Players new to the game of Omaha make some very common mistakes. This article is to inform you about some of these mistakes so that you can learn to avoid them. Read on and hopefully your Omaha game will improve.
I have four cards not two, so I can play just about any hand?
This belief is very common among new Omaha players and it is an idea that is totally and completely wrong. Tight play is always the way to go, and that includes Omaha. With the variety of starting hands available in Omaha, the best way to decide what to play is to look for what draws you have in your hand, as Omaha is a game where the winning hands frequently end up being straights and flushes. The way I play is that I have to have a minimum of three different ways to draw a big hand if I play my hand. For example I could have two suited cards and two different ways to make straights and that would be a playable hand for me. Pocket pairs also count as a way to draw, as when you have a pocket pair you are really hoping for a full house. Also in Omaha, the size of the pocket pair actually matters very little, due to the large number of strong winning hands in Omaha. Play tight. If you find yourself playing more hands in Omaha than you are in Holdem you should probably further restrict your playing hand requirements, as you will usually have to have the best hand to win in Omaha, especially when playing at lower stakes.
What? I’m playing Hi/Lo?
This is another mistake that I see frequently, and is one that should never happen. Players forget whether they are playing Omaha or Omaha Hi/Lo, and as a result play differently than they would have if they knew what game they were playing. For instance, A player sees that he has a qualifying low hand and plays that only to find out at the showdown that it was Omaha Hi, not Omaha Hi/Lo. Or a player plays their high hand only to see a split pot at the end because they forgot it was Omaha Hi/Lo. Luckily, this mistake can be easily remedied simply by staying aware. Also, most players who make this mistake won’t make it more than a few times, as it is one of the more embarrassing mistakes to make.
I have a straight, but I’m only using one of my hole cards?
This is one of the classic Omaha mistakes: Forgetting that you must use two hole cards, no more, no less. Say the flop and turn come 6-7-9-10. A player who has a hand of A-K-K-8 sees the board and gets excited because he has a straight. He bets heavily on the turn, the river is a 2, and he believes that he’s won the hand when his opponent shows a hand of A-Q-10-10. He starts to take the pot only to be stopped by their opponent saying that they’ve won with trip 10s to beat the pair of kings. Like I said before, this mistake is classic, and everyone who’s played Omaha for any length of time will have seen somebody make this goof. The best way to avoid this mistake is to train your mind to remember that you MUST use two of your hole cards. Remember to tell yourself this during every hand you play and looking for the two cards you are using will become second-nature to you.
These are just a few mistakes that beginners frequently make in Omaha. Train yourself to avoid these mistakes, because once you have that discipline, you can concentrate more on the strategy of Omaha and become a threat to your opponents.