Omaha is a Variant of Poker that utilizes two of the player’s hole cards along with three of the community cards to make a five-card poker hand. The most popular and common betting structure of Omaha games is Pot-Limit Omaha or PLO Poker.
Success in Pot Limit Omaha is heavily dependent on hand selection pre-flop. For example, hands such as KQ and 55 are very playable in Texas Holde’em. When you have KQ55 in PLO however, it is a pretty bad idea to ever see a flop with this hand.
In Texas Hold’em there are 1,326 starting hand combinations which sounds like a lot. Well, Pot Limit Omaha has an incredible 270,725 starting hand combinations. Of these, AAKK Double Suited is considered to be the strongest hand followed by AAJT Double Suited.
Top 30 Starting hands in Omaha:
|1. A-A-K-K||11. K-Q-J-T||21. Q-Q-A-K|
|2. A-A-J-T||12. K-K-T-T||22. Q-Q-A-J|
|3. A-A-Q-Q||13. K-K-A-Q||23. Q-Q-A-T|
|4. A-A-J-J||14. K-K-A-J||24. Q-Q-K-J|
|5. A-A-T-T||15. K-K-A-T||25. Q-Q-K-T|
|6. A-A-9-9||16. K-K-Q-J||26. Q-Q-J-T|
|7. A-A-x-x||17. K-K-Q-T||27. Q-Q-J-9|
|8. J-T-9-8||18. K-K-J-T||28. Q-Q-9-9|
|9. K-K-Q-Q||19. Q-Q-J-J||29. J-J-T-T|
|10. K-K-J-J||20. Q-Q-T-T||30. J-J-T-9|
The best Pot Limit Omaha poker starting hands are considered to be those that contain a big pair in them as well as some connectedness along with double-suit. For example, is a nice double-suited starting hand with a big pair. Double suited run-down holdings such as 8-9-10-J are also very strong preflop.
While Q-Q or J-J are very strong starting hands in Texas Hold’em, combinations such as J-J-6-2 or Q-Q-7-3 are extremely weak and should usually never be played in Omaha.
Preflop equities however, are much closer in PLO than Texas Hold’em. A hand such as AAKK is only a 65.5% favorite against any random hand, whereas in Hold’em you are likely to win over 84% of the time with AA. In fact, numerous flops can make your AAKK a huge underdog!
There are too many (270,725) combinations of preflop holdings in Omaha hence hand charts such as we have in Texas Hold’em are not a viable option in this case. It is most important to remember that all four cards must work together while selecting your hand preflop.