From Holdem To Omaha : Calculating Odds
Odds are drastically changed from Holdem to Omaha. Each new card that is turned up in the community can potentially lead towards twice as many possibilities in your hand.
Oftentimes Omaha players will begin with one best hand and end the game with another, which is why it’s important to keep track of odds. As each card new card is turned in the community, a player should asses how they could affect not only their potential hands, but others potential hands.
For example, say you have the following: 8h, 9d, 10h, 10d. The flop comes up 7, A, J. Now you have multiple things to consider and worry about. Your straight potential comes from both ends, you can draw for the 7-J straight using a couple combinations with your hand. As well, with an Ace and Jack dealt you have to worry about other players straight draws and full houses. This is just one example out of many more that can come up, and should give a good idea of the differences from Holdem and Omaha.
Pulling for Draws
Right from the first round of play in Omaha, the players must make decisions all based on odds. Draws are a large part of Omaha, as there are usually many more potential hands for each player. Track draws at all times and gain some reasonable odds. While I won’t go into great detail here as to what you should look for in draws, there are a couple points you should keep in mind. Always watch for the nut draw, such as the highest straight or flush. Oftentimes players will be excited by hitting their draws, only to lose to another player who drew it higher. Full houses are especially dangerous in Omaha, and players who do not keep an eye on the strength of their full house will lose to others who have hit a better three of a kind, or have the greater pocket pair that completes their full house.
The Experienced Player vs. the New Player
The final points I want to go over is the danger of playing as a beginner, and against beginners in Omaha. While experienced players can always create edges and outplay new players, in Omaha new players are often drawn in by the potentials of their hand. This can end either way, with the experienced player being beaten by the sheer fact that the new player hit their hand, or with the beginning player losing. Playing with players of your own skill level is usually best, as you can use strategies effectively. When dealing with a beginning player, always play then carefully and personally, looking for tells and bluffs more than playing their theoretical hand.
As you can see I briefly outlined the main differences to be aware of when transitioning from Holdem to Omaha, or vice versa. Keeping these easy points in mind while playing has helped me tremendously, and I hope that it will help other beginning and intermediate players gain a better foothold in Omaha High.