Poker probability (Omaha)

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Omaha Hold'em, like many similar poker variants, is probabilistic. Thus, the probability of many events can be determined by direct calculation. The probabilities are shown here for many commonly occurring events in the game of Omaha hold 'em as well as probabilities and odds[note 1] for specific situations. In most cases, the probabilities and odds are approximations due to rounding.

When calculating probabilities for a card game such as Omaha, there are two basic approaches.

  1. Determine the number of outcomes that satisfy the condition being evaluated and divide this by the total number of possible outcomes.
  2. Use conditional probabilities, or in more complex situations, a decision graph.

Often, the key to determining probability is selecting the best approach for a given problem. This article uses both of these approaches, but relies primarily on enumeration.

Starting hands[edit]

The probability of being dealt various starting hands can be explicitly calculated. In Omaha, a player is dealt four down (or hole) cards. The first card can be any one of 52 playing cards in the deck; the second card can be any one of the 51 remaining cards; the third and fourth any of the 50 and 49 remaining cards, respectively. There are 4! = 24 ways (4! is read "four factorial") to order the four cards (ABCD, ABDC, ACBD, ACDB, ...) which gives 52 × 51 × 50 × 49 ÷ 24 = 270,725 possible starting hand combinations. Alternatively, the number of possible starting hands is represented as the binomial coefficient

{52 \choose 4} = 270,725

which is the number of possible combinations of choosing 4 cards from a deck of 52 playing cards.

The 270,725 starting hands can be reduced for purposes of determining the probability of starting hands for Omaha—since suits have no relative value in poker, many of these hands are identical in value before the flop. The only factors determining the strength of a starting hand are the ranks of the cards and whether cards in the hand share the same suit. Of the 270,725 combinations, there are 16,432 distinct starting hands grouped into 16 shapes. Throughout this article, hand shape is indicated with the ranks denoted using uppercase letters and suits denoted using lower case letters. For example, the hand shape XaXbYaYc is any hand containing two pair (XX and YY) that share one suit (a), but not the other suits (b and c). The 16 hand shapes can be organized into the following five hand types based on the ranks of the cards.

Rank type Shapes Distinct hands Combos Probability Odds
XXXX: Four of a kind 1 13 13 0.0000480 20,824 : 1
XXXY: Three of a kind 2 312 2,496 0.00922 107 : 1
XXYY: Two pair 3 234 2,808 0.0104 95.4 : 1
XXYZ: One pair 5 5,148 82,368 0.304 2.29 : 1
XYZR: No pair 5 10,725 183,040 0.676 1.479 : 1
TOTAL 16 16,432 270,725

There are also five types of hands based on the suits of the cards that mirror the five rank types: aaaa, aaab, aabb, aabc, and abcd. The following are the probabilities and odds of being dealt each suit type.

Suit type Shapes Distinct hands Combos Probability Odds
aaaa 1 715 2,860 0.0106 93.7 : 1
aaab 2 3,718 44,616 0.165 5.07 : 1
aabb 3 3,081 36,504 0.135 6.42 : 1
aabc 5 7,098 158,184 0.584 0.711 : 1
abcd 5 1,820 28,561 0.105 8.48 : 1
TOTAL 16 16,432 270,725

Unlike the rank types, the suit types can be absolutely ranked in terms of starting hand value because suits in poker hands only factor in flushes and straight flushes. From best to worst starting hand value the suit types are: aabb, aabc, aaab, aaaa, and abcd.

The relative probability of being dealt a hand of each given shape is different. The following shows the probabilities and odds of being dealt each shape of starting hand.

Rank type Hand shape Distinct hands Suits for each hand Hand
combos
Dealt specific hand Dealt any hand
Derivation Number Derivation Combos Probability Odds Probability Odds
Four of a kind XaXbXcXd \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 13 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 4} \end{matrix} 1 13 0.00000369 270,724 : 1 0.0000480 20,824 : 1
Three of a kind XaXbXcYa \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 1}{12 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 156 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 3}{3 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 12 1,872 0.0000443 22,559 : 1 0.00691 144 : 1
XaXbXcYd \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 1}{12 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 156 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 3} \end{matrix} 4 624 0.0000148 67,680 : 1 0.00230 433 : 1
Two pair XaXbYaYb \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 78 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 6 468 0.0000222 45,120 : 1 0.00173 577 : 1
XaXbYaYc \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 78 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1}^2 \end{matrix} 24 1,872 0.0000887 11,279 : 1 0.00691 144 : 1
XaXbYcYd \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 78 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 6 468 0.0000222 45,120 : 1 0.00173 577 : 1
One pair XaXbYaZa \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 1}{12 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 858 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 12 10,296 0.0000443 22,559 : 1 0.0380 25.3 : 1
XaXbYaZb \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 1}{12 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 858 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 12 10,296 0.0000443 22,559 : 1 0.0380 25.3 : 1
XaXbYaZc \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 1}{12 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 1,716 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1}^2 \end{matrix} 24 41,184 0.0000887 11,279 : 1 0.152 5.57 : 1
XaXbYcZc \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 1}{12 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 858 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 12 10,296 0.0000443 22,559 : 1 0.0380 25.3 : 1
XaXbYcZd \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 1}{12 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 858 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2} \times 2! \end{matrix} 12 10,296 0.0000443 22,559 : 1 0.0380 25.3 : 1
No pair XaYaZaRa \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 4} \end{matrix} 715 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 4 2,860 0.0000148 67,680 : 1 0.0106 93.7 : 1
XaYaZaRb \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 4}{4 \choose 3} \end{matrix} 2,860 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 12 34,320 0.0000443 22,559 : 1 0.127 6.89 : 1
XaYaZbRb \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 4}{4 \choose 2} \div 2! \end{matrix} 2,145 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 12 25,740 0.0000443 22,559 : 1 0.0951 9.52 : 1
XaYaZbRc \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 4}{4 \choose 2} \end{matrix} 4,290 \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 2} \times 2! \end{matrix} 24 102,960 0.0000887 11,279 : 1 0.380 1.63 : 1
XaYbZcRd \begin{matrix} {13 \choose 4} \end{matrix} 715 \begin{matrix} 4! \end{matrix} 24 17,160 0.0000148 67,680 : 1 0.0634 14.8 : 1

