Omaha Poker Strategy
The strategies required to win a game of Omaha online poker differ from those used to win Texas Holdem. This is due to the variations in standard poker offered by Omaha and the stipulation on how many table cards versus hand cards required to make up a winning poker hand.
The first strategy newcomers to Omaha poker should learn is how to play starting hands. Omaha requires a strong starting hand, more so than any other version of poker. Recognising which cards are valuable and implementing this knowledge in a game plan poses a challenge for many new players. It is important to remember that a final Omaha hand must consist of three of the five community board cards dealt throughout the course of the game and a further two cards from the player's hand. The rule remains regardless if an Omaha poker variation such as Hi Low is being played.
Starting combinations are therefore crucial. From the first four hole cards that start a game, a player should know which card combinations are the most advantageous. The best combination is a two pair of Aces, followed by a pair. A two pair can lead to the production of a straight or a full house, while a single pair can lead to high pair wins and three of a kind.
A combination of high pairs involving Aces, Kings, Queens and Jacks are also useful. If a player has one or two strong pairs, his strategy should be to raise the bet early in the game to force his competitors to increase the amount of money being placed in the pot. King and Queen combinations can be held onto with the aim of achieving a straight or flush. Same suited pairs are especially valuable, along with single high cards. For all of these combinations, the general strategy in an Omaha online poker game should be to raise bets.
This leads to a second important Omaha strategy for new players. It is crucial that players learn to recognize when it is appropriate to start manipulating the pot. By forcing other players to raise the bet or retire from the game in the early stages, a player can gain a competitive edge over the game and influence the course of play. Strong cards should breed confidence. Raise on strong pairs at all times.
However, a player cannot always expect to produce a strong hand with his first four cards in Omaha poker. Folding in the early stages of a game on a weak hand is recommended by most experts. Newcomers who play on when they have low straights or hands of unfavourable cards containing a single Ace will nearly always lose more money than they should against more seasoned opponents.
As well as learning how to play a strong opening hand and developing the confidence to play aggressively in order to manipulate the size of the pot, a winning poker player needs to learn how to calculate pot odds and outs. An experienced player will change his game plan to take into account the changing conditions in an Omaha game and will be disciplined enough to fold early to save his money for the next hand.
Learning how to determine the odds is simple when a player knows how many outs are required to make up a winning hand. For example, if a player holds an Ace and a King of hearts and there are another two hearts on the table, he can assume that there are nine hearts remaining in the deck. 37 of the cards in the deck will not assist the player in producing a flush, however nine of the cards will. The equation therefore of 37/9 produces 4:1 - the odds of making a flush.