Limit Omaha Rules and Basic Strategy

Rules of the Game

Limit Omaha High is not widely spread; however, it is a regular game in certain rooms and is occasionally included in mixed games in order to add another flop based game.  In addition, it is one of the games currently included in the Dealer’s Choice WSOP tournaments.

Regardless of the venue the action in this variant tends to be very loose and lively.  Multi-way action is the norm not the exception.  It does serve as a nice break from all of the split-pot and draw games that tend to dominate mixed games so whenever possible I would recommend adding the game to the rotation.

Basic Strategy

Starting hand selection is important as it is in its big brother Pot Limit Omaha High.  However, it is important to not play too loose as you are typically up against a larger field both before and after the flop.  Thus playing hands that can more often make the nuts is more important.

Consider 9 8♠ 7♠ 6 which is a premium or near premium hand in Pot Limit Omaha.  Part of the reason why these hands are so good are the times you flop a combination draw and can bet large in order to shake out holdings that take value away from your hand.  But in the limit version it’s more likely that a marginal hand with a queen high flush will remain in the pot with you which will drastically reduce your equity in the pot. In addition, weaker made hands will be able to tag along as well.  Certainly we can still play this holding but its weaker cousins such as 9♥ 8♠ 7♠ 4♣ should be folded.

Hands with medium or small pairs in them also do not fare very well.  Often players will take a look at the flop with them because they may hold other possibilities.  But then once the flop comes down it can be hard to get away for one bet at a time.

Limit Omaha is more geared for nut draws, big pairs, and big cards.  The big pairs such as Aces through Queens are highly playable but don’t expect to try and limit the field with them.  Top set is often both the best hand and the best draw so it’s a hand worth trying to build.  Unless its multiple bets to you it’s a good idea to see a flop even with something as junky as Q Q♠ 7♠ 4♣.  Many players will fold this hand but call with some marginal ace suited hand but your odds of spiking a set is roughly the same as flopping a flush draw.  The difference is that with a set of queens you hold a premium hand as opposed to simply a draw to one.

Post flop the issue is typically straightforward in regards to whether you want to try and push other players out or let them in order to get a better price on your draw.  However, when your best course of action is not clear being aggressive and putting in a raise is usually best.  For example if you hold a good straight draw and a pair a raise may clear out a few holdings that share some of your straight outs and on your best days may even elevate your pair to the best hand at showdown.

Further Learning

Omaha Poker
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Omaha Poker by Bob Ciaffone  (Rating 9/10) – This book is primarily focused on PLO but it does have a short but good section on the fixed limit section.  Anything written by Bob is worth reading.