Starting hands for straights[edit]

In addition to the rank type and suit type of a starting hand, each starting hand also has a sequence type that is useful for estimating the possibility of improving to a straight or straight flush. The sequence type is based on the sequential proximity of the ranks in the hand—the number of different ranks in the hand that can be combined to fill a straight on the board. The ace is a special case in the sequence type because it can be either high or low (i.e. can make a straight with A-2-3-4-5 or 10-J-Q-K-A), and is also both the high and low card in the rank sequence from which straights are formed: A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A.

The sequence type of the hand is only relevant in determining the probability of making a straight or straight flush. In order to make a straight, exactly three community cards must be combined with exactly two cards from the starting hand. Thus the sequence shape of a hand is the number of different combinations of three cards that can make a straight when combined with two cards from the hand. There are 20 different sequence shapes ranging from hands like 2-2-8-K that can't make a straight (0 straight combinations) to hands like 8-9-10-J that can make a straight with 20 different combinations of three ranks (5-6-7, 6-7-8, 6-7-9, 6-7-10, 7-8-9, 7-8-10, 7-8-J, 7-9-10, 7-9-J, 7-10-J, 8-9-Q, 8-10-Q, 8-J-Q, 9-10-Q, 9-J-Q, 9-Q-K, 10-J-Q, 10-Q-K, J-Q-K, Q-K-A). The 20 sequence shapes can be organized by the number of ranks in the starting hand. This is similar to the rank type of the hand, the only difference being that both the rank types two pair (XXYY) and three of a kind (XXXY) have two ranks. The following table shows the four sequence types based on the number of distinct ranks in the starting hand.

Distinct ranks Shapes Distinct hands Combos Probability Odds
1 1 13 13 0.0000480 20,824 : 1
2 5 546 5,304 0.0196 50.0 : 1
3 12 5,148 82,368 0.304 2.29 : 1
4 18 10,725 183,040 0.676 0.479 : 1
TOTAL 36 16,432 270,725 1.0 0 : 1

Note that the table above shows 36 sequence shapes because although there are only 20 different sequence shapes, the sequence shapes overlap with the sequence types. For example, the sequence shape where two different combinations of three cards can make a straight occurs for hands with two ranks (e.g. 3-6 makes a straight with 2-4-5 or 4-5-7), three ranks (e.g. 2-J-A makes a straight with 10-Q-K or 3-4-5), and four ranks (e.g. 3-9-K-A makes a straight with 2-4-5 or 10-J-Q).

The relative probability of being dealt a hand of each sequence shape is different. The following shows the probabilities and odds of being dealt starting hands of each sequence shape.

Sequence
shape
Distinct hands by ranks in hand Distinct
hands
Combos by ranks in hand Total
combos
Probability Odds
1 rank 2 ranks 3 ranks 4 ranks 1 rank 2 ranks 3 ranks 4 ranks
0 13 224 72 309 13 2,176 1,152 3,341 0.01234 80.03 : 1
1 112 468 580 1,088 7,488 8,576 0.03168 30.57 : 1
2 91 1,314 240 1,645 884 21,024 4,096 26,004 0.09605 9.41 : 1
3 70 972 480 1,522 680 15,552 8,192 24,424 0.09022 10.08 : 1
4 49 1,278 1,290 2,617 476 20,448 22,016 42,940 0.15861 5.30 : 1
5 108 1,980 2,088 1,728 33,792 35,520 0.13120 6.62 : 1
6 108 1,380 1,488 1,728 23,552 25,280 0.09338 9.71 : 1
7 396 1,320 1,716 6,336 22,528 28,864 0.10662 8.38 : 1
8 72 885 957 1,152 15,104 16,256 0.06005 15.65 : 1
9 216 870 1,086 3,456 14,848 18,304 0.06761 13.79 : 1
10 36 660 696 576 11,264 11,840 0.04373 21.87 : 1
11 108 720 828 1,728 12,288 14,016 0.05177 18.32 : 1
12 375 375 6,400 6,400 0.02364 41.30 : 1
13 60 60 1,024 1,024 0.00378 263.38 : 1
14 30 30 512 512 0.00189 527.76 : 1
15 30 30 512 512 0.00189 527.76 : 1
16 150 150 2,560 2,560 0.00946 104.75 : 1
17 150 150 2,560 2,560 0.00946 104.75 : 1
19 30 30 512 512 0.00189 527.76 : 1
20 75 75 1,280 1,280 0.00473 210.50 : 1
TOTAL 13 546 5,148 10,725 16,432 13 5,304 82,368 183,040 270,725 1.0 0 : 1

