Omaha Hi – Low Starting Hands

Once you play enough Texas Hold’em you start to look for other action. Many players will try out other games like 7-Card Stud or Omaha. One favorite that many try is Omaha Hi/Low Split, or also known as Omaha 8 or Better. This is a split pot game where the winning high hand and the winning low hand each get half of the pot. There has to be three cards eight or smaller for a low hand to be possible, otherwise the high hand wins the entire pot.

Because of this basic rule of the game, it’s important to play hands that give you an opportunity to win both halves of the pot. That will increase your chances of winning half, and more importantly the opportunity to win both halves, called scooping the pot. That means you want to play hands like A-K-2-Q, or A-2-3-Q. They are much better than 10-10-5-5 or Q-Q-Q-10. Suited aces, especially with a 2 or 3, are good hands because they can win the low hand and the big hand with the nut flush.

Stay away from hands with three suited cards or three-of-a-kind. You can only use two cards from your hand to form a hand with, and you have to get the other three from the board cards. Playing hands with three-of-a-kind or three suited cards just lowers the chances of making a big hand. Three or four cards to a straight are good hands because it gives you more opportunity to make a straight.

This game is not a bluffing game, so playing poor starting hands in the hopes of bluffing off opponents later in the hand is not the way to go. With so many cards in play, someone always has something. Bluffing opportunities are few and far between; and only occur after all the board cards are out and there is no possible low hand.