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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20 April 2008 1404