As the table indicates, there is a 98.8% chance that a starting hand will have at least one straight draw, but only a 3.3% chance that it will have more than 12 ways to make a straight.

Starting hands for straight flushes[edit]

The set of starting hands that can make a straight flush are a subset of the intersection of the set of hands that can make a straight and the set of hands that can make a flush. The hands that can make a straight flush can be organized similar to the parent superset of hands that can make a straight.

The straight flush sequence shape of a hand is the number of different combinations of three cards that can make a straight flush when combined with two cards from the hand. There are 9 different straight flush sequence shapes ranging from hands that can't make a straight flush to hands like 8 9 8 9 that can make a straight flush with 8 different combinations of three cards (5 6 7, 6 7 10, 7 10 J, 10 J Q, 5 6 7, 6 7 10, 7 10 J, 10 J Q).

As with straights, the relative probability of being dealt a hand of each straight flush sequence shape is different. The following shows the probabilities and odds of being dealt starting hands of each straight flush sequence shape.

Straight flush
sequence shape
Distinct hands by ranks in hand Distinct
hands
Combos by ranks in hand Total
combos
Probability Odds
1 rank 2 ranks 3 ranks 4 ranks 1 rank 2 ranks 3 ranks 4 ranks
0 13 362 2,060 2,877 5,312 13 2,820 33,168 64,224 100,225 0.37021 1.70 : 1
1 48 794 1,686 2,528 768 13,752 30,264 44,784 0.16542 5.05 : 1
2 55 870 2,113 3,038 720 13,872 32,768 47,360 0.17494 4.72 : 1
3 30 690 1,782 2,502 480 10,920 26,960 38,360 0.14169 6.06 : 1
4 34 594 1,730 2,358 414 8,976 24,044 33,434 0.12350 7.10 : 1
5 68 300 368 816 2,592 3,408 0.01259 78.44 : 1
6 10 38 165 213 60 456 1,444 1,960 0.00724 137.13 : 1
7 28 56 84 336 560 896 0.00331 301.15 : 1
8 7 6 16 29 42 72 184 298 0.00110 907.47 : 1
TOTAL 13 546 5,148 10,725 16,432 13 5,304 82,368 183,040 270,725 1.0 0 : 1

Low starting hands[edit]

Omaha Hi-Low is a high-low split variant where the best qualifying low hand, if any, splits the pot with the high hand. Different cards can be used to form the high and low hands, each using two cards from the player's hand and three from the board, and a single player can win both the high and low pots. In Omaha/8, the most common form played in American casinos, a qualifying low hand is 8-high or lower (8-7-6-5-4 or lower). A less common variant of Omaha Hi-Lo uses a qualifying low hand of 9-high or lower (9-8-7-6-5 or lower).

Suits and cards higher than the maximum qualifying low hand do not factor into low hands and neither do straights and flushes. Based on the ranks of cards, low starting hands in Omaha Hi-Lo are grouped into 12 different low-hand shapes, seven of which have the possibility of making a qualifying low hand. The low hand shapes can be organized by the number of distinct low card ranks in the hand: 0 or 1 low ranks (no low hand possible), 2 low ranks, 3 low ranks and 4 low ranks. The number of distinct low hands depends on the low-hand qualifier.

Low ranks Shapes 8-high qualifier 9-high qualifier
Distinct hands Combos Probability Odds Distinct hands Combos Probability Odds
0–1 5 33 51,093 0.189 4.30 : 1 37 29,045 0.107 8.32 : 1
2 4 168 113,904 0.421 1.38 : 1 216 99,216 0.366 1.73 : 1
3 2 224 87,808 0.324 2.08 : 1 336 110,208 0.407 1.46 : 1
4 1 70 17,920 0.0662 14.1 : 1 126 32,256 0.119 7.39 : 1
TOTAL 12 495 270,725 1.0 0 : 1 715 270,725 1.0 0 : 1

The preceding table shows that with an 8-high low qualifier, a random hand has an 81.1% chance of having at least two low card ranks to make a low hand possible, and that with a 9-high low qualifier the chance increases to 89.3%.

