Fixed Limit Omaha High-Low is a game of draws and re-draws. At showdown the pot is split between the best high poker hand and the lowest possible hand containing 5 different cards 8 or below. The nature of this game means that players aim to scoop’ the pot – that is to win both the high and the low sides at the same time. This article looks at 5 myths about fixed limit Omaha poker high-low and discusses why they exist.
Fixed Limit Omaha High-Low Myth #1 Only Play Hands Containing An Ace
This may be good advice for the beginner, after all aces make both high and low hands. However playing only hands containing an ace will lead to many situations where value is missed in Fixed Limit Omaha High-Low. A good example is when an ace comes on the flop. In this case you may find yourself drawing to only a quarter of the pot with opponents who are also playing low hands. A player holding 2-3-5-K is in a very strong position on an A-4-K flop holding outs to both low and high hands.
Playing non-ace hands in fixed limit Omaha high-low depends on the style of your opponents and your position at the table. In a limped pot from later position it is possible to play a much wider range of hands.
Fixed Limit Omaha High-Low Myth #2 Opponents Never Fold!
Combine the number of draws with 4 hole cards and a split pot with the fixed limit betting structure and many opponents will constantly call one more bet’. While it is easy to see how it is harder to get opponents to fold their hands than in a no limit or pot-limit game it is a myth to say that this is impossible.
Tactics used to thin the field of opponents will ultimately depend on your table position. If you are to the left of the pre-flop raiser then raising that opponent’s flop bet can often get other callers to fold they are faced with cold calling two bets. Advanced play can involve waiting until the turn, when the bet size doubles, to raise. This has the advantage of charging opponents the maximum price to continue with their draws.
Fixed Limit Omaha High-Low Myth #3 The Game Is Complicated.
The number of potential outs available to several opponents holding 4 hole cards and a split pot can make fixed limit Omaha high low seem like a complicated game. True, there is more to watch out for than in games such as Holdem, however the core strategy is actually fairly simple. Instead of counting every possible out’ you should focus on those outs which make a nut hand preferably a nut hand that wins both the high and the low side of the pot. By counting nut’ outs and avoiding situations where you are drawing to only a quarter of the pot fixed limit Omaha high-low is greatly simplified.
Fixed Limit Omaha High-Low Myth #4 I Was Priced In to Calling’
When the pot gets large it is relatively easy to find yourself in a situation where calling just one more bet will make mathematical sense. For example in a 20 bet pot you should call a bet on the river if you believe that your chances of winning are more than 5%. The danger here is that it becomes very easy to justify calling earlier bets based on potential outs to either the high or low sides of the pot. In order to avoid situations where you are forced to call extra bets it is important to be selective with starting hands, to draw only to nut hands and to be aware of situations where you might get quartered. Be particularly cautious of situations where you are trapped between an opponent betting a high hand and one raising a low those extra bets can soon add up!
Fixed Limit Omaha High-Low Myth #5 Never Play High-Only Hands
High only hands such as K-K-J-10 can be difficult to play in fixed limit Omaha high-low. This does not mean that they should always be folded though! 30% of the time there will be no low hand made by the river, which means that the best high hand will scoop the entire pot. If the flop contains only 1 low card the odds of the pot going to a high only hand are strongly in your favor. Playing high only hands for a small bet pre-flop can have a positive expectation but only if you are willing to fold when low hand and flush / straight draw combinations appear on the flop.