Targeted poker quiz 16: Omaha-8 (intermediate)


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: intermediate)

  1. If a pot is $500 large, so far you’ve wagered $200, and now you bet $100 and are called by one opponent, which best defines the relationship between winning the whole pot and winning half the pot?

    (a) Winning the whole pot provides twice the return on your investment;

    (b) Your profit will be $400 if you win the whole pot and only $50 if you win half the pot;

    (c) Your profit will be precisely three times as much if you win the whole pot;

    (d) It’s impossible to measure profit in Omaha high-low games.

  2. How many qualifying low cards are in the deck?

    (a) 28;

    (b) 26 – exactly half the deck of 52;

    (c) 32;

    (d) 20.

  3. Which statement is true. In Omaha high-low, eight-or-better to qualify, if the board contains an eight-high straight…

    (a) everyone will tie for high;

    (b) everyone has at least an eight for low;

    (c) nobody will win high with a full house;

    (d) 3-2 is the best possible low hand.

  4. For comparison to Omaha, how many different combinations can you use in hold ’em to find the best hand, combing your private cards with the board?

    (a) 50;

    (b) 21;

    (c) 6;

    (d) 10

  5. How many different combinations can you use in Omaha to find the best hand, combining your private cards with the board?

    (a) 20;

    (b) 90;

    (c) 8;

    (d) 60.

  6. A-A-3-2 of mixed suits is a more profitable Omaha high-low, eight or better starting hand than 5-4-3-2 of mixed suits…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  7. 5-4-3-2 of two different suits is the second best Omaha high-low starting hand, in terms of profit…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  8. Which answer is the most compelling? Almost any Omaha high-low, eight-or-better starting hand is worth playing heads up as the big blind against a late raiser if…

    (a) it contains a pair of nines;

    (b) it contains three or more cards of the same suit;

    (c) it contains an ace;

    (d) it contains no pair and any two cards lower than a nine.

  9. If you have no high-hand hopes and are involved in a three-way tie for low in a four-way pot, a final round call…

    (a) means you lose a third of your final wager, but the call still might be profitable;

    (b) means you lose five-sixth of your final wager, but the call still might be profitable;

    (c) means you break even on your final wager;

    (d) means you always make exactly enough profit to double the value of the final call.

  10. It’s important to play two-way hands in Omaha, eight or better, as often as possible because…

    (a) A one-way hand is never profitable;

    (b) Opponents don’t know how to play high hands;

    (c) You’ll never scoop a pot going for just high hands;

    (d) Winning the whole pot is worth more than twice as much as winning half the pot.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

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

  1. If a pot is $500 large, so far you’ve wagered $200, and now you bet $100 and are called by one opponent, which best defines the relationship between winning the whole pot and winning half the pot?

    (a) Winning the whole pot provides twice the return on your investment;

    (b) Your profit will be $400 if you win the whole pot and only $50 if you win half the pot;

    (c) Your profit will be precisely three times as much if you win the whole pot;

    (d) It’s impossible to measure profit in Omaha high-low games.

    Answer: (b). Suppose your pot is $500 and you’ve wagered $200 so far. Then you be another $100 and are called. The pot grows to $700 of which you wagered $300 total. That means if you win the whole pot, your profit will be $400, but if you win half the pot — $350 – your profit will only be $50.

  2. How many qualifying low cards are in the deck?

    (a) 28;

    (b) 26 – exactly half the deck of 52;

    (c) 32;

    (d) 20.

    Answer (c). In Omaha high-low, eight or better to qualify for low, there are 32 low cards in the deck – four each of everything from ace up to eight.

  3. Which statement is true. In Omaha high-low, eight-or-better to qualify, if the board contains an eight-high straight…

    (a) everyone will tie for high;

    (b) everyone has at least an eight for low;

    (c) nobody will win high with a full house;

    (d) 3-2 is the best possible low hand.

    Answer: (c). If the board shows an eight high straight, nobody will win high with a full house. The best possible high hand is a straight (or possibly a flush or straight flush).

  4. For comparison to Omaha, how many different combinations can you use in hold ’em to find the best hand, combing your private cards with the board?

    (a) 50;

    (b) 21;

    (c) 6;

    (d) 10.

    Answer: (b). In hold ’em, there are 21 combination of the two cards in your starting hand and the five cards on the board that you can use to determine your best holding. That’s a lot less than in Omaha – see below.

  5. How many different combinations can you use in Omaha to find the best hand, combining your private cards with the board?

    (a) 20;

    (b) 90;

    (c) 8;

    (d) 60.

    Answer: (d). There are 60 combinations of hands you can form in Omaha, using exactly three of the five cards from the board and two of the four cards from your starting hand.

  6. A-A-3-2 of mixed suits is a more profitable Omaha high-low, eight or better starting hand than 5-4-3-2 of mixed suits…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that A-A-3-2 of mixed suits is significantly more profitable than 5-4-3-2 of mixed suits as an Omaha, eight or better starting hand.

  7. 5-4-3-2 of two different suits is the second best Omaha high-low starting hand, in terms of profit…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (b). The statement that 5-4-3-2 of two different suits is the second best Omaha high-low, eight or better starting hand is false. This hand is often quite profitable, but frequently overrated.

  8. Which answer is the most compelling? Almost any Omaha high-low, eight-or-better starting hand is worth playing heads up as the big blind against a late raiser if…

    (a) it contains a pair of nines;

    (b) it contains three or more cards of the same suit;

    (c) it contains an ace;

    (d) it contains no pair and any two cards lower than a nine.

    Answer: (c). Almost any Omaha high-low, eight or better starting hand is worth playing heads up as the big blind against a late raiser if it contains an ace. There are only a few exceptions.

  9. If you have no high-hand hopes and are involved in a three-way tie for low in a four-way pot, a final round call…

    (a) means you lose a third of your final wager, but the call still might be profitable;

    (b) means you lose five-sixth of your final wager, but the call still might be profitable;

    (c) means you break even on your final wager;

    (d) means you always make exactly enough profit to double the value of the final call.

    Answer: (a). If you have no high-hand hopes and are involved in a three-way tie for low in a four-way pot, a final round call means you lose a third of your final wager, but the call still might be profitable (depending on how sure you are that your low hand isn’t beat). If the last wager is $100, all three low hands together will wager $300 of the $400 total bet. They’ll get $200 returned, two-thirds of their calls. Your $100 will return only $66.67, but the money already in the pot provides the profit.

  10. It’s important to play two-way hands in Omaha, eight or better, as often as possible because…

    (a) A one-way hand is never profitable;

    (b) Opponents don’t know how to play high hands;

    (c) You’ll never scoop a pot going for just high hands;

    (d) Winning the whole pot is worth more than twice as much as winning half the pot.

    Answer: (d). Winning the whole pot in Omaha high-low is worth more than twice as much as winning half the pot, and it’s important to play hands that have a chance of winning both sides.


Next MCU Targeted Poker Quiz in this series

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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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