If r represents the low hand qualifier (8 or 9), there are \begin{matrix} (13 - r) \times 4 = 52 - 4r \end{matrix} cards with a rank higher than the low hand qualifier (20 high cards in 8-high, 16 in 9-high). Using * to represent any high card and lower case letters to represent low card ranks, the following gives the probability of being dealt the various low hand shapes.

Low
shape
Derivations 8-high qualifier (r = 8) 9-high qualifier (r = 9)
Distinct
hands
High card & low suit
combinations
Distinct
hands
Hand
combos
Dealt specific hand Dealt any hand Distinct
hands
Hand
combos
Dealt specific hand Dealt any hand
Probability Odds Probability Odds Probability Odds Probability Odds
**** \begin{matrix}{r \choose 0}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{52 - 4r \choose 4}\end{matrix} 1 4,845 0.0179 54.9 : 1 0.0179 54.9 : 1 1 1,820 0.00672 148 : 1 0.00672 148 : 1
x*** \begin{matrix}{r \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}{52 - 4r \choose 3}\end{matrix} 8 36,480 0.0168 58.4 : 1 0.135 6.42 : 1 9 20,160 0.00827 120 : 1 0.0745 12.4 : 1
xx** \begin{matrix}{r \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 2}{52 - 4r \choose 2}\end{matrix} 8 9,120 0.00421 236 : 1 0.0337 28.7 : 1 9 6,480 0.00266 375 : 1 0.0239 40.8 : 1
xxx* \begin{matrix}{r \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 3}{52 - 4r \choose 1}\end{matrix} 8 640 0.000296 3,383 : 1 0.00236 422 : 1 9 576 0.000236 4,229 : 1 0.00213 469 : 1
xxxx \begin{matrix}{r \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 4}\end{matrix} 8 8 0.00000369 270,724 : 1 0.0000296 33,839 : 1 9 9 0.00000369 270,724 : 1 0.0000332 30,080 : 1
xy** \begin{matrix}{r \choose 2}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^2{52 - 4r \choose 2}\end{matrix} 28 85,120 0.0112 88.1 : 1 0.314 2.18 : 1 36 69,120 0.00709 140 : 1 0.255 2.92 : 1
xxy* \begin{matrix}{r \choose 1}{r - 1 \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}{52 - 4r \choose 1}\end{matrix} 56 26,880 0.00177 563 : 1 0.0993 9.07 : 1 72 27,648 0.00142 704 : 1 0.102 8.79 : 1
xxxy \begin{matrix}{r \choose 1}{r - 1 \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}\end{matrix} 56 896 0.0000591 16,919 : 1 0.00331 301 : 1 72 1,152 0.0000591 16,919 : 1 0.00426 234 : 1
xxyy \begin{matrix}{r \choose 2}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 2}^2\end{matrix} 28 1,008 0.000133 7,519 : 1 0.00372 267 : 1 36 1,296 0.000133 7,519 : 1 0.00479 208 : 1
xyz* \begin{matrix}{r \choose 3}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^3{52 - 4r \choose 1}\end{matrix} 56 71,680 0.00473 211 : 1 0.265 2.78 : 1 84 86,016 0.00378 263 : 1 0.318 2.15 : 1
xxyz \begin{matrix}{r \choose 1}{r - 1 \choose 2}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}^2\end{matrix} 168 16,128 0.000355 2,819 : 1 0.0596 15.8 : 1 252 24,192 0.000355 2,819 : 1 0.0894 10.2 : 1
xyzr \begin{matrix}{r \choose 4}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^4\end{matrix} 70 17,920 0.000946 1,057 : 1 0.0662 14.1 : 1 126 32,256 0.000946 1,057 : 1 0.119 7.39 : 1

The probability of making a low hand depends on the number of low card ranks in the hand. However, although both are important, the probability of having the lowest hand depends more on the ranks of the low cards than on the number of low cards.

Hand selection[edit]

Beginning hand selection is critical in Omaha. Exactly two hole cards are combined with three community cards to form a hand in Omaha. The most favorable hand shapes have two suits with two cards in each suit, giving the hand two flush draws; have card ranks that are consecutive, giving the hand straight possibilities; and have one or more pairs, giving the hand a pair, and draws to three of a kind, full house and four of a kind possibilities. This makes the hands with the shape XaXbYaYb, with the ranks of X and Y adjacent, great starting hands in Omaha. Against one opponent, AaAbKaKb is the strongest starting hand in Omaha (against multiple opponents, the strongest starting hand is AaAbJaTb), while in Omaha Hi-Low the best starting hand is AaAb2a3b, which gives A-2-3 for making a low hand and straights, two suited aces for nut flushes, and a pair of aces for high. The best low starting hand is A-2-3-4, which makes the nut low hand more than 92% of the time when a qualifying low hand is possible and has a better than 50% chance to win at least a portion of the pot at showdown with an 8-high low qualifier, and at least ⅔ of the time will win at least a portion of the pot with a 9-high qualifier.

