Omaha Hi-Lo Strategy for Beginners

Omaha hi-lo is quickly becoming one of the world's most popular split-pot online poker games. Although similar to Texas Hold'em, the rules are somewhat different; it's important to be fully ware of all the rules, especially the "two hole cards" rule, of Omaha hi-lo for your strategy to be effective.


Before you look into Omaha hi-lo strategy and techniques, you need to make sure you're familiar with the rules of the game. Although similar to Texas Hold'em and Omaha hi, the "must use two hole cards and only two hole cards" is a particular difference that confuses some players.

Firstly, Omaha hi-lo is the same as Omaha hi, except the pot is split between the highest hand and lowest hand. However, the low hand cannot have a card higher than 8; if there isn't a low hand in the game, the entire pot will go to the highest hand.

To help you form a well-planned Omaha hi-lo strategy, here are the main rule changes you should keep in mind:

  • Straights and flushes do not effect the low in this game. Therefore, the best possible hand is a wheel.
  • Low hands are counted from the top down. For example, a player with 8432A would lose to a player with 76543. The 7, the first card, in this case, wins because it is lower than an ace.
  • Although not a rule, starting with a strong hand is imperative in Omaha hi-lo.

General Omaha Hi-Lo Strategy Tips

  • Your aim is to scoop the point, so take not of your hand and fold if you don't have a strong hi hand or low hand;
  • Fold most hands that include 7, 8 or 9. On average, this hands have a negative value in Omaha hi-lo;
  • When you hit a good flop, change your game plan and play more aggressively;
  • Bluff less frequently than other poker games;
  • Only play hands that include A-2, A-3, or 2-3 for a low hand to achieve the best results;
  • Always play premium starting hands and try to only play hands that have potential to scoop the whole pot.

Common Errors

Most people make a lot of common errors when playing, so you should try and note these and avoid them for your Omaha hi-lo strategy:

  • Don't play too many straight hands;
  • Call all the way with only a hi or low potential;
  • Raising with a A-2 early and forces players to fold, rather than seeing the flop cheaply.

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