Beginners Strategy



 

When you first start out playing Omaha Holdem 8/b one of the trickiest aspects is getting used to the hands, and in particular the low hands. Because you must use three of the community cards for each of your hands it is sometimes easier to look at the community board cards and look for the hand combinations of three cards there rather than just focusing on your own pocket cards.

But the real challenge is spotting the lowest hands. Even experienced players sometimes have trouble with this but here are some guidelines to help you out. For a start, you need to know whether or not there is even a low hand available. If there aren’t three unpaired cards on the board then there isn’t a low hand available to play and you should focus on your high hand. And of course, if you can’t make a hand without unpaired cards then you won’t qualify for a low hand at all.

An easy way to look at your low hands is to start from the highest card and work your way down. Remember, the lower the highest card in your low hand, the better. If your low hand includes a 7 then you aren’t doing too well. Take your time looking for your low hand as a mistake can be costly.

As each round develops you should be reading the board cards and working out what the nut hand is, that is the best possible hand available with the board cards. This means of all possible hands, not just your own pocket cards. The nearer you are to the nut the better your chances of winning the hand.

Omaha Holdem 8/b is very much an opening cards game. Your pocket cards should define how you play each hand. Don’t hold out in the hope that something good happens at the river but rather play your hands based on the pocket cards you have. You need to decide if you are heading for a high hand or a low and then play accordingly.

So what are good hands to start with and which hands should be thrown? Triple aces, a pair of aces with low cards, four unpaired low cards are all hands that you can take past the flop. If however you draw four of a kind, three of a kind, or four unpaired middle cards then fold you hand and sit it out. Finally, bear in mind that the low hands often tie and split half the pot that is already split with the high hand. This means that winning a low hand is often not worth the trouble. Omaha Holdem 8/b is a game of nut hands so if you haven’t got either a very strong high hand or a very low one you aren’t going to make anything from the pot.

A last tip is to always take a good look at your opponents’ hands after the showdown. Even professional dealers sometimes make mistakes and the more hands you study the better you will get at reading your own cards in the future.