Omaha is one o f the most difficult poker games to get truly good at, and if you start playing it in the same way that you play Texas Hold’em you’ll be in for a nasty shock. As they say, the best place to begin at anything is at the start, so in this first look at improving your Omaha strategy we’re going to look at Hand Selection; we are going to identify some of the best starting hands in the game and help you understand why they earn that title.
The key with Omaha as opposed to Texas Hold’em is that you must use 2 of your 4 hole cards, and you must use 3 of the 5 board cards. With this is in mind it is fair to say that a pair of aces in the hand make an excellent starting hand. Ideally you want your aces to be coupled with a another good pair, for example a pair of kings and a pair of aces , if your aces and k ings are suited, or even double suited, that would be even better. Of course you must understand the reasoning here: with lets say Ad, Ac, Kd, Kc you are set up with the highest pairs, and you’ve set yourself up for the highest full house possible, nut flush, or straight – there are a number of possible hands, and all of them are good. That being said, even just a pair of aces is always worth betting on, and should you find yourself with a pair of aces and either of your other two cards suited to either of the aces, this is also definitely worth going for.
Moving down a notch, but still certainly in the realm of excellent starting hands are the kings and the queens. If you find yourself with either pair in your hand, you have a hand that it is most certainly worth getting excited about; of course the best possible scenario is a pair of kings and a pair of aces, however a pair of kings and any other pair, or a pair of kings with suited cards are also good hands.
If you don’t have any pairs then you should be looking for the next best thing, and that’s essentially a wrap hand. A wrap hand will be four cards very close together, most likely in sequence ideally at least single suited, but of course double suited being preferable by far. The reason that this kind of card is good is because of the potential for making a straight. If you have for example, 8, 9, 10, J, you have 3 different possibilities for straights, and of course the higher your hole cards are, the stronger the hand. Remember however with wrap hands, that you want as many possibilities for making that straight; hence a jack high is actually the best wrap hand you can hope for.
These are the creme de la creme of Omaha hands , think them over, understand why they’re so good, and then you’ll find it easier to assess other hands for their values.