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 1387

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jerry 2015-04-08 21:39:56

ok ace high flush 7to the 6 oppsit my hand three 4's 7to the 4 the flush took the low also with 7/6

John 2014-12-28 19:43:28

It's funny that 70% of players don't even bother to play by this chart (or use common sense to figure it out by themselves).

RuyLopez 2014-10-04 02:34:58

@adam, that's a very nitty fold, but it also depends on what range you put your opponent on, doesn't it? You have trip aces with the 4 kicker, and no qualfying low hand. You are beat by almost any ace, and any boat. Was the pot so huge and the raise or bet in front of you so large that you made a fold? You decide

Caesar 2014-06-25 16:41:12

AKA2 DS is the best starting hand imo

adam 2014-05-21 22:20:33

sorry the 1st question was did i make a good or bad fold let me know the rule on that

adam 2014-05-21 22:17:46

i get confused when the boards like a a k k 9 my holdings r a234
i folded the hand i had 3 a's with a rag kicker my 2nd question is board reads a 2 6 7 4
im holding 34Ak i had the nut low now i dont? its 3 5 or is it a chop?

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:)