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How to Play Double Hot Omaha


DOUBLE HOT OMAHA Poker: Played like Double Omaha with this twist: Deal 6 cards face down to each player (maximum of 8 players for this game). Before any betting each player must discard 2 cards face down in the middle of the table. These discarded cards are shuffled or mixed together. 10 of these cards are used for the flops, turns and rivers to create 2 sets of board cards. Play continues exactly like Double Omaha (if played high only) or Double Omaha High-Low (if played high-low split).

Summary of action
Deal 6 hole cards to each player.
Each player selects 2 cards from their hand and discards them face down.
Gather and mix/shuffle all discarded cards.
These cards will be used to deal 2 flops, 2 turns and 2 rivers.
Deal Flop #1: 3 cards from discards to create 1st flop.
Deal Flop #2: 3 cards from discards to create 2nd flop.
Deal Turn #1: 1 card from discards to 1st flop.
Deal Turn #2: 1 card from discards to 2nd flop.
Deal River #1: 1 card from discards to 1st flop & turn.
Deal River #2: 1 card from discards to 2nd flop & turn.
High only: Showdown
High-low split: Declare

Playing Tips for Double Hot Omaha Poker


In Omaha the flop, turn and river consist of random cards that come from the unseen deck. There is a equal chance that any card may appear. In contrast, the board cards in Double Hot Omaha poker are not random. The board consists of cards that have been seen and selected by the players. The board is "hot" meaning the board is more likely to contain some cards and less likely to contain others depending upon how valuable they seem to players. Predicting what those cards are is one of the most important objectives in playing Double Hot Omaha poker.

The Board Cards Make The Difference


It is important to think about what the other players will do. What cards will they most likely keep? What cards will they most likely contribute to the board cards? These two decisions are very important for they will both influence what you will do as well as the eventual make up of the 2 sets of board cards.

As will be shown, the board cards are likely to be concentrated toward middle ranked cards. As a result, and with 2 sets of board cards, it is highly likely that at least 1 pair or more will be in play.

Predicting The Others Play


Unless they have given it some thought the average player is likely to view their hole cards the same way they do for Omaha. They will keep what they view as their 4 most favorable cards and discard what they think are the 2 cards that least helps (or doesn't help at all) their hand. If they do this they will often not consider if the cards they discard will be helpful to another player. That will often lead to mistakes. Cards that players will most likely keep are any ace, very low cards (if playing high-low split), very high cards, pairs, suited and unsuited connected cards. The cards they are most likely to discard are middle ranked cards or cards that is not well coordinated with their other four.

Here is a summary of what other players are likely to do with each card when playing high-low split versions of this game. If playing high only versions players will be far more likely to keep their highest cards and discard low cards unless they are paired or suited to an ace or king.

Ace - As the highest card will almost always keep. May consider discarding only if not paired, not suited, not connected with other high cards (KQJT), they have no low card, they hold 2 other pairs. Even in those circumstances discarding an ace will almost certainly help another player.
2 - Will discard if they have no ace or 3, it is not paired, not suited to another high card (KQ).
3 - Will keep if they have a single ace or A2 (for "insurance), if it is suited to another high card or paired. Might keep if they have a single 2 without ace, though that is typically a mistake.
4 -Will discard unless suited to ace or other high card or paired. Might keep as "insurance" if holding A2 or A3.
5 -Will discard unless suited to ace or other high card, paired or suited connected.
6 -Will discard unless suited to ace or other high card, paired or suited connected.
7 -Will discard unless suited to ace or other high card, paired or suited connected.
8 -Will discard unless suited to ace or other high card, paired or suited connected.
9 -Will discard unless suited to ace or other high card, paired or suited connected.
10 -Will discard unless suited to ace or other high card, paired or suited connected.
Jack -Will keep if suited, connected (including gapped) or paired.
Queen -Will keep if suited, connected (including gapped) or paired.
King -Will keep if suited, connected (including gapped) or paired.

