Omaha Odds and Outs: A Quick and Dirty Guide

chips and cards

Most Hold'em players, including very good Hold'em players, don't know the true odds and outs in most standard Omaha situations.

Good players can play good Omaha purely by feel and instinct. But it never hurts to have knowledge of the true numbers. Before you can learn odds, you have to know which hands we're talking about.

Omaha Specific Draws

So as not to slow things down, I won't provide an exhaustive list of the standard Hold'em hands and draws here. If you don't know how many outs are in an open-ended straight draw, check out this article here.

The Wraparound: A wraparound straight draw is where you have two cards above and one below the two connected board cards (or vice versa). For example:

Hand: Q J 8 2

Flop: 10 9 3

In this scenario, between your hand and the connected board cards, you have 8-9-10-J-Q (bold indicates cards in your hand).

To make a straight you need one of the following:

7(x4), 8(x3), J(x3), Q(x3), K(x4) = Total of 17 outs.

Croc trophy
I can guarantee, winning money at Omaha is much easier than wrestling an alligator for it.

The Double Wraparound: A double wraparound draw is when you have two cards above and two cards below the two connected cards on board. For example:

Hand: Q J 8 7

Flop: 10 9 3

In this scenario, between your hand and the connected board cards, you have 7-8-9-10-J-Q

To make this straight you need to hit one of the following:

6(x4),7(x3), 8(x3), J(x3), Q(x3), K(x4) = Total of 20 outs.

The 13-Out Straight: A 13-out straight draw is when your hand holds three cards above or below the two connected board cards. For example:

Hand: K Q J 4

Flop: 10 9 3

In this scenario, between your hand and the connected board cards, you have 9-10-J-Q-K.

To make a straight you need one of the following:

8(x4),J(x3), Q(x3), K(x3) = Total of 13 outs.

Some Staggering Odds

First off, take a look at the Top 30 Omaha starting hands:

Hand Ranking

Below are the Top 30 starting hands in Pot-Limit Omaha.

1 AA-KK double-suited
2 AA-J-T double-suited
3 AA-QQ double-suited
4 AA-JJ double-suited
5 AA-TT double-suited
6 AA-9-9 double-suited
7 AA-x-x double-suited
8 J-T-9-8 double-suited
9 KK-QQ double-suited
10 KK-JJ double-suited
11 K-Q-J-T double-suited
12 KK-TT double-suited
13 KK-A-Q double-suited
14 KK-A-J double-suited
15 KK-A-T double-suited
16 KK-Q-J double-suited
17 KK-Q-T double-suited
18 KK-J-T double-suited
19 QQ-JJ double-suited
20 QQ-TT double-suited
21 QQ-A-K double-suited
22 QQ-A-J double-suited
23 QQ-A-T double-suited
24 QQ-K-J double-suited
25 QQ-K-T double-suited
26 QQ-J-T double-suited
27 QQ-J-9 double-suited
28 QQ-9-9 double-suited
29 JJ-TT double-suited
30 JJ-T-9 double-suited

The odds of getting dealt AA-KK double suited are 50,000-1 against. Not only is it that rare to get dealt the hand, but put AA-KK up against 8-7-6-5 double suited (a hand not even in the top 30), and the AA-KK is a mere 3-2 favorite.

Alexander Kravchenko
Unless you're heads up, you probably shouldn't play that hand.

Compare This to Hold'em

The odds of getting dealt AA, Hold'em's best hand, are 220-1 against. AA up against a hand such as 8-7 suited is a 3-1 favorite. You're 227 times more likely to be dealt AA than AA-KK double suited, and your AA is a larger favorite to win against the most comparable hand.

What to Take Home

Once you know the odds and outs of Omaha, you'll be able to make more informed decisions about how to play your hands. Hold'em players playing Omaha by feel are quick to overvalue their hands and their perceived advantage over their opponent.

Memorize the outs of all the straight draws, and how to spot them. Get a very good idea of the top hands, and understand the small margin of advantage they hold. Adjust your play accordingly.

More strategy articles from Sean Lind:

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Jul 2012-06-06 14:46:24

Can you explain the formula you used to calculate the odds for 17 outs? (the one with (17*4)-(17-8)=59%)
Coming from Hold'em, I usually just use the simple 2/4 rule to estimate the odds, but I guess yours is more accurate for high out number.

Sean Lind 2010-02-25 21:03:43

JMoney,

You are correct. On paper calculating odds is identical in Omaha as it is in holdem (since the board and betting structure is the same).

Because of each player being dealt four cards it just gets more complicated.

The hand you show is a straight forward "wrap" hand, for 17 outs, using the high-out shortcut formula:

(17*4)-(17-8)=59%

That number is obviously not 100% accurate, but it will be within 1-2%.

Because it's Omaha though, we have to always factor in backdoor, and anti-outs as you mention. the 3 8's give you the nuts, but two of those also give a flush draw, luckily you have blockers (or a re-draw) to one of them.

In short, yes it's the same. Just don't get wrapped up in the "I have 17 outs, so I should push" mentality which hold'em players often bring to Omaha.

You have to (almost) assume that any pair to the board kills your hand, as well as running flushes. You also need to consider the 3 jacks being anti-outs, since there's a decent chance someone's sitting with KQ.

It's rarely (if ever) correct to fold a wrap on a board as dry as that, but if the turn and river both bring scare cards, it would be prudent to shut down, and practice pot control.

JMoney 2010-02-24 17:43:14

Hi Sean,

Is calculating Ohama Hi odds the same or similar in Hold 'em, in the sense that you still factor in the unknown cards regardless with how many cards are dealt to the player? Does that make sense?

Using the above example:

Hand: Q♦ J♦ 8♥ 2♠

Flop: 10♦ 9♣ 3♥
7(x4), 8(x3), J(x3), Q(x3), K(x4) = Total of 17 outs.

So if there were 3 or 5 players in this hand, the odds to improve wouldn't change because we are still counting the unknown cards, right? (this is not counting or assuming anti-outs)

bill 2008-08-25 00:58:00

The Q and J in both the wraparound and double wraparound scenarios are actually antiouts if an opponent holds KQ or KJ.

If Q or J came out on the turn you need good position to see how to proceed, or a good read on those in and out of the hand. Alot of players out of the action will react to the ones that got away. If you aren't under the gun this is prime time to test your reading skills.
It would be worth a look at the river card for sure

Sean Lind 2008-05-27 17:10:00

Thanks bro, that was a typo, been fixed.

zsp 2008-05-26 16:09:00

"6(x4),7(x3), 8(x3), J(x3), Q(x3), K(x4) = Total of 17 outs."

4+3+3+3+3+4=20, the double wraparound is 20 outs.

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