Omaha Poker: The Best Preflop Hand

The preflop “nuts” in Omaha Holdem: double-suited aces and kings

Players are constantly looking for a new challenge and ways to expand their poker horizons with even more action than Texas Hold ’em, which leads them straight to the pot-limit Omaha (PLO) and fixed-limit Omaha 8 poker tables. Omaha Holdem will continue to grow in popularity in years to come, so if you’re able to become an expert in Omaha poker strategy now, you’ll have a huge edge against your average competition and will be able to reap the financial benefits when the first waves of fish arrive at your Omaha poker tables.

Although Omaha Hold ’em appears similar to Texas Hold ’em, it is actually a very different game, and you’ll need a different approach as well as an even more tilt-resistant mindset to be successful at the Omaha poker tables in the long run. However, most of the principals covered for Texas Hold ’em also apply to advanced Omaha poker strategy.

Simply drop your name and e-mail in the form to the right (bottom of the page on mobile devices) to access the FREE advanced-strategy articles on cash-game and tournament play as well as numerous downloadable poker tools. >>>

To effectively play any type of Omaha, you have to have a lot of gamble in you, and yet Omaha is (contrary to popular belief) definitely a game of skill. Given the additional two cards in every player’s starting hand, the probability of postflop suck-outs and taking bad beats greatly increases. “Variance” in Omaha is an even bigger problem than in Texas Holdem, and you also need a respectively much stronger hand to win big pots at the showdown. In spite of the this, better players will end up with all of the poker chips in the long run … especially when they adhere to the general starting hands recommendations and additional street-specific strategies provided on the advanced Omaha strategy pages.

Tips for Increasing Your Win-Rate in Omaha Hold ’em

Click here to view all the poker tools available for Pot-Limit Omaha and Omaha 8
 

  • Fixed-Limit Omaha: have approximately  300 to 350 “big bets” in your total allotted “risk capital.”
  • Pot-Limit Omaha: have approximately 50 full-ring buy-ins and up to 100 6-max buy-ins for the respective cash-game level you regularly play.
  • Fixed-Limit Minimum stack size per table: at least 12 big bets without an ante: 15bb recommendation
  • Review bluff success table & villain’s respective pot odds. Note: There is generally very little fold equity in fixed-limit games and far less preflop fold equity in pot-limit Omaha than in most no-limit Texas Holdem games.
  • Always be mindful of the fact that you need markedly stronger hands (in general) to take down the pot at a showdown than you would in Texas Hold ’em.
  • Almost never “slow play” in Omaha.
  • Don’t draw to straights on a 2-suited board.
  • Don’t draw to flushes when the board is paired.
  • Diligently take notes on your opposition’s play and respective “poker personas.”
  • Study the book: Pot-Limit Omaha Poker: The Big Play Strategy. This is arguably the only book you’ll need to become a very solid Omaha player.
  • Review the information provided on the pages above as well as the Essential Poker Knowledge video sub-series on Omaha.
  • Read the poker-strategy blogs, and subscribe to our free newsletter to stay informed when new content is published.
  • All live players should definitely review the free videos on poker tells and non-verbal communication:
  • Never watch the board or look at your pocket cards when the cards are being dealt … watch your opponents!
  • Against “unknowns,” sit to the left of the player with the most chips.
  • Sit right of weak tight-aggressive players (TAGs) and left of LAGs/maniacs.

 

Omaha Hold ’em Omaha Poker Basics

  • Hand ranking: suits have no influence on the rank of hands.
  • Generally a 4-bet cap per round in fixed limit play (i.e. a 3-raise limit): sometimes unlimited when in heads-up (HU).
  • Position and betting, both pre-flop and post-flop, is identical to Texas Hold ’em.
  • Starting-hand selection and positional play are crucial for success in Omaha poker.
  • Online poker resources & recommended reading

 

General Statistics

4-Card Hands # of Hands in 4 Cards Probability (as a %) Odds
Four of a Kind (XXXX) 13 0.005% 20,824 : 1
Three of a Kind (XXXY) 312 0.922% 107 : 1
Straight (max stretch) 1,280 0.473% 210.5 : 1
“Double-suited” (aabb) 3,081 13.500% 6.42 : 1
Flush (aaaa) 715 1.060% 93.7 : 1
Two Pair (XXYY) 234 1.040% 95.4 : 1
One Pair (XXYZ) 5,148 30.400% 2.29 : 1
No Pair (XYZR) 10,725 67.600% 0.479 : 1