Determining Your Play


The cards that are discarded come back into play as the board cards. In an 8 handed game there is approximately an 87% chance that at least one card a player discards will come back into play and about 65% that both cards will. Keeping that in mind the first objective is that a player should try to keep cards that the other players are most likely to discard, especially pairs or the higher ranks of those cards. A second objective is to attempt to discard cards that will help his hand if it re-appears but be less likely to help an opponent. Granted, this is not always easy to do. There will often be contradictory pros and cons about what to keep and what to discard, but it is still the goal. Some examples may help.

Example: Your 6 hole cards are 277889. The deuce is easy as it is not coordinated with any other card you have. What should be the 2nd card? At first thought it may seem that it is the 9 that should be discarded since it is not paired. But, if it is what is its value if it re-appears? It has only minor value by being connected to 78. If another player holds a pair of 9's discarding your 9 helps him enormously. He will have trips higher than any trips you can make. If he makes a full house 9's full will be higher than any full house of yours. What if you discarded a 7? If it re-appears you have your pair back. No one else is likely to hold the other pair of 7's or 8's. And since unpaired middle cards are the ones most other players will discard it is likely additional 7's, 8's or 9's will appear. On the other hand, if your cards were 278899 it makes sense to discard the unmatched 7 along with the deuce. Now it is you who have the draw to the higher trips and full houses.

Remember The Cards You Discarded


It is important to remember the cards you discarded exactly by both rank and suit. Let's say you are dealt a hand that contains trip sevens - 2 red and 1 black. You discard the black 7 knowing that you have a very good chance of it coming back to give you trips. The flop comes with the 7 of clubs and there you are! But, was that the black 7 you discarded? What if you discarded the 7 of spades? Wouldn't you love to know for certain that the 4th seven was still out there? The only way you can know that is to remember exactly what card you discarded. (Hint: If you are dealt trips 2 of them will always be the same color. Discard one of those rather than the odd colored card. Now you only have to remember the rank and color of the card your discarded.)

Obvious And Not So Obvious Decisions


Obvious decisions for Double Hot Omaha is to always keep A2 for the nut low. Other players rarely discard aces so A2 is not likely to be counterfeited unless someone throws away a deuce. If you also have a 3 keep it for "insurance". If you have A23 you can play it strong from the start as there is very little chance of losing, though there is a decent chance you will tie with another player. In an eight handed game if you are not dealt A2 there is about a 75% chance someone else was. A3 has a shot at becoming the nuts but, without help, it is not likely to win on its own. It also has about an equal chance of being ruined if someone discards a three. 32 stands little chance as do any low hands that are 2 cards from the nuts (eg. A4).

Another obvious decision is discarding the 3rd card if you are dealt trips since you can only use 2 of your hole cards. You would love to see that 3rd card come back into play as it helps your hand enormously. But, there are rare situations in which it is probably better not to. If you were dealt AAA2XX or A222XX you have the nut low nearly guaranteed. If you discard the 3rd ace or deuce you face the possibility of ruining your near lock on low and that makes no sense. Were you holding AAA23X it would still make sense to keep all 3 aces and the deuce, but it is a closer call on this decision. The reason it is closer is that you stand a good chance of making aces full if the 3rd ace comes back on the board and still have a back up of 23 for low. In the best of circumstances you will make aces full on one set of board cards and have the A2 for low on the other set to scoop the whole pot.

When Good is Probably Not Good Enough


There are some situations when hole cards, especially low ones, are appealing to play in Omaha, but are usually worthless in Double Hot Omaha. Here are some examples.

In Omaha A3 or 23 are only a single board card away from making the nut low. In Double Hot Omaha that is probably not going to happen. You should expect that aces are rarely discarded so 23 is hardly ever going to make the best low hand. If you hold A3 there is a chance that a deuce may be discarded so you could get lucky with it. There is a slight possibility it could win by itself. But, with each player having been dealt 6 hole cards it is very likely someone has A2 or even A23. And, it might just as easily be counterfeited if someone dumps a 3.

For high, do not count on a pocket pair of aces of kings becoming trips. (Kings might; aces probably not.) You can't risk dumping them as it will most likely help other players. But, they may still have a little value if suited and connected to other cards in your hand.

With 2 sets of board cards and players being more likely to discard similar cards expect to see board pairs very often. The result is more frequent full houses and quads (which is what you should be playing for) and far fewer straights or flushes being winners.