Although Omaha poker is similar in structure to Texas hold’em, the two games actually play quite differently and one of the biggest mistakes players make is failing to properly transition between the two games. Despite what you might believe, one of the first changes you need to consider when first starting to play Omaha is that you want to be even more selective with your starting hands than you are in Texas hold’em. Starting hands in Omaha are not as spread out power wise as they are in Texas hold’em. For example, a player holding aces in Texas hold’em has a clear advantage over someone holding 78 in Texas hold’em. Below i have listed the mixed poker games that include Omaha in their line-up.
In Omaha however, the edge is never that big. While playable edges certainly exist, they are less than that of hold’em. The key thing to remember when making your starting hand selections in Omaha is that you want to win with the nuts as much as you can. Second and third best hands will end up costing you a lot! Since Omaha is included in many mixed poker games learning proper strategy will help you improve your overall skill in games like H.A. poker.
Starting hands in Omaha Poker
There is wide debate as to exactly what the best starting hands are in Omaha but there are some things the experts agree on. Like usual you will want high ranking premium cards and high pairs are usually good! Additionally, being double suited is another feature you always want to look for in your Omaha hands. Here are some of the better starting hands in Omaha:
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AAKK: This is an incredibly powerful Omaha hand. Basically you have two of the best pairs possible and if you are double suited you can add flush possibilities as well. Play this hand strong from any position when you are lucky enough to see it.AAQQ:
This is another excellent hand, but you just need to watch out for kings that hit the board. While your aces can take care of them, just be aware of coming in second best even though its not likely with this hand if the flop hits you some how.
AAJT: This is an incredibly versatile Omaha hand. Like usual you will notice the pair of aces. Although these wont win as much unimproved as they can in hold’em, you’ll be surprised how much they hold up in Omaha too. Look to make powerful nut straights with the help of JT.
What to avoid in Omaha Poker
There are some starting hands in Omaha that can be nothing but trouble. While they might look good when they are dealt, they will end up robbing you of your bankroll. The first kind of starting hand to watch out for is one that contains a lot of middle connected cards. A good example of a hand like this would be 4567. This looks like it could be a promising hand but ultimately all it offers is the chance at a middle straight that rarely will be the best hand. Do yourself a favor and avoid playing middle wrap hands like the plague. Another type of problem hand is one that contains middle or low pairs. There is no better game to make middle pairs worthless than Omaha. These hands will do nothing but cost you lots of money, stay away from them!
If you can remember to be selective with your starting hands in Omaha you will be in a good position to take money from a lot of bad players. You might find the game boring from time to time with the waits between hands, but your patience will pay off with chips. If you are looking for a real exciting game, try out pot limit Omaha after you have had a chance to familiarize yourself with the limit game.