Contrary to most poker variants, more is not necessarily better (or the same) in Omaha, because only two hole cards are used. Because of this limitation, hands with more than two of the same suit or more than two of the same rank are weaker than the hand would be with exactly two of the suit or rank. The extra cards of the same suit remove outs for the flush draw and the extra cards of the same rank remove valuable outs for three of a kind, a full house, and four of a kind. The suit type aaaa is only about half as likely to make a flush as aabc. Paradoxically, the worst hand in Omaha hold 'em is four of a kind deuces (twos), because this hand can only make a pair of deuces plus the community cards. A much more common poor starting hand has the shape XaYbZcRd with the ranks of the cards spaced, such as 2 6 9 K—this hand has no flush draw, limited straight possibilities, and no pairs, although it has many more possibilities than 2-2-2-2 and considerably more than 2 2 2 9.

Some professional poker players have created point systems for evaluating starting hands in Omaha, with the decision to raise, fold or call based on the number of points assigned to the starting hand.[1][2][3] However, because of the necessary simplifications point systems make, there is disagreement regarding the value of particular point systems and point systems in general.[4]

The flop[edit]

There are

{52 \choose 3} = 22,100

possible flops assuming a random starting hand. By the turn the total number of combinations has increased to

{52 \choose 4} = 270,725

and on the river there are

{52 \choose 5} = 2,598,960

possible boards. For a given starting hand there are four known cards, which leaves

{48 \choose 3} = 17,296

possible flops. At the turn the number of combinations is

{48 \choose 4} = 194,580

and on the river there are

{48 \choose 5} = 1,712,304

possible boards to go with the hand.

An Omaha poker hand consists of two cards from the player's hand and three cards from the board. Therefore, there are

{3 \choose 3}{4 \choose 2} = 6

ways to form a poker hand from a starting hand after the flop and

{4 \choose 3}{4 \choose 2} = 24 and {5 \choose 3}{4 \choose 2} = 60

ways at the turn and river, respectively. By contrast, in Texas hold 'em there are only \begin{matrix}{5 \choose 5} = 1\end{matrix}, \begin{matrix}{6 \choose 5} = 6\end{matrix} and \begin{matrix}{7 \choose 5} = 21\end{matrix} ways to form a poker hand on the flop, turn and river, respectively. This increase in opportunities to make a hand means that the average strength of the winning hand in Omaha is higher than in Texas hold' em and other 7-card poker variants.

Making a low hand[edit]

See the section "Low starting hands" for a description of low hands in Omaha.

The first question regarding making a low hand in Omaha Hi-Lo is "how often does a qualifying low hand occur?" In order for any hand to qualify for low, the community cards must include at least three cards to a qualifying low hand. If r is the maximum rank (8 or 9) of a qualifying low hand, then assuming random starting hands, the probability P_f of the flop containing three cards to a qualifying low hand is

P_f = \frac{{r \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}^3}{{52 \choose 3}}.

Three ranks from the available low ranks are chosen and each rank can have one of four suits. There are \begin{matrix}{8 \choose 3} = 56\end{matrix} and \begin{matrix}{9 \choose 3} = 84\end{matrix} ways to choose three low ranks. The number of hands that can make a qualifying low are divided by the \begin{matrix}{52 \choose 3} = 22,100\end{matrix} possible flops. This gives the following low hand combinations and probabilities on the flop.

Making low on flop for 8-high (r = 8) for 9-high (r = 9)
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds
three low ranks \begin{matrix} {r \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}^3 \end{matrix} 3,584 0.1622 5.116 : 1 5,376 0.2433 3.111 : 1

Calculating the probability of three low ranks on the board for the turn and river is slightly more complicated because there are multiple possibilities for the fourth card. By the turn a qualifying low is possible with either four low ranks, three low ranks and a pair, or three low ranks and a high card. The probability P_t of making at least three cards to a qualifying low hand by the turn is the sum of the probabilities for each of these configurations. Each probability is calculated by dividing the number of combinations that satisfy the conditions by the \begin{matrix}{52 \choose 4} = 270,725\end{matrix} possible boards on the turn.

Making low by turn for 8-high (r = 8) for 9-high (r = 9)
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds
four low ranks \begin{matrix} {r \choose 4}{4 \choose 1}^4 \end{matrix} 17,920 0.06619 14.11 : 1 32,256 0.1191 7.393 : 1
three low ranks + a pair \begin{matrix} {r \choose 1}{4 \choose 2}{r - 1 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}^2 \end{matrix} 16,128 0.05957 15.79 : 1 24,192 0.08936 10.19 : 1
three low ranks + high card \begin{matrix} {r \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}^3{52 - 4r \choose 1} \end{matrix} 71,680 0.2648 2.777 : 1 86,016 0.3177 2.147 : 1
P_t 105,728 0.3905 1.561 : 1 142,464 0.5262 0.9003 : 1

Finally, at the river there are seven ways to make at least three cards to a low hand and \begin{matrix}{52 \choose 5} = 2,598,960\end{matrix} possible boards on the river, giving the following probability for P_r.

