Omaha Hi-Lo is one of the most popular variants of Omaha poker in the world.
In many casinos, Omaha 8 or Better is the only form of Omaha spread because it is typically played in Limit and allows a bit more play than PL Omaha.
Starting hand selection is an important element to winning at Omaha Hi-Lo, but so is avoiding common mistakes.
- Overplaying Bottom Set on Coordinated Boards
Many Omaha Hi-Lo players will go to war whenever they flop a set. The problem with this strategy is that they set themselves up for disaster on a coordinated board.
For example, you have a hand such as Ac-2c-2d-10h and the flop falls 2s-7s-8h. You have a set of deuces and not much else.
You're drawing very thin for the low and odds are another player will easily take that half of the pot.
Next, you're looking at a potential flush draw and straight draw. If the board pairs anything other than a deuce, your full house is very vulnerable.
At absolute best, you can hope for a chop if the board bricks out and someone else doesn't hit a larger set.
Don't go crazy betting here as you risk getting scooped.
2. Overplaying Nut Low in Potential Quartering Situation
You have A-2-J-10 and the flop falls 8-7-3 (suits are not important for this example). There are three other players in the pot.
You have nut low but odds are that at least one other player has an A-2 and you are looking at getting a quarter of the pot.
Situations like this are when you will want to slow down and just call along unless you happen to improve to winning 3/4 of the pot.
Let's say that your A-2 is suited in spades and the board is 8c-7s-3s-10s. Now you can bet but only because you will get 3/4 of the pot.
If it's clear that you're going to get quartered, slow down your betting. In a quartering situation you need three other opponents to stay in a pot until the river to break even in the hand.
3. Failing to Slow Down on a Paired Board
Inexperienced Omaha players will often not slow down when the board pairs. Due to the number of cards in the game, odds are that an opponent hit a full house when the board paired.
In Omaha Hi-Lo, you have to be doubly careful when low cards pair since players are shooting for low starting hands.
For example, a board of 2-3-3-10-K would be very precarious because a player with a hand like A-2-3-K or A-3-J-10 has a full house.
Slowing down when the board pairs is going to save you some bets when your opponent has hit their boat.
Avoiding Mistakes Saves Bets
Since the majority of Omaha Hi-Lo that you see played in live casinos is limit, it is important that you keep your mistakes to a minimum.
In PL Omaha Hi-Lo, you can recover easy from the occasional mistake due to the inflated pots sizes of some hands.
However, it takes a lot longer to recover from lost bets in limit poker. Avoiding mistakes will save you bets and will add to your hourly return over time.