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.
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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
- Always adhere to bankroll management:
- 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
|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|
|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|
|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%|
|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|
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)
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