Making low by river for 8-high (r = 8) for 9-high (r = 9)
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds
five low ranks \begin{matrix} {r \choose 5}{4 \choose 1}^5 \end{matrix} 57,344 0.02206 44.32 : 1 129,024 0.04964 19.14 : 1
four low ranks + a pair \begin{matrix} {r \choose 1}{4 \choose 2}{r - 1 \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}^3 \end{matrix} 107,520 0.04137 23.17 : 1 193,536 0.07447 12.43 : 1
four low ranks + high card \begin{matrix} {r \choose 4}{4 \choose 1}^4{52 - 4r \choose 1} \end{matrix} 358,400 0.1379 6.252 : 1 516,096 0.1986 4.036 : 1
three low ranks + three of a kind \begin{matrix} {r \choose 1}{4 \choose 3}{r - 1 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}^2 \end{matrix} 10,752 0.004137 240.7 : 1 16,128 0.006206 160.1 : 1
three low ranks + two pair \begin{matrix} {r \choose 2}{4 \choose 2}^2{r - 2 \choose 1}{4 \choose 1} \end{matrix} 24,192 0.009308 106.4 : 1 36,288 0.01396 70.62 : 1
three low ranks + a pair + high card \begin{matrix} {r \choose 1}{4 \choose 2}{r - 1 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}^2{52 - 4r \choose 1} \end{matrix} 322,560 0.1241 7.057 : 1 387,072 0.1489 5.714 : 1
three low ranks + two high cards \begin{matrix} {r \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}^3{52 - 4r \choose 2} \end{matrix} 680,960 0.2620 2.817 : 1 645,120 0.2482 3.029 : 1
P_r 1,561,728 0.6009 0.6642 : 1 1,923,264 0.7400 0.3513 : 1

As the last table indicates, there is a 60% chance that a low hand is possible at the river with an 8-high qualifying hand, and a 74% chance with a 9-high qualifier. The actually probability that there will be a qualifying low hand is less because there is a very real possibility that even with three cards to a low hand on the board, no player remaining in the hand at showdown can make a qualifying low hand.

Making a low hand based on low hand shape[edit]

Any hand starting with at least two different qualifying low ranks has a chance to make a low hand. The more different low ranks a hand has, the better the chances of making a low hand. Also, the more pairs and trips among the low ranks, the less chance there is of a low hand being possible and not being able to make a low hand. The following tables show the probability and odds of making a low hand, missing a low hand when one is possible (at least three qualifying low ranks on the board), and having no low hand possible for each of the starting low hand shapes on the flop, turn and river.

8-high qualifier:

