Choosing the best Omaha Hi Lo starting hands is a very important skill for a successful player. The whole further strategy depends on the game on the first street. Let’s take a quick look at the four bases of the pre-flop game.
It’s important to have suited cards
The value of your best omaha hi lo starting hands can change tremendously in omaha hi lo by having a suited Ace and other suited cards, but most importantly a suited Ace. It’s not just because of the extra value from being able to make a flush. You can continue with hands sometimes that might be able to win the pot when you also have a nut flush draw to go with them that you would not be able to play the same hand without the flush draw.
You might have something like second low draw and nothing else with an unsuited hand and might not be able to play it profitably. But if you take the same hand and add a nut flush draw with it, you now have a hand with some scooping potential and will often be able to play the hand profitably. Also, you can take a lot of the same hands and one that isn’t suited will be hard to make any money with in the long run. And the same hand that is now suited can turn into a fairly nice positive expectation. So make sure you keep this in mind before making pre-flop decisions.
Starting With AAxx
Starting with Aces is a power house in hold’em poker. In omaha 8 hi/lo poker you might be going up hill without good kickers to go with your aces. A hand like AA79 non suited isn’t a great hand. Even when you flop three aces with AA79 non suited you still are not in very good shape most of the time. For many times your opponents will be able to stay in with low draws and also make a flush or a straight to beat you. Now a hand like AA35 is a good hand (suited or not suited, but without some wheel cards (A,2,3,4,5 are wheel cards) most AAxx hands are going to get you into trouble a lot. When you have a hand like AA2K and make a low with it you can raise it up and win the high end with just the aces sometimes. But when your AAxx hand does’nt have the possibility of making the nut low, you won’t have that luxury and will get pushed out of pots when your aces could have won and lose pots a lot of the times when you stick around with without improvement.
Any AA junk hand can sometimes have a little value in pot limit omaha 8, but if someone likes me sees you trying to push pots around everytime you get an AA in your hand I’m goning to make your life rough. I will either wait for scare cards to bluff you or just get my money in with the best hand, so use good judgement and try not to find yourself stuck in a pot with nothing but a pair of aces working for you.
About Middle Cards
You don’t want to enter pots with middle cards. Most of the hands you are going to make with middle cards will normally also give someone else a low hand and you’ll be playing for half the pot and still lose some of the times. Sometimes I might play some middle cards heads up if I have some reason to believe that my opponent has a high only hand, but you are almost alwyas better off not starting with middle cards like 4,5,6,7 or 5,5,7,9 ect.
Cards That Work Together
Also another key point is that you would rather your cards all work together in some way like in omha hi and have some good potential of winning the entire pot. It should be obvious that you would prefer AK23 over A279. There is a pretty huge gap between the value of these hands. 7,8 and 9 cards are the ones that can really suck the life out of your starting hands. Take A27K for example. The 7 can’t make you a nut low. It can’t make you a straight and it really just takes the value away from your hand. You could replace the 7 with any other card besides 8 or 9 and really have a good bit more going for you. That 7 will however give you a low good enough to win on some occasions , but it can’t make you the nut low. Also there will be other rare occasions when it will help, but if that 7 was a 3 it’s going to help you a lot more often. As you can see, suited cards are best omaha hi lo starting hands.
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