Omaha Poker Hand Rankings

Omaha Poker Hand Rankings

Poker is a game that is constantly evolving. When you look back at the long history of the game, no single game has remained the most popular for very long, as poker players are always looking for the next big thing.

Right now, Texas Hold’em is the undisputed king of the poker world, but that reign may soon be over as a new contender has emerged, Omaha poker!

Omaha poker has been around for about as long as Texas Hold’em, and while the game did not enjoy the instant popularity that Texas Hold’em did when it first hit the scene, it is more than making up for lost time now, as the game is seeing its popularity surge all around the world. Whether it is a cash game or tournament, high only or high/low variant, or live or online play, you simply cannot deny that Omaha poker is quickly becoming a favorite amongst poker players everywhere.

In this article, we are going to highlight some of the best, and worst, poker hands for both the high only and high/low versions of the game. Being able to have accurate Omaha poker hand rankings is key to having success when playing the game. With that, let’s get started by taking a look at some Omaha poker hand rankings!

Omaha Poker Hand Rankings

Below you will find Omaha poker hand rankings for both Omaha high only and Omaha high/low. First, let’s break down the Omaha poker hand rankings for high only, and then we will jump into the Omaha hand rankings for Omaha high/low.

Omaha Poker Hand Rankings: Omaha High Only

In this section, we are going to look at the Omaha poker hand rankings for Omaha high only poker. Omaha high only poker is a version of Omaha where players are only looking to make high hands, with the best high hand scooping the entire pot. Let’s take a look at the best Omaha poker hands and the worst Omaha poker hands for this popular version of Omaha poker.

Best Omaha Poker Hands: Omaha High Only

If you have ever played Omaha high only you know that the game is what is known in the industry as a nut game. If you want to win a pot, you better have the nuts, or you are going to regret it.

Hands like small straights and flushes are killers when playing Omaha high only and the best way to avoid making a second-best type of hand is to throw them away and not even draw for them.

That means that the best Omaha poker hands for the high only version of the game are going to be hands that are likely to make the nuts, and not very likely to make good hands, that aren’t good enough to scoop the pot. Let’s take a look at some of those types of hands below.

  • Suited Aces – Hands that have a suited ace are premium in Omaha high only, as they have the potential to make nut flushes that can win big pots.
  • All Face Cards – If your hand has all face cards, you can draw to large straights that could potentially be the nuts, giving you the power to pump the pot and get paid. Just make sure that if you make a non-nut straight, that you proceed with extreme caution.
  • Large Pairs – Flopping a small set in Texas Hold’em is a great way to cooler someone and win a big pot. Flopping a small set in Omaha high only is a great way to get busted, as small sets rarely hold up to win, and even if they end up turning into a small full house, you still have to be careful, as there are going to be bigger boats out there that will beat you. That makes playing hands with big pairs, that have a reasonable shot at flopping top set, and then making top boat, hands that you are going to want to play.

Worst Omaha Poker Hands: Omaha High Only

Now that we have given you some of the best Omaha poker hands for Omaha high only let’s switch gears and take a look at the worst Omaha poker hands for Omaha high only. Making really strong hands that aren’t strong enough to win but are too good to fold are the hands you are going to want to try and avoid, as they will cost you a lot of money!

  • Small Flush Draws – If you are a Texas Hold’em player that is trying Omaha for the first time, the biggest struggle that you are going to have is with small flushes. In Texas Hold’em, a small flush is a hand worthy of raising in many situations, whereas at Omaha, it is a hand you are going to at best make a crying call with. You are going to want to stay away from non-face card flushes completely, as those are hands you don’t even want to make, as all they are going to do is get you in trouble.
  • Small Pairs – Flopping a set is a great feeling, but what if I told you that depending on the texture of the board, your bottom set hand might not even be worthy of a call, let alone a hand that should be played aggressively. That doesn’t mean that you are going to want to snap fold anytime that you flop a small set, but just know that if you want to feel good about your hand, you might need to make quads with your flopped trips.
  • Out Of Position – With the hand values being so all over the place, you want to have as much information as possible when the action gets to you. That means that playing hands out of position is a major no-no, as you are going to be flying blind and forced to guess a lot. Even if you are an elite player, too many guesses are going to really hurt your win rate. Do your best to tighten up your ranges in early position when playing Omaha high only poker.

