Outs And Board Reading In Omaha

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Jim Green Discusses How To Read Hands And Outs On The Best Poker Site- Omaha8
Reading the board in Omaha is perhaps one of the most difficult things about the game. Even at showdown, it can sometimes take a while (when you`re not playing online) to be sure just who has the best hands. With six possible combinations of cards to fit the board, it`s possible for eveb experienced players to be blindsided. I`ve put together a few quick examples for you to practise on.
1) You have As 2s Kc Kd, Opponent One has Ac Ah Jc Th, Opponent Two has 2c 3c 4s Ks

The board is 5d 6d 9h Qs 8d - what do each of you have for High and Low (and who wins)?

You - Pair of Kings and A2568
One - Queen high straight and no low
Two - High card King and 23568

You win Low and Opponent One wins High. The two of you split whatever dead money was in the pot (player two and any players who folded earlier). Not a bad outcome.

2) You have As 2s Qc Kc and your one opponent has Ah 5h 9d 9c

The board is 3h Js Ts 8h 2h

You have - Pair of Twos (having missed all your draws) and no low (three from the board and two from your hand means the best you can do is A238T - which does not qualify)

Opponent has - Ace high flush and A2358 for low.

Your opponent has just scooped you thanks to a brutal river card. You had a tonne of outs but they just didn`t come in. If he keeps playing trash like that though, you`ll take money off him in the long run.

3) You have As Ac 2c 3s. Opponent One has 7s 8c Js Kd. Opponent Two has Kh Kc Qh Qc. Opponent Three has Ah 2h Ts Tc.

The board is 6s 8s Td Ks 2d

You have - Ace High Flush and A2368 for low
One has - Jack High Flush and no low
Two has - Three of a kind Kings and no low
Three has - Three of a kind Tens and no low.

You scoop what is presumably a pretty large four way pot.

One last much more detailled example:

You start with Ad 2d Kh Qh. This is a good starting hand. It`s got potential for both high and low. Your opponent has 5s 7s 9s Js, which is basically complete trash.

The flop is 3d4hJc.

What do you and your opponent have on the flop:

You have four cards (sixteen outs) to make the A2xxx low. On the high side, you have four outs to a 5 high straight, two backdoor flush draws, a backdoor straight draw, and nine outs to a higher pair. Sure, you`re behind for high right now, but there are two cards to come so your thirteen outs twice are about 28% to hit each time (or 56% overall). If you also consider that half the deck will give you a flush draw (another six or seven outs on the river - since we`ve already counted King diamonds, Queen Diamonds, five diamonds, five hearts and Ace hearts as pair or straight outs) and a Ten gives you another four outs (nines to give you a K high straight, along with the flush outs that a red ten gives), you`re actually quite a way ahead.

That seems strange to say, but Omaha is a drawing game so, with enough outs, a drawing hand can have a larger expected share of the pot than a pat hand. This is especially true on the flop, when there are two cards to come.

Your opponent has four cards to a weak low, and a pair of Jacks. His hand is in real trouble though, and doesn`t have a lot of outs to catch up with you. A six gives him a straight (although it gives you a low, and red sixes give you a flush draw). A ten or an eight gives him a straight draw (although with the straight and possible flush draw it also gives you I doubt he`d be too happy to see one).

OK, that was very complicated, but one of the key Omaha skills is finding your outs (and knowing which ones are dirty - actually help your opponent more). It might be worth going back and checking to be sure you see what`s going on (I know I had to double check). It`s usually not this complicated though.



The turn is an 8h, which gives you a low. That`s 50% of the pot right there. It also gives you the flush draw (another eight outs). Your opponent has a weaker low than you, and a straight draw.

You now have a lot of outs for high - nine for higher pairs, another eight for the flush, three more for the straight. Twenty of the forty four cards you haven`t seen win the pot for you. That`s about a 45% chance to hit, so in a limit game it would be worth staying in even if your opponent had the low locked up.

In a real game, you would have to be very confident in your read of your opponent to count draws to higher pairs, but this is an example.

The river is the two of clubs, so you`ve missed all your draws for high. Still, you will pick up half the pot for your ace-two low, so it`s not all bad.

Actually it is. Remember how we have to use two from our hand and three from the board to make our low? Well, we have A2 from our hand and 348 from the board. Our opponent on the other hand has 234 from the board and 56 from his hand. A2348 is higher than 23456 (straights and flushes don`t count), so our opponent has scooped us! Damn the river!

As you`ve seen, outs can get very complicated in Omaha (although usually you won`t know your opponent`s cards, so you can usually ignore any outs that don`t make you the nuts or near nuts). It is very rare to see the high side of an Omaha pot won by less than top set .

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