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poker_probability_%28Omaha%29

 

4-Card LOW Hands (8 or lower) # of Hands in 4 Cards Probability (as a %) Odds
Low Hand (4 ranks) 70 6.620% 14.1 : 1
Low Hand (3 ranks) 224 32.400% 2.08 : 1
Low Hand (2 ranks) 168 42.100% 1.38 : 1
Low Hand (1 rank) 33 18.900% 4.30 : 1
4-Card LOW Hands (9 or lower) # of Hands in 4 Cards Probability (as a %) Odds
Low Hand (4 ranks) 126 11.900% 7.39 : 1
Low Hand (3 ranks) 336 40.700% 1.46 : 1
Low Hand (2 ranks) 216 36.600% 1.73 : 1
Low Hand (1 rank) 37 10.700% 8.32 : 1

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poker_probability_%28Omaha%29

 

5-Card Hands using any of the 9 Cards # HIGH Hands in 9 Cards Probability (as a %) Odds
Royal straight flush 713,460 0.019% 5,155.67 : 1
Other straight flush 5,874,656 0.160% 625.26 : 1
4 of a kind 22,247,616 0.605% 164.37 : 1
Full House 423,908,824 11.522% 7.68 : 1
Flush 453,008,864 12.313% 7.12 : 1
Ace high straight 75,029,340 2.039% 48.04 : 1
Other straights 434,042,580 11.798% 7.48 : 1
3 of a kind 151,728,780 4.124% 23.25 : 1
2 pairs 1,442,570,040 39.210% 1.55 : 1
One pair >= Jacks 190,335,600 5.173% 18.33 : 1
One pair <= Tens 409,827,600 11.139% 7.98 : 1
Ace high 52,920,840 1.438% 68.52 : 1
King high 14,758,800 0.401% 248.28 : 1
Queen high 2,108,400 0.057% 1,743.96 : 1
Subtotals high cards 69,788,040 1.90%
Total 3,679,075,400 100.0%

Source: www.durangobill.com/Poker_Probabilities_8_Cards.html

 

5-Card LOW Hands using any 5 of 9 # LOW Hands in 9 Cards Probability (as a %) Odds
5-high 91,126,080 2.477% 39.37 : 1
6-high 293,736,000 7.984% 11.53 : 1
7-high 538,618,560 14.640% 5.83 : 1
8-high 717,886,400 19.513% 4.12 : 1
Subtotals 8 or better 1,641,367,040 44.6%
9-high 750,512,000 20.399% 3.9 : 1
10-high 625,806,720 17.010% 4.88 : 1
Jack-high 406,492,800 11.049% 8.05 : 1
Queen-high 191,368,320 5.202% 18.23 : 1
King-high 55,915,200 1.520% 64.8 : 1
Subtotals 9-K high 2,030,095,040 55.2%
Pair or worse 7,613,320 0.207% 482.24 : 1
Total 3,679,075,400 100.0%

Source: www.durangobill.com/LowballPoker/Lowball_Poker_8_cards.html

Free Online Poker Resources and Equity Analysis Programs

Equity match-ups for hands and ranges as well as probability calculators:
Pro Poker Tools (free equity analyses for multiple game types)

Pro Poker Tracking and Equity Software for Texas Holdem and Omaha: Cash Games and Tournaments (MTTs & SnGs)

Holdem Manager 2: Pro Poker Tracking SoftwareHoldem Manager 2: Pro Poker Tracking Software

We recommend Holdem Manager’s best-value product HM2 Pro Combo for both Texas Holdem and Omaha. If you’re strictly an Omaha player, get the separate Omaha Manager program here (just click “OM2″ in their top menu).

We use the Sit-and-Go Wizard (a must-have for all serious SnG players and very useful for MTT pros) that’s directly integrated into the Holdem Manager program. If you’re strictly a SnG or MTT player, you can also purchase it separately by clicking the banner below.

The SitNGo Wizard

To get exclusive access to all the advanced poker-strategy content we provide for free, just enter your name and e-mail in the following form.