High and middle connected Hands in omaha

Connected hands in omaha are different from high pairs in one very distinct way. Unlike high pairs they have to connect with the flop, and they consequently have little value by themselves. This makes it even more crucial that the hand holds as many combinations as possible. It should therefore be emphasized not to play hands, which contains too many or big gabs (Gabs are the distance between cards: e.g. 5xx8 has a gab of 2 cards) or hands with to many danglers (Danglers are cards that can not be combined with other cards in the hand: e.g. QhJc10s3d where 3d is a dangler).

Increased value

At the same time connected hands, like high pairs, increase a lot in value by being suited. Like above four hands are shown below to illustrate this point:

QhJc10s3d vs. AcAd5d2s = 34 % vs. 66 %

QhJc10d9s vs. AcAd5d2s = 36 % vs. 64 %

QhJc10h9s vs. AcAd5d2s = 39 % vs. 61 %

QhJc10h9c vs. AcAd5d2s = 43 % vs. 57 %

This once again shows you how important the number of combinations is in omaha, and why you should avoid hands with danglers and gabs. Another even more important reason to play hands with a great amount of possible combinations is the possibility of re-draws, when we connect with the flop. The example below illustrates this point:

On a flop of: 9s6d5s

Player 1 has: Js10d8s7d

Player 2 has: 8h7c4h3c

Result: Player 1 wins the pot 58 % of the times, while they split the pot between them 42 % of the times.

In this example both players flopped the nut (best hand possible) straight, and the only difference between the two hands is the amount of re-draws. As is evident from the example, player 1 has a much stronger hand than player 2, which is due to the fact that he has a re-draw possibility to a higher straight or flush on the turn and river.

Although this is a somewhat worst-case scenario, it really highlights why re-draws are so important in pot limit omaha. At the same time it shows one of the biggest pitfalls within omaha poker games, as many players tend to overplay hands with no re-draws, which will cost u money in the long run. Consequently you should be very careful sometimes when you hit a good flop or turn card without any re-draws, and remember that your opponent could have the same hand just better.

In spots like the on above and alike, the concept of pot control once again becomes very important, as we do not wish to fold our hand, and at the same time do not won’t to commit to many chips in the pot. Although it is possible in extreme cases, that we can be forced to fold our nut hand because of to much action in front, but this will rarely happens and should only be considered against many opponents and very tight players.

Low connected hands in Omaha

Although the same overall characteristics is true for the low connected hands in omaha, as the ones discussed above in connection with high and middle connected hands, these omaha hands belong to a special category and needs more attention. When we talk about low connected hands this is mainly with reference to connected hands between 2-9, which can be quite tricky to play, because they make low straights and flushes. In other words you will be making the second and third or even weaker best hand in many situations, when you connect with the flop. This means you have to be more careful, especially with many players in the hand.

Of cause this does not mean you can not play these hands, but they should be well connected and have at least one suit. At the same time you have to very aware of the board texture, the amount of opponents in pot and how they play. Many times there will be draws out to higher straights and flushes, which might dominate your hand.

But although you have to be careful with the low connected hands, they may play very well in some situations. This is the case when you can be fairly sure that your opponent or opponents are playing high cards. In these situations it is sometimes possible to pick up a big pot, as many high cards are in play, which increases the chances of hitting our hand, and taking down the pot against an opponent who e.g. overplays a big pair. But be careful as your opponent might be aware of this tendency too. And remember you still have to be quite cautious playing your small flush draws.

Omaha Poker hand selection sum up

To end our discussion on hand selection in pot limit omaha, we now sum up with the most important lessons. As was setout from the beginning, the most important thing to have in mind when playing omaha poker is the amount of combinations the omaha poker hand contains. Above we discussed each type of omaha hand in turn and how they relate to this criterion. The most important lesson here was to avoid gabs and danglers, and to be aware of possible re-draws and the board texture.

To conclude the discussion on the different types of hands in omaha poker, we now turn shortly to how handselection relate to position at the table. This will only be a cruel recommendation on which omaha hands to play in different positions. The schematics below takes it’s starting point in a shorthanded table and shows which omaha hands we should raise (open the pot) with in different positions at the omaha table:

Early position (Blinds + UTG): play only the highest pairs (preferably suited and/or connected) and highest connected hands (without danglers, but can be considered if the dangler is suited), plus double suited small and middle connectors (with only one gab and no danglers) and two-pair combinations with one high pair (preferably with at least one suit).

Middle and late position (CO + Bottom): play all high pairs and connected hands, plus small and middle connected hands (preferably with one suit) and all two-pair combinations.

As pointed out above this is a very cruel division and you should not play exclusively according to the schematic above. You should always try to adjust to the table and your opponents. This means you might play different against loose and tight opponents, playing fewer hands against the first and more against the leather, depending on the situation at the table. Also one should note that this schematic does not take 3-betting range in pot limit omaha into consideration, but as a general rule you should 3-bet about the top 10 % of your starting range in each position. This should once again be adjusted depending on table and opponent.

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