We’ve talked about and listed great Omaha poker starting hands before, but the fact is that unlike No Limit Hold ‘Em, the answer isn’t as simple as “Ace King, Double Suited,” even if that’s what is always at the top of the lists. The best starting hand in Omaha is the most floppable (for lack of a better adjective.) and AAKK suits that idea perfectly as it opens up the best possible draws to the nuts and, (say it with me) Omaha is a game of the nuts.
You might make the mistake of looking at AAKK as two pair, but what AAKK really represents is the hand that can be built into the best possible combinations. Let’s look at three flop combinations that could get real money when you’ve been dealt AAKK. (In his scenario, we’ll say it’s AsAdKsKd.)
Flop 1: 2sJsQc
This gives you to overpairs, a draw to the nut flush and a straight. This gives you a board that’s going to be very good for you and even if you’re playing against QQXX, the odds say it’s roughly 50/50 on who’s going to walk away a winner. The nut flush draw is extremely important in scenarios like this because you’ll usually be betting against someone who’s got something like 89TJ with the same flush and you’re a 75% favorite to win the pot – that’s a massive number for PLO! If you were holding AA52 in a number of different suits, you’d be an underdog with only a 29% chance to win!
Flop 2: 4d8dQc
Again, you’ve got the overpaid and the nut flush draw thanks to the K and A on your side. If you do get bet into, it’s likely to be someone holding Q875, thinking he’s got the top two pair and you’re a favorite to win.
Flop 3: Ah8c7c
That’s top set and if you can get others in on the hand you’re very likely to win, especially if you manage to make a full house on the turn or river. I’m always aggressive when I hit a set on the flop as above that line, the air gets much more stratified.
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It’s more than just the pairs that make AAKK so valuable: it’s the connectiveness it offers to other hands. A hand like AA82 is still valuable, but in a deep stack cash game, it’s going to be almost impossible to play. Just look at the above scenarios and see how little you get beyond the top set on Flop 3.