Jun 23

Omaha holdem poker starting hand ranks. The 1st Part

When holdem players turn to playing Omaha they usually know what to do when the flop is opened but they don’t know how to consider starting hands in Omaha holdem poker. They may have correct thoughts about playing from the flop till the end or may not, but they all are not sure which starting hands are considered good.

It is harder in Omaha holdem poker to learn how to rank starting hands. “You reap what you sow” – is exceptionally right in Omaha. Before we start discussing the right methods of ranking starting hands, let us have a look at several wrong views widespread among beginners, used to playing holdem.

Wrong opinions in ranking starting hands in Omaha poker

1) “A good four-card hand of good starting values in holdem is also a good hand in Omaha.”

This theory seems to be the most popular criterion among holdem players. They evaluate a starting hand jack of heartsjack of clubssix of diamondstwo of spades like almost equal to a pair of jacks in holdem. We don’t say that one mustn’t play this hand under any circumstances, but it didn’t even lie anywhere near the value it is assigned by a holdem player. Any hand with two useless cards can’t be considered a good hand in Omaha.

2) “Two decent hands for holdem in one four-card hand make good hand for Omaha.”

It can’t be seen by a beginner, but this view is also incorrect.
Let’s look at such hand: ace of spadesqueen of heartsseven diamondsseven of clubs – it consists of two for a holdem quite good hands: Ace-Queen in different suits and a pair of sevens. In Omaha such hand is just a “pig”. The reason for it is that a holdem player sees only two of six possible combinations existing in the given hand.

He forgets about other card combinations, not quite well connected to each other:
ace of spades ¯ seven diamonds, ace of spades ¯ seven of clubs, queen of hearts ¯ seven of clubs, queen of hearts ¯ seven diamonds. The ace is not suited and it is a disadvantage. Actually this hand is even worse than a pair of jacks in the previous example – that is our thought.

The correct view is this: “In a good hand for Omaha all four cards are connected”. This is the only statement calling for common sense if to think of it for a moment. A hand with six working combinations is a super hand. For example let us look at such a hand:
queen of spadesjack of clubsten of spadesnine of spades.
Each card has a working value for every other card of the hand. One can imagine the powerful flops which will open for such a great hand. If there appear two pairs during the flop, you still have an opened straight draw or a finished straight. There exist a lot of flop variants giving you an opportunity for 13-sided or 17-sided straight. And if you get a flush draw on this flop it is the better. Such starting hand is likely to turn in a multisided hand at the flop, and a multisided hand is exactly what we hope for in Omaha.

For continuation see Part II

written by Mark \\ tags: , ,

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