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Omaha: Big Straight Draws vs. Possible Flush Draws (Guest Post)

The following is a guest post written by Oliver MacLennan at Poker Junkie.

Omaha is, as most of you probably already know, a game of draws. Since there are so many cards in play, the best hand on the flop is often not the best hand on the river. With five cards out, it is very unlikely that a straight or a flush will not be possible.

Unlike in holdem, if a straight or flush is possible, someone in an Omaha game probably has it. This is why it is important to know how to play big straight draws and big flush draws.

Redraws in Omaha

The key to Omaha is not only having big draws, but big redraws. You have a draw to make your hand and if you have a made hand, you have a draw to make a bigger hand.

For example, on a board of Jh 9c 8c, holding Qs Ts 7h 7c is good, but holding Qs Ts Ac 7c is much better. Here you not only have the nuts, but you have the redraw to the flush covered. If you don’t have a redraw, you need to proceed very carefully.

Big Straight Draws in Omaha

Since redraws are so important, a draw without a redraw loses value, especially when some of your outs may be covered, as in a straight draw vs. flush draw situation. If you hold Js Td 9c 8h and the flop is Qs 9s 5h, you have a very good straight draw, but also have to dodge the flush cards. It doesn’t matter if your opponent holds the nut flush draw; any spade will kill your hand. If you check this situation in a poker odds calculator, you’ll see that you are about even money against most flush draws that lack straight draws. But if your opponent has both a flush and a straight draw you’re in trouble.

Nut Flush Draws in Omaha

Nut flush draws are a different story. If you make the nut flush, you can only lose if the board pairs.

How you will play your draw may depend on the texture of the board. If the game is aggressive you might need extra outs in order to go after your draw and with several opponents in the pot the value of your draw will also go up. But be careful with flush draws were you’re not drawing to the nuts – they can be very costly in Omaha.

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