Turn and River Strategy in Omaha
Omaha is an immensely complex poker game. This has been stated many times before, but it goes without question that Omaha, especially high/low (otherwise known as 8 or better), is one of the most strategically complex games for beginning poker player to learn.
Broken down, the most complex aspects of Omaha are calculating card probabilities, managing effects and implications of multiple cards, and the accompanying strategies and odds that are available when playing during the turn and river cards.
Being that the last two topics in this list are considered crucial skills in Omaha and that they are also the most neglected, I have written this guide to walk through some situations that may come up and illustrate the accompanying techniques that should be used when they are encountered.
The Implications of Four Card Hands
They key difference between texas holdem and Omaha is the addition of two cards to each players hand during each round. Due to this, your odds of hitting cards, and your opponents odds of hitting cards become greatly increased (in fact, they almost double).
Therefore a player must make some major adjustments towards their playing style in order to fully exploit the odds for and against them. Draws become very prominent, and a flush is one of the most powerful and plentiful hand in the game. Coming close behind is the full house though.
If a player starts with a three-of-a-kind, I highly recommend playing it all the way to the end, as more often than not they will also pair the board and hit the nuts. With this outlook on large draw potential, and keeping in mind the flush and full house occurrences, a player can further zoom in to managing these hands during the late stages of a game.
Managing Your Hand on the Turn River
Because we have this great variety of successful cards in Omaha, there are many more dangerous and potentially great situations that come up. Below I will outline some of the more common situations that occur, and the strategies I have found most successful when in those situations.
Three-of-a-kind on turn, flush potential: Drop out. Flushes become so popular and easy in this game, it’s almost never worth the risk.
Flush on turn, three-of-a-kind on board: Bet high. Based on callers and the strength of your flush decide whether to stay in against a possible full house. If there is more than one player calling, usually fold out.
Straight on turn, flush potential: Drop out. Chances of a flush a very high, the more players or cards to a flush, the faster you should get out.
Low full house on turn: Bet high. If someone calls you, check for a flush. If there’s a flush, go ahead and stay in, if not, check to the better and play it by ear.
As you can see in these basic situations, there are many tight situations that occur in Omaha. While this doesn’t cover high low fully, that is an entire other article in itself. Using these basic guidelines any player should be able to determine whether they are in a good position or not to stay in the game or fold out, and how they should react with there current hand.