Omaha Hi/Lo – Playing to Scoop the Pot
Omaha high low is a poker game version of Texas Holdem and Low Ball; all mixed together. Each player is dealt four cards, and five cards are displayed face up in the middle of the table. The five “up cards” are common to each player’s hand.
The game starts by dealing each player four cards. There is then a round of betting. Three cards are then dealt face up and this is called the “flop”. A round of betting is completed. A single card is dealt face up. This is called the “turn”. A round of betting is completed. Another single card is dealt face up. This is called the “river”. A round of betting is completed.
When all of the rounds of dealing and betting are completed, each player must use two cards from his hand and three from the five card flop to make the best high poker hand and the best low poker hand. The high card rankings are the same as any high card poker hand. The low card rankings are as follows: The highest card allowed in the five card low hand is an eight. There can be no pairs.
The best low hand is ace, two, three, four and five. Sounds like a simple game, except it isn’t. There is a great deal of betting and raising in Omaha because most pots are going to be split between the high hand and the low hand, if there is a low hand. The qualifiers for a low hand can make a pot where there is no low a windfall hand to the high player. When this happens the high hand scoops the pot. There is always a high hand in every pot.
Playing to scoop the pot is the way to win the greatest amount of money playing Omaha. The best starting hand a player can be dealt is, ace two suited and ace three suited. This hand has a huge number of opportunities for winning one side of the pot or the other. It also has the potential to be a scooper hand. This hand will usually do a lot of raising from the very beginning of the hand. Another hand which will get a lot of play and is a possible scooper is one with a ace king suited and a ace jack suited. The player is hoping there will be no low. It has the potential for a straight or a flush.
The reason that ace x-card suited is considered a strong potential hand is this: each player has nine cards to make a five card hand. In the game of Omaha there are a great many flushes dealt. Ace high flush is a winner if there is not a higher hand. As long as there are no pairs in the flop and the suited cards can not be turned into a straight flush, the ace high flush will win. The lack of pairs in the flop means there will be no full houses or four of kind hands out.
Playing hands that have the potential to scoop the pot is a strategy for winning in Omaha. Many players will gamble on making a low hand through the last card dealt. If you have a high hand made, it is time to keep the pressure on and raise every chance you get. When there is no low hand, you win the entire pot. These pots can be the difference over a playing session of winning and losing. This is one strategy which can be put into play when the four cards dealt to you are similar to the best hands possible. These are raising situations. If you make your hand, you want to win as big a pot as possible. In Omaha you will get a lot of calling on raises.
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