Omaha Poker Hand Rankings: Omaha High/Low

Depending on where you play your poker, Omaha high/low split could be the most popular version of the game or a game that you rarely ever see spread. In Las Vegas, for example, Omaha high/low is far more popular than the high only version of the game.

But if you were playing in Europe, or online, you will see PLO (pot limit Omaha high only) is the game of choice for most players. Here, we will dive into the Omaha poker hand rankings for my favorite version of the game, Omaha high/low. When playing Omaha high/low, half of the pot goes to the best high hand, and the other half goes to the best low hand, usually with an 8-or better qualifier.

Best Omaha Poker Hands: Omaha High/Low

When you are playing Omaha high/low, the name of the game is going for a scoop. The only way to scoop a pot is to make a high hand and a low hand, and that makes hand selection that much easier, as I refuse to play very many hands that don’t offer scoop potential. That doesn’t mean that you can’t play any high only hand, but if you do, just know that you are limiting your ability to win the entire pot.

  • Suited Ace/Deuce – When it comes to scooping pots, the best hands you are going to want to play are suited ace/deuce hands. Suited ace/deuce gives you a shot at making the nut low and the nut flush and needs to be played under basically all circumstances.
  • Three or Four to a Wheel – If you have 3 or 4 cards to a wheel, even if there isn’t an ace and a deuce in there, you will still want to play it. There are too many flops that will give you combo draws to make a wheel, which is going to scoop the pot a lot of the time with enough to win the high and the low.
  • All Small Cards With Double Suits – When I say small cards, I mean any card below an 8, as you are going to need an 8 or better low to get the low half of the pot. While you don’t want to make a habit of drawing to small flushes, when you have a small flush AND a strong low, if increases your chances to scoop and makes the hand playable.

Worst Omaha Poker Hands: Omaha High/Low

You know the hands that you should be playing when playing Omaha high/low, now let’s look at the hands you are going to want to stay away from.

  • Weak Low Hands With Hangers – Hangers are cards that don’t fit with the rest of your cards. Think of a hand like ace, deuce, trey, and 9. That 9 does nothing for you. Essentially you are playing with 3 cards when everyone else gets to play with 4. Hangers are always bad, but where they get extra gross is when you have a mediocre hand to begin with, and then a hanger. Hands like 3, 4, 7, and 9 aren’t even playable, as all they do is cause you max pain.
  • Anything With Multiple Eights and Nines – 8s and 9s are the worst cards to play in Omaha high low, and if you have multiple of them in your hand, you should save your money and fold. Yeah, every once in a while, you might have made an emergency low that would have stolen half of the pot, or made a weak straight that steals away half for high, but more often than not you are going to lose money with 8s and 9s, and you need to get them out of your playbook.
  • Out Of Position – There isn’t a poker game that I play regularly where position is more important than it is in Omaha. We mentioned position already when we talked about the Omaha high hands that you don’t want to play, and in order to really emphasize just how important position is, I will mention it here again in the high/low section. The difference between being in position and being out of position is that when you are out of position, you can’t get heroic and call someone down weak and steal half of a pot as there are players left to act that could beat you. Whereas when you are last to act, you have all the info you need to read the situation correctly and get paid. Play in position any chance that you can get and stay away from speculative hands out of position.


After reading about all of these Omaha poker hand rankings, are you ready to get in on the action? Then make sure that you swing by TheSportsGeek’s poker sites page, where we bring you exclusive offers at all of the top online poker rooms. Omaha poker is booming online and now is the perfect time to get into the game. Thanks for reading and good luck playing Omaha poker!

About the Author
Finn Archer profile picture
Finn Archer
Finn is an experienced writer (having published articles under the name Phil Bowman) and longtime sports enthusiast based in Europe. His particular passion lies in soccer, as both a die-hard fan and seasoned bettor. That said, he’ll dabble in anything involving a ball, bat, or boxing gloves! He’s learned from his share of bad bets over the years and is keen to impart his wisdom so you don’t make the same mistakes. Since joining TSG, Finn has also gained valuable knowledge in the world of online casinos.

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