Making low hand on flop, 8-high qualifier Make low when
low possible
Low
shape
Make low Miss low No low
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Probability Odds
**** 0 0 3,584 0.2072 3.83 : 1 13,712 0.7928 0.26 : 1 0
x*** 0 0 3,248 0.1878 4.33 : 1 14,048 0.8122 0.23 : 1 0
xx** 0 0 2,912 0.1684 4.94 : 1 14,384 0.8316 0.20 : 1 0
xxx* 0 0 2,576 0.1489 5.71 : 1 14,720 0.8511 0.18 : 1 0
xxxx 0 0 2,240 0.1295 6.72 : 1 15,056 0.8705 0.15 : 1 0
xy** 1,280 0.0740 12.51 : 1 1,656 0.0957 9.44 : 1 14,360 0.8302 0.20 : 1 0.4360 1.29 : 1
xxy* 1,280 0.0740 12.51 : 1 1,344 0.0777 11.87 : 1 14,672 0.8483 0.18 : 1 0.4878 1.05 : 1
xxxy 1,280 0.0740 12.51 : 1 1,032 0.0597 15.76 : 1 14,984 0.8663 0.15 : 1 0.5536 0.81 : 1
xxyy 1,280 0.0740 12.51 : 1 1,056 0.0611 15.38 : 1 14,960 0.8649 0.16 : 1 0.5479 0.83 : 1
xyz* 2,080 0.1203 7.32 : 1 567 0.0328 29.50 : 1 14,649 0.8470 0.18 : 1 0.7858 0.27 : 1
xxyz 1,920 0.1110 8.01 : 1 438 0.0253 38.49 : 1 14,938 0.8637 0.16 : 1 0.8142 0.23 : 1
xyzr 2,272 0.1314 6.61 : 1 108 0.0062 159.15 : 1 14,916 0.8624 0.16 : 1 0.9546 0.05 : 1
Making low hand on turn, 8-high qualifier Make low when
low possible
Low
shape
Make low Miss low No low
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Probability Odds
**** 0 0 91,392 0.4697 1.13 : 1 103,188 0.5303 0.89 : 1 0
x*** 0 0 85,008 0.4369 1.29 : 1 109,572 0.5631 0.78 : 1 0
xx** 0 0 78,288 0.4023 1.49 : 1 116,292 0.5977 0.67 : 1 0
xxx* 0 0 71,232 0.3661 1.73 : 1 123,348 0.6339 0.58 : 1 0
xxxx 0 0 63,840 0.3281 2.05 : 1 130,740 0.6719 0.49 : 1 0
xy** 40,320 0.2072 3.83 : 1 38,484 0.1978 4.06 : 1 115,776 0.5950 0.68 : 1 0.5116 0.95 : 1
xxy* 40,320 0.2072 3.83 : 1 31,968 0.1643 5.09 : 1 122,292 0.6285 0.59 : 1 0.5578 0.79 : 1
xxxy 40,320 0.2072 3.83 : 1 25,140 0.1292 6.74 : 1 129,120 0.6636 0.51 : 1 0.6159 0.62 : 1
xxyy 40,320 0.2072 3.83 : 1 25,680 0.1320 6.58 : 1 128,580 0.6608 0.51 : 1 0.6109 0.64 : 1
xyz* 59,520 0.3059 2.27 : 1 13,284 0.0683 13.65 : 1 121,776 0.6258 0.60 : 1 0.8175 0.22 : 1
xxyz 56,000 0.2878 2.47 : 1 10,515 0.0540 17.50 : 1 128,065 0.6582 0.52 : 1 0.8419 0.19 : 1
xyzr 64,464 0.3313 2.02 : 1 2,565 0.0132 74.86 : 1 127,551 0.6555 0.53 : 1 0.9617 0.04 : 1
Making low hand on river, 8-high qualifier Make low when
low possible
Low
shape
Make low Miss low No low
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Probability Odds
**** 0 0 1,174,656 0.6860 0.46 : 1 537,648 0.3140 2.18 : 1 0
x*** 0 0 1,116,780 0.6522 0.53 : 1 595,524 0.3478 1.88 : 1 0
xx** 0 0 1,052,520 0.6149 1.60 : 1 659,784 0.3853 0.67 : 1 0
xxx* 0 0 981,540 0.5732 0.74 : 1 730,764 0.4268 1.34 : 1 0
xxxx 0 0 903,504 0.5277 0.90 : 1 808,800 0.4723 1.12 : 1 0
xy** 625,344 0.3652 1.74 : 1 432,480 0.2526 2.96 : 1 654,480 0.3822 1.62 : 1 0.5912 0.69 : 1
xxy* 625,344 0.3652 1.74 : 1 367,320 0.2145 3.66 : 1 719,640 0.4203 1.38 : 1 0.6300 0.59 : 1
xxxy 625,344 0.3652 1.74 : 1 295,644 0.1727 4.79 : 1 791,316 0.4621 1.16 : 1 0.6790 0.47 : 1
xxyy 625,344 0.3652 1.74 : 1 301,464 0.1761 4.68 : 1 785,496 0.4587 1.18 : 1 0.6747 0.48 : 1
xyz* 847,944 0.4952 1.02 : 1 150,264 0.0878 10.40 : 1 714,096 0.4170 1.40 : 1 0.8495 0.18 : 1
xxyz 810,784 0.4735 1.11 : 1 121,808 0.0711 13.06 : 1 779,712 0.4554 1.20 : 1 0.8694 0.15 : 1
xyzr 908,976 0.5308 0.88 : 1 29,376 0.0172 57.29 : 1 773,952 0.4520 1.21 : 1 0.9687 0.03 : 1

9-high qualifier:

