Omaha Hi-Lo: Basic Starting Hands

The most important decisions in Omaha Hi-Lo are made preflop, so it's crucial to know which hands to play and not to play.

Of course, the hands you play vary according to the information you have when making a decision.

Omaha Hi-Lo is a hand-driven game, meaning there is not much bluffing involved and usually the player with the best hand wins. The best Omaha Hi-Lo starting hands have good potential to win both the high and the low.

Premium Starting Hands

  • A-A-2-x
  • A-A-3-x
  • A-2-3-x
  • A-2-4-x
  • A-2-x-x
  • A-3-4-x
  • A-A-x-x

It is essential that you consider how all of the above hands vary in strength, depending on the x-card/s and whether the hand is non-suited, suited or double-suited.

For example, an A-2-K-K double-suited is significantly stronger than an A-2-Q-8 non-suited, even though both hands belong in the A-2-x-x category. Furthermore, an A-A-K-K double-suited is quite a bit stronger than an A-A-Q-7 non-suited, etc.

All x-cards containing a 6-9 usually weaken the hand. However, in general, all of these combinations are strong hands in loose Omaha Hi-Lo.

Please note that in the list below the abbreviation DS refers to a hand that is double-suited.

The Top 10 List

  1. A-A-2-3 DS
  2. A-A-2-4 DS
  3. A-A-2-3 Suited
  4. A-A-2-5 DS
  5. A-A-2-4 Suited
  6. A-A-3-4 DS
  7. A-A-2-3 Non-suited
  8. A-A-2-2 DS
  9. A-A-3-5 DS
  10. A-A-2-6 DS
Playable Starting Hands
A-A-2-x
A-A-3-x
A-A-4-5
A-2-3-x
A-2-K-K
A-2-Q-Q
A-2-J-J
A-3-4-5
A-A-x-x
A-2-K-Q
A-2-K-J
A-2-x-x (Suited ace)
A-3-K-K
A-3-4-x
2-3-4-5 (Fold if there is no ace on the flop)
J-Q-K-A
T-J-Q-K
K-K-Q-J
Q-J-T-9
2-3-4-x (Fold if there is no ace on the flop)
Any four cards between a 10 and an ace.


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kingblackwsledge 2013-11-05 08:19:32

No chris, you need to use any 2 cards from the ones you're holding, so you can only use 2 of the aces (the 3rd. becomes a dead card) for the high hand, The specs. for low, in hi/lo, is 8 or less to make up a low hand with no pairs.

Doug 2013-08-07 08:03:16

This is the best poker game to date hold em is nothing but luck and this game is skill and gambling

stacker 2013-07-07 18:14:18

@chris,

please don't attempt to play Omaha hi-lo.. (in your best interests and health of your bankroll)
go watch a movie or feed the birds instead

Bored 2013-05-23 06:28:12

No you need to use two of your cards (2 out of the 4 dealt to you) to make a hand therefore AAAK would mean you have no possible low hand:)

john 2013-05-19 21:15:32

any hand with three of a kind in it preflop is a total trash hand and should be folded preflop Omaha is a game of the nuts and redraws to the nuts. you have 6 possible hands. lets assume you had AsAdAckh then your hands would be AsAd AsAc AcAd Askh Adkh Ackh .you have to use two of your own cards and the board to make the best possible high hand or low hand so as you can see you can even make a low as you have to have 5 cards 8 or lower and as far as high hand goes your not gonna like any board that doesn't contain an ace. the average winning hand is two pair so if the board were to pair your just basically playing the guessing game hoping your aces up are good while also keeping in mind that its far from the nuts

Dean 2013-05-19 06:36:54

you need two cards to play the low

chris 2013-05-18 10:56:01

Isn't AAAK a good starting hand? Can you play an ace for low, and the other two aces towards your high hand?