Targeted poker quiz 03: Omaha-8 (beginner)


Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. This 39-part series of quizzes, originally published (2004-2006) in Poker Player, is based on the Mike Caro University of Poker library of research and advice. In each entry, Mike Caro presents 10 questions covering a category of poker, targeted for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players. Answers with explanations appear below each quiz, with the questions repeated for easy reference.


The MCU Targeted Poker Quiz series

(See the index to this series)

Strategy – Omaha, eight-or better (level: beginner)

  1. In Omaha, eight-or-better, as in all forms of high-low split, you should primarily try to…

    (a) choose hands to play that are geared for increasing your likelihood of winning half the pot, even though they have a very small chance of winning both high and low;

    (b) play your low-only hands heads up against high hands;

    (c) play your high-only hands heads up against low hands;

    (d) mostly play hands with some chance of winning both high and low.

  2. If the flop contains all ranks nine and higher, then…

    (a) at the showdown, the highest hand will win the whole pot;

    (b) you should play your low hands aggressively;

    (c) if you’re holding 6-6-5-5, you’re always in great shape;

    (d) it will almost always take a full house or better to win.

  3. When you tie for high or low and a third player takes the other half of the pot, it’s called…

    (a) being suckered;

    (b) a fair share;

    (c) getting quartered;

    (d) oversliding;

  4. In hold ’em, you can use two cards out of the two in your private hand, or one card, or no cards at all (playing the board). In Omaha games, your private hand consists of four cards, and – in order to make a five-card hand — you…

    (a) must use all four of them and only one from the board;

    (b) must use exactly two of them and exactly three from the board;

    (c) must use at least one of them, with the others coming from the board;

    (d) may use four, three, two, one, or none of them, in conjunction with enough cards from the board to complete the poker hand.

  5. Which of the following hands is least profitable in Omaha, eight or better?

    (a) A-A-2-2;

    (b) 2-2-2-2;

    (c) 4-3-2-K;

    (d) 10-10-9-8.

  6. Weak Omaha, eight-or-better players tend to enter too many pots with high hands…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  7. How many combinations of two-cards are contained in a four-card Omaha starting hand?

    (a) 6;

    (b) 2;

    (c) 19;

    (d) 12.

  8. A starting hand like 5-3-2-A, consisting of only two suits in Omaha, eight or better is…

    (a) very risky to play;

    (b) should never be played;

    (c) likely to win both high and low more than 80 percent of the time;

    (d) a high-profit hand that is always worth entering a pot with.

  9. The worst rank to hold in Omaha, eight or better is…

    (a) nines;

    (b) kings;

    (c) aces;

    (d) fives.

  10. It’s important to play two-way hands in Omaha, eight or better, because winning the whole pot is worth exactly twice as much as winning half the pot…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Strategy – Omaha, eight-or better (level: beginner)

  1. In Omaha, eight-or-better, as in all forms of high-low split, you should primarily try to…

    (a) choose hands to play that are geared for increasing your likelihood of winning half the pot, even though they have a very small chance of winning both high and low;

    (b) play your low-only hands heads up against high hands;

    (c) play your high-only hands heads up against low hands;

    (d) mostly play hands with some chance of winning both high and low.

    Answer: (d). Your primary profit comes from playing pots that have a reasonable chance at winning the high half and the low half at the same time.

  2. If the flop contains all ranks nine and higher, then…

    (a) at the showdown, the highest hand will win the whole pot;

    (b) you should play your low hands aggressively;

    (c) if you’re holding 6-6-5-5, you’re always in great shape;

    (d) it will almost always take a full house or better to win.

    Answer: (a). Since you must have five cards eight or lower, with no pairs, to qualify for the low half of the pot, anytime there are three cards ranking nine or higher on the board, there can be no low winner. In those cases, the high hand wins the whole pot.

  3. When you tie for high or low and a third player takes the other half of the pot, it’s called…

    (a) being suckered;

    (b) a fair share;

    (c) getting quartered;

    (d) oversliding;

    Answer: (c). You only win a quarter of the pot, and the term is “getting quartered.”

  4. In hold ’em, you can use two cards out of the two in your private hand, or one card, or no cards at all (playing the board). In Omaha games, your private hand consists of four cards, and – in order to make a five-card hand — you…

    (a) must use all four of them and only one from the board;

    (b) must use exactly two of them and exactly three from the board;

    (c) must use at least one of them, with the others coming from the board;

    (d) may use four, three, two, one, or none of them, in conjunction with enough cards from the board to complete the poker hand.

    Answer: (b). That’s the rule.

  5. Which of the following hands is least profitable in Omaha, eight or better?

    (a) A-A-2-2;

    (b) 2-2-2-2;

    (c) 4-3-2-K;

    (d) 10-10-9-8.

    Answer: (b). Since you must use exactly (and only) two cards from your hand, you can only play a pair of deuces from your hand and you can’t qualify for low.

  6. Weak Omaha, eight-or-better players tend to enter too many pots with high hands…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). True.

  7. How many combinations of two-cards are contained in a four-card Omaha starting hand?

    (a) 6;

    (b) 2;

    (c) 19;

    (d) 12.

    Answer: (a). Let’s call the cards A, B, C, and D. Then you can have these six combinations: AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, and CD.

  8. A starting hand like 5-3-2-A, consisting of only two suits in Omaha, eight or better is…

    (a) very risky to play;

    (b) should never be played;

    (c) likely to win both high and low more than 80 percent of the time;

    (d) a high-profit hand that is always worth entering a pot with.

    Answer: (d). No, you’re not going to scoop the pot more than 80 percent of the time. But you should be very happy with this hand, because it will earn a big profit in the long run, if you play it enough times.

  9. The worst rank to hold in Omaha, eight or better is…

    (a) nines;

    (b) kings;

    (c) aces;

    (d) fives.

    Answer: (a). Nines. This rank can’t help you qualify for the low side, which needs cards ranking eight and under, and it’s the lowest of the high ranks.

  10. It’s important to play two-way hands in Omaha, eight or better, because winning the whole pot is worth exactly twice as much as winning half the pot…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (b). Winning the whole pot is worth more than winning half the pot twice. Suppose you’ve put $50 into a $200 pot. If you win the whole thing, you’ve gained $150 in profit ($200 minus your $50). But if you win half the pot, you’ve gained only $50 ($100 minus your $50). And if you win half the pot twice, that’s only $100 profit, compared with $150 for winning the whole pot once.


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    Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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