Making low hand on flop, 9-high qualifier Make low when
low possible
Low
shape
Make low Miss low No low
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Probability Odds
**** 0 0 5,376 0.3108 2.22 : 1 11,920 0.6892 0.45 : 1 0
x*** 0 0 4,928 0.2849 2.51 : 1 12,368 0.7151 0.40 : 1 0
xx** 0 0 4,480 0.2590 2.86 : 1 12,816 0.7410 0.35 : 1 0
xxx* 0 0 4,032 0.2331 3.29 : 1 13,264 0.7669 0.30 : 1 0
xxxx 0 0 3,584 0.2072 3.83 : 1 13,712 0.7928 0.26 : 1 0
xy** 2,240 0.1295 6.72 : 1 2,268 0.1311 6.63 : 1 12,788 0.7394 0.35 : 1 0.4969 1.01 : 1
xxy* 2,240 0.1295 6.72 : 1 1,848 0.1068 8.36 : 1 13,208 0.7636 0.31 : 1 0.5479 0.83 : 1
xxxy 2,240 0.1295 6.72 : 1 1,428 0.0826 11.11 : 1 13,628 0.7879 0.27 : 1 0.6107 0.64 : 1
xxyy 2,240 0.1295 6.72 : 1 1,456 0.0842 10.88 : 1 13,600 0.7863 0.27 : 1 0.6061 0.65 : 1
xyz* 3,440 0.1989 4.03 : 1 675 0.0390 24.62 : 1 13,181 0.7621 0.31 : 1 0.8360 0.20 : 1
xxyz 3,200 0.1850 4.41 : 1 522 0.0302 32.13 : 1 13,574 0.7848 0.27 : 1 0.8598 0.16 : 1
xyzr 3,640 0.2105 3.75 : 1 108 0.0062 159.15 : 1 13,548 0.7833 0.28 : 1 0.9712 0.03 : 1
Making low hand on turn, 9-high qualifier Make low when
low possible
Low
shape
Make low Miss low No low
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Probability Odds
**** 0 0 120,960 0.6216 0.61 : 1 73,620 0.3784 1.64 : 1 0
x*** 0 0 114,240 0.5871 0.70 : 1 80,340 0.4129 1.42 : 1 0
xx** 0 0 107,072 0.5503 0.82 : 1 87,508 0.4497 1.22 : 1 0
xxx* 0 0 99,456 0.5111 0.96 : 1 95,124 0.4889 1.05 : 1 0
xxxx 0 0 91,392 0.4697 1.13 : 1 103,188 0.5303 0.89 : 1 0
xy** 63,840 0.3281 2.05 : 1 43,722 0.2247 3.45 : 1 87,018 0.4472 1.24 : 1 0.5935 0.68 : 1
xxy* 63,840 0.3281 2.05 : 1 36,624 0.1882 4.31 : 1 94,116 0.4837 1.07 : 1 0.6355 0.57 : 1
xxxy 63,840 0.3281 2.05 : 1 29,106 0.1496 5.69 : 1 101,634 0.5223 0.91 : 1 0.6869 0.46 : 1
xxyy 63,840 0.3281 2.05 : 1 29,624 0.1522 5.57 : 1 101,116 0.5197 0.92 : 1 0.6830 0.46 : 1
xyz* 87,840 0.4514 1.22 : 1 13,122 0.0674 13.83 : 1 93,618 0.4811 1.08 : 1 0.8700 0.15 : 1
xxyz 83,520 0.4292 1.33 : 1 10,449 0.0537 17.62 : 1 100,611 0.5171 0.93 : 1 0.8888 0.13 : 1
xyzr 92,340 0.4746 1.11 : 1 2,133 0.0110 90.22 : 1 100,107 0.5145 0.94 : 1 0.9774 0.02 : 1
Making low hand on river, 9-high qualifier Make low when
low possible
Low
shape
Make low Miss low No low
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Probability Odds
**** 0 0 1,407,168 0.8218 0.22 : 1 305,136 0.1782 4.61 : 1 0
x*** 0 0 1,359,568 0.7940 0.26 : 1 352,736 0.2060 3.85 : 1 0
xx** 0 0 1,305,248 0.7623 0.31 : 1 407,056 0.2377 3.21 : 1 0
xxx* 0 0 1,243,760 0.7264 0.38 : 1 468,544 0.2736 2.65 : 1 0
xxxx 0 0 1,174,656 0.6860 0.46 : 1 537,648 0.3140 2.18 : 1 0
xy** 903,504 0.5277 0.90 : 1 405,804 0.2370 3.22 : 1 402,996 0.2354 3.25 : 1 0.6901 0.45 : 1
xxy* 903,504 0.5277 0.90 : 1 348,866 0.2037 3.91 : 1 459,934 0.2686 2.72 : 1 0.7214 0.39 : 1
xxxy 903,504 0.5277 0.90 : 1 284,830 0.1663 5.01 : 1 523,970 0.3060 2.27 : 1 0.7603 0.32 : 1
xxyy 903,504 0.5277 0.90 : 1 289,380 0.1690 4.92 : 1 519,420 0.3033 2.30 : 1 0.7574 0.32 : 1
xyz* 1,134,204 0.6624 0.51 : 1 122,526 0.0716 12.98 : 1 455,574 0.2661 2.76 : 1 0.9025 0.11 : 1
xxyz 1,097,184 0.6408 0.56 : 1 100,368 0.0586 16.06 : 1 514,752 0.3006 2.33 : 1 0.9162 0.09 : 1
xyzr 1,182,004 0.6903 0.45 : 1 20,196 0.0118 83.78 : 1 510,104 0.2979 2.36 : 1 0.9832 0.02 : 1

There are several interesting things to note about low hands. With an 8-high qualifier, the shape xyzr, which has four different low ranks, is the only starting hand with a greater than 50% chance of making a low hand before the flop. With a 9-high qualifier, any hand that can make a low hand has a greater than 50% chance of making a low hand. When playing a hand that has no chance at low, a hand like A-A-Q-J, which has two of the low aces, creates a significantly lower chance of there being a low than a hand like K-K-Q-J which has only high cards. With an 8-high qualifier the probability of a low hand being possible is reduced by about 10% (from 68.6% to 61.5%) and with a 9-high qualifier the probability is reduