7 Omaha Poker Tips

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Texas holdem owns the biggest share of the poker market by far, but the second place poker variant is just about the only other game in town.

Omaha, which is also sometimes called Omaha holdem, is played in limit and pot limit and can be played as high only like Texas holdem, and high low split.

In Omaha you receive four hole cards instead of two and you have to use exactly two hole cards and three community cards to form your best five card poker hand. If you’re playing the high low version you can use two different cards for the high hand and low hand.

Most Omaha players started playing Texas holdem and have decided to try something different. Some of them like having more starting cards and some just hope their luck changes in a new game.

Here’s a list of 7 Omaha poker tips to help you get better results.

1 – Play Fewer Hands than in Holdem, Not More

The first thought of most Teas holdem players when they start playing Omaha is you can play more hands because you have more starting cards. You see this played out by more people seeing the flop on average in most Omaha games than in Texas holdem games.

But the opposite is true if you want to be a winning Omaha player.

The best starting hands have four cars that work together in some way. When you only have two or three card that work together you’re entering the pot with a weaker had than some of your opponents.

Examples of strong starting hands in Omaha high only include:

  • A A K K
  • A A K Q
  • K K J J
  • K K Q J
  • A K Q J
  • A Q J 4 if the 4 is the same suit as the ace

Examples of strong starting hands in Omaha high low include:

  • A A 2 3
  • A K 2 4
  • K K 2 3
  • A Q 2 3

Examples of poor starting hands in Omaha high only include:

  • A A 9 4
  • A K 8 3
  • A A Q 9
  • Q Q J 2
  • K Q J 3

While most Omaha players at the lower levels see 35 to 45% of the flops, you should only see 15 to 20% of them. You’ll be starting the hand with a better hand than your opponents on average so your winning percentage will go up over time.

I you ever have the opportunity to see a high limits Omaha game and / or one filled with professional poker players you should watch closely. Most of these games have hands mostly contested heads up with raises before the flop to thin the field.

The pros know that they need to play fewer hands than in Texas holdem, and you should try to play like them whenever possible.

2 – Don’t Get Squeezed on Drawing Hands

One of the biggest dangers when you play drawing hands in Omaha is getting squeezed. Most Omaha pots are contested by three or more players, especially at the lower limits.

Getting squeezed is when you’re between two players who keep betting and raising. This forces you to keep putting more and more money into the pot chasing your draw.

What may have looked like the correct pot odds to call at first quickly becomes unprofitable. You’re usually better off folding drawing hands after the flop to conserve your chips and wait until you have a strong enough hand to play aggressively.

This is even a bigger problem if you play high low Omaha, also called Omaha 8.

One player may have a good high hand and the other has a good low hand, so they both keep raising and if you’re in the middle you get chewed up. If you’re playing pot limit you can quickly get all of your chips in on a draw. This is not usually a good thing.

You want to be one of the players squeezing someone else, not the one being squeezed. Keep your eyes open or potential problem situations and learn how to avoid them.

3 – One Big Pot Can Make the Session a Success

Omaha pots, especially in pot limit, can grow quickly. This means that if you play smart, avoid investing too much money in losing hands, and can win one or two big pots, you can have a profitable playing session most of the time.

I’ve played many session of pot limit Omaha where I only won one or two big pots and still showed a profit.

Once you learn this you start understanding that you can fold all of your weak hands in order to conserve your chips so you can win more when you have a great starting hand.

Notice that this tip includes two important details. Not only must you be patient and wait for your best hands, you have to do everything you can to avoid putting money in the pot in any other situation.

This is easy in theory, but most players start getting bored an end up playing too many hands and wasting chips.

4 – The Swings Can Be Huge

Most of the action in low and middle limit Omaha games comes after the flop. And the entire hand can change with one community card.

You can have the nuts on the flop or turn and not even be the favorite to win the hand. This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

Because large pots are often won and lost on a single card on the turn or river, the swings can be huge.

You need to plan for this by having a large enough bankroll to survive these swings.

As long as you play goo starting hands and use good judgment and pot odds to make your playing decisions you’re going to win in the long run. But in the short run anything can happen.

Just make sure you can ride the variance wave until it turns in your favor.

5 – It’s a Long Game

Any form of poker is a lifelong game. Most of us think in terms of hours or playing sessions, but the game doesn’t really end until we die.

Omaha players have winning and losing sessions just like Texas holdem players, but if you keep making the correct decisions your results will be more consistent over time. The best Omaha players have fewer losing sessions than the best Texas holdem players because they have more information to use before the flop.

This makes the math of the game more straightforward, rewarding the better players.

Any time you have more information and know how to use it correctly your long term results will be better. Most Omaha players don’t use this extra information correctly so you can quickly get an advantage.

And this advantage continues to build over the long life of your single playing session.

6 – Only Limp in Passive Games

Let’s go back to talking about how the pros play Omaha.

They tend to raise before the flop to thin the field. In many lower limit games raises before the flop don’t thin the field.

But just because everyone is sticking around to see the flop doesn’t mean it’s the most profitable way to play. And when you limp into the pot it just opens the possibility that one or more players behind you will raise.

If your starting hand isn’t good enough to raise with you should probably fold.

Of course there are some situations where limping is correct, but usually this is only in passive games.

Most Omaha games aren’t passive, so the next time you think about limping take a second and consider if it’s the best play. Usually raising or folding is better.

7 – Position Still Matters

Because they start with more cards than in holdem many poor Omaha players ignore their position relative to the dealer button. Of course some Texas holdem players don’t think about position either, and they pay for this in long term losses.

In Omaha you should play fewer hands from early position. You can play a few more from middle position, but most of your play should be in late position.

By playing after your opponents each round you have more information when you have to act than they did when they acted. You know what they did and you have the opportunity to take a free card sometimes.

Over time these two advantages ad up to a great deal of extra profit. So much so that often this is the single difference between a winning and losing player.


Omaha poker can be a profitable alternative to Texas holdem if you know how to play well. It can even be more profitable than Texas holdem for some players.

Use the 7 Omaha poker tips in this post to start improving your results today.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.