Strategic Estimation of Starting Hands in Omaha Hi Poker According to Edward Hutchinson. Part I

Starting Hand Ranking in Omaha Hi According to Edward Hutchinson. The 1st part

Unlike holdem poker in which winning combination may be formed using two, one or none of hole cards in Omaha there have to be used two hole and three community cards. On those who play Omaha after playing holdem poker these four cards play a mean trick.

Spade_combinationOn the one hand four cards in your hand in Omaha are better than two in holdem poker, because they allow you to form better starting combinations. Though you should take into consideration the fact that your opponents also have four cards! That’s why straights, flushes and fulls appear in Omaha more often, and small pairs, which in holdem will surely play, in Omaha deserve only check. And a third card in your hands to a pair, which gives to beginners an impression about the strength of their hands, is not a positive side but a negative one – because only two of them play in the game and the probability of appearing of the similar card on the board visibly lowers. Accordingly a fantastic for other games four-of-a-kind combination in hands is considered in Omaha a losing one.

The main mistake which costs beginners the biggest money in Omaha hi poker is playing each and every hand. Even in holdem poker such delusion is very often, and in Omaha where almost every four cards give hope for good combination it happens all the time.

With what starting cards should one enter the game? There is no definite answer to this question as well as of course to many other questions in poker.

There is a strategy for Omaha hi poker developed by a famous American player Edward Hutchinson that uses Monte Carlo’s mathematic modelling. But we will repeat once more that this system like any other is not completely universal. In addition it is generally used in games with a lot of players (8–11 people at a table); with fewer players one should play more aggressively.

Starting hand rank in Omaha holdem by Hutchinson system:

1. First, suited cards are estimated.

If in your hand you have two or more suited cards count your points on the basis of highest of them (if you have double-suited cards then count for both):

  • if your highest card is Ace add 4 points;
  • King – 3 points;
  • Queen – 2.5 points;
  • Jack – 2 points;
  • 10 or 9 – 1.5 points;
  • any other card – 1 point;
  • if all your cards are suited – subtract 2 points.

2. Now let’s estimate pairs’ value:

  • a pair of Aces – add 9 points;
  • a pair of Kings – add 8 points;
  • a pair of Queens – add 7 points;
  • a pair of Jacks or 10 – add 6 points;
  • a pair of 9 – add 5 points;
  • any other pair – add 4 points;
  • if you have three or more cards of the came kind – don’t add any points.

And at last let’s calculate the possibility of forming a straight.

If you have in your hand cards which will help you to get a straight (meaning that a “gap” between them is not more than three cards) then:

  • Ace with King, Queen, Jack or 10 earn you 2 points;
  • Ace with 2, 3, 4 or 5 – 1 point;
  • any two cards from 2 to 6 – 2 points;
  • any two cards from 6 to King – 4 points;
  • any three cards from 6 and higher – 7 points;
  • any four cards from 6 and higher – 12 points;
  • if a gap between the cards is one or two cards – subtract 1 point;
  • if a gap makes three cards – subtract 2 points.

Now let’s calculate the sum. You should come into play (of course it depends upon the street position which mustn’t be overestimated and upon the opponents’ strength) only if you have 15 points and more and raise only if you earned 20 and more.

For continuation see Part 2.