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Poker Strategy | Omaha Poker Strategy

Omaha 8 – Playing the Flop, Part Two

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In the first part on playing the flop, we discussed what to do when you miss the flop or hit it hard. In this part, we are going to talk about what to do when you hit a piece of the flop. This is the most likely scenario in an Omaha High Low game. It is very rare that you will miss or hit completely, but not uncommon at all to have some type of potential. This is what gives Omaha 8 the perception of being an action game – there are always outs to the win.

When you hit a piece of the flop, you need to evaluate where you stand. You can do this by answering the following questions:

#1 – Does your hand fit the flop? Let's say you have A-2-3-7 and the flop is 4-5-5. You have the nut low draw and a straight draw. You have definitely hit a piece of the flop and your hand fits the flop.

#2 – How much money can you win? Knowing how much you can potentially win should be a key factor in deciding whether to continue or not. If you have 8 outs twice but there is only $10 in the pot and it is $4 for you to call, you're better off folding than chasing your outs. However, if there is $60 in the pot and you have 8 outs twice and it is $4 for you to call, then you have the correct odds to see if you can improve. Another key factor is whether you will be splitting the pot or scooping it. If your hand has scoop potential, you should be more likely to draw than if you have a hand that is only playing for one half of the pot.

#3 – If your hand improves, will it be the nuts? This is an important distinction to make because Omaha 8 is a game of the nuts. Seldom is it correct to draw to 2nd and 3rd best hands. Using the hand from above, you will have the nut low if a low comes and if an ace, two or three come, you will have the nut straight (however this is not the nut high since the board is paired but there is still value in having a nut straight).

#4 – How many players are you up against and who are you up against? If you are up against just a few players, the odds that you will be splitting the pot decrease. If you are up against multiple players, like 5-6, then the chances are that you will be splitting the pot, especially if you have a low only hand. Knowing this distinction can help you decide when to bet, raise, call, or fold. It is also important to know the tendencies of players. If a player only plays low hands and the flop comes with one low card and two high cards, then you can use that information against them.

If you are uncertain about how to proceed, your best course of action is usually to fold. It's better to be safe than sorry, especially in a game where the nuts wins so often. Don't draw to 3rd and 4th best hands unless the pot is huge and you feel the chance that your 3rd best hand has a higher than usual chance of winning a share of the pot.

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