearts-Jdiamonds-10diamonds | The Board: 8diamonds-7clubs-4clubs

In this hand, you have what is arguably the best or second best starting hand in Omaha Hi. However, you have virtually missed the flop and at best, you can hope for a 9 to hit a gut-shot straight draw. And not only that, but it is very likely someone has already made a straight with a 5-6 or could have an open ender with a 9-10 which would mean that if a jack or 6 comes up you would be drawing to split the pot at best should you hit your 9. Lastly, there are two clubs on the board which makes it highly probably that someone is drawing to a flush. Your hand has been rendered useless here. If there was any action, this would be an insta-fold.

Your Hand: Jdiamonds-10diamonds-5hearts-6spades | The Board: Jhearts-10spades-2spades

Ok, this is actually a pretty awful starting hand, but it is there to prove a point, nothing more. If you in fact did start with this kind of hand, be sure to understand that we all make mistakes but it would be a good idea to read our pre-flop play article and to be sure not to compound your mistakes further by making another mistake here.

Now this hand here will represent a common mistake made by lots of Omaha players. Here is an example where we hit two pair on which is an excellent hand but at the same time, a very dangerous one. Why is that? Well, this board is just begging for players to draw to up and down straight draws, flush draws and it is even possible that someone has trips, all of which have us beat unless we fill up to a boat before the river. In this situation I would definitely bet at the pot in hopes to either isolate or to take the pot right then and there. If multiple players called or if there is lots of raises and re-raises I would in fact let the hand go on the flop or depending on the turn, I would let it go there. Many players become what seem to be sentimental with their hands because it is possible their hands are currently the best. And it may be, but that is highly probable to change on the turn or the river so it is best to minimize your losses now and let this hand go if the action gets heavy.

Your Hand: Jdiamond-10diamonds-Ahearts-8 | Board: Qhearts-10hearts-9diamonds

This hand here is an excellent example of having a hand such as queen high straight that can still be beaten by a hand such as a king high straight but instead of folding because you think you are beat, you can still play this hand because you have ‘re-draw’ opportunities. ‘Re-draws’ are simply what they sound like they are. They are hands that you can re-draw to that will better the hand you already have and is preferred that these re-draws are of course to the ‘nuts.’ We may be beaten here, but any heart will give us a nut flush and any king will give us a nut straight; so there are plenty of opportunities for potential here. Play this hand aggressively.

These examples here are rather common examples of the kinds of hands that players can get in trouble with or can make you tons of money. It really boils down to analyzing these hands to determine how they have helped you, but most importantly how they may have helped your opponent. This tip alone should save you money in the long when playing Omaha.

Figure Out Your Outs – This is a rather simple and straightforward concept; the more outs you have, the more likely it is that you will make a hand. Having said that there are a few things to keep in mind when figuring out how many outs you have.

When you count your outs, are all of them drawing to the nuts? This is absolutely crucial. It will not matter if every card in the deck will help your hand if only a couple will allow you to draw to the nuts. Omaha is a ‘nuts’ game and drawing to the second best hand will cost you lots of money regardless of how many outs you have or how good the pot odds are.
Will any of the outs that help you also help your opponents? If you have 10h-Jh-8d-9d with a Kc-Qc-10d board, any ace or 9 will give you a straight. But any ace or nine of clubs will also complete the flush draw leaving you to draw dead. So when figuring your outs, be sure to take this into consideration.

These are important things to consider simply because if any of your outs are ‘dirty’ or non-nut outs, then they really shouldn’t even be considered as outs leaving you with fewer outs to draw to a better hand with. Lastly, as a rule of thumb, when a player has more than 15 outs drawing to the nuts on the flop then they are more than likely a favorite to win the hand and should definitely consider getting their money in on the flop depending on the board texture and how many opponents are in the hand with them.

Consider Your Opponnent’s Tendencies – Before making any decisions on the flop, it is also important to consider the tendencies of the opponents that are involved in the hand with you. This is because so hands are more profitable played against certain opponents than others and you will increase your edge by exploiting these tendencies thus increasing your profits.

For example, a player who is very tight and only plays to the nuts is a great player to bet hard against especially if you have tons of clean outs and/or re-draws to the nuts. By betting large you are forcing this player to either have a hand or a draw or to get out of the pot. If they simply call or re-raise you, then you can re-evaluate the situation to see if it is worth going forward in the hand or not.

Against a calling station you will want to play solid hands but focus on pot control. So if you want to raise with a solid hand, be sure to raise enough to give incorrect odds and build the pot with your nut holding but not so much that you are just wasting chips in case you miss your hand. Also, raising on semi bluffs may not be such a good idea either because there is no fold equity and again, if you miss then it is highly likely you wasted chips. Lastly, bluffing is a bad idea; they are ‘calling stations,’ hence calling everything, even bluffs.

While playing against aggressive players who raise and re-raise constantly, it is important to have strong holdings and let them do the betting for you. Also, it may be worthwhile to see what kinds of hands they are willing to play so that you can adjust your hand range accordingly. Overall, just let them play their game and as long as you have a solid hand, preferably the nuts, they are sure to pay you off time and time again.

It should be noted that these tips in regards to player’s tendencies can change depending on situation; board texture and your outs should always be a factor when considering how to play each specific opponent.

Since Omaha is a game of ‘nut’ holdings it is important that players consider factors such as board texture, outs and player tendencies to ensure that they make educated decisions. If a player can utilize our following tips to carefully evaluate each situation that they are in, they are sure to minimize their losses while maximizing their wins to show an overall profit in Omaha poker.