Previously we discussed the best poker hands for Omaha. The general theme was that each 2 card pair should be useful, and there are 6 such pairings of 2 cards from our 4 total cards. Now with adding in the challenge of making a qualifying low hand, that does complicate things a bit.
Previously we said that for a 2 card pairing to be useful, they should either be 2 of a kind, the same suit, or close enough to be part of the same straight. Any hand that was considered exceptional good for regular Omaha should be considered a good hand in Omaha Hi-Lo as well.
After all, there is always a chance that there will not be 3 cards of value 8 or lower on the board, in which case there is no qualifying low hand. So a hand like A A K K double suited, which we said was the best Omaha hand, is still a very good Omaha Hi-Lo hand, even though it stands no chance of making a qualifying low hand.
However, hands that were marginally good in regular Omaha, lose a lot of their value in Omaha Hi-Lo. For example a hand like 7H 7C 9C JD is a pretty good Omaha hand, but would be considered sub par in Omaha Hi-Lo.
So, what would be the best Omaha Hi-Lo hands in this variety of Omaha?
Well, certainly, we’d like a Omaha Hi-Lo hand that qualifies us for the low hand (if there is one). But we don’t want to sacrifice our high hand at that expense. We’d like to have the best of both worlds. So, the consensus best hand in Omaha Hi Lo is A A 2 3 double suited. Let’s break down the 6 two card combinations to see why this is so good.
A A – a pair of aces, the best pair out there, a great start for our high hand.
A 2 suited – not only is this the best start for a low hand, but this is also suited, since A is the highest card of any suit, this is the best suited start for that suit, also it could be a good start to a straight.
A 2 unsuited – everything that I mentioned above, minus the suited part.
A 3 suited – this is also a very good low hand, and protects your low possibilities in the situation where a 2 hits the board, also this is a good start for a straight and a great start for a flush.
A 3 unsuited – ditto for A 2 unsuited.
2 3 – this is a pretty good low hand, and protects your low hand in the case where an A hits the board (which should make you very happy since you have 2 of them in your hand), plus it could help out a straight attempt
So as you can see, each 2 card combination brings something to the table. A great all around hand, you should be betting as much as you can pre-flop on this Omaha Hi-Lo hand!