Following on from our Omaha Poker Strategy guide to the best Omaha Poker hands, we’ll look at the ideal hands you can get pre-flop.
Picking the best hand in Texas Holdem is easy. Since you are only dealt 2 cards, the best hand is clearly being dealt 2 aces before the flop. So one might jump to the conclusion that in Omaha, where you are dealt 4 cards, the best hand would be getting 4 aces. This is simply not true.
Since in Omaha Poker hands we must use EXACTLY 2 cards from our hand, getting dealt 4 aces is actually a relatively poor hand. The reason being is now there is zero chance that an ace will flop on the board, turning our pair of aces into a decent hand with three of a kind.
Another hand that at first glance would seem to be good but isn’t, is being dealt 4 cards of all the same suit. Having 4 cards of the same suit in your hand is no better than 2 cards of the same suit, in fact it is worse! Not as staggeringly bad as getting 4 aces, getting 4 of the same suit does reduce the chances of making your flush. For example, with 2 hearts in your hand, there are 11 hearts left in the deck to possibly hit the board. However, with 4 hearts in your hand, there are only 9 hearts left in the deck to possibly hit the board. This may not seem like a big deal, but percentage-wise it does make a difference. About a 10% difference of making your ideal hand with a flush.
The Ideal Omaha Poker Hands
So then the question is what are some of the ideal Omaha Poker hands out there? The truth is that there is much less known about Omaha than Texas Holdem. The reason being is that with 4 cards in your hand, there are many more possibilities for how hands can play out… too many possibilities to analyze them all. But here is what we do know…
The widely accepted ideal Omaha Poker hand is A A K K double suited. Double suited means that one set of A K is one suit, and the other set of A K is another suit. This gives us two high pairs, two good flush possibilities, and a good straight possibility.
So speaking more generally, any hand with 2 pairs in it is pretty good. If these pairs are single suited, that’s good. If they are double suited, that’s even better.
If they happen to be close enough to be apart of the same straight, that’s even better!
You get dealt 4 cards, and have to use 2 of them at a time. Call the cards you are dealt A B C and D. Then the possible two card combinations from these are: A B, A C, A D, B C, B D, and C D. So that is six different possibilities.
Ideally, a great Omaha hand is one where each one of these 2 card combinations are a good combination. A good combination for a set of two cards are ones that are a pair, suited, or close enough to be in the same straight.
You’ll see from this discussion that Omaha poker strategy and how the ideal Omaha Poker hands are really quite a bit different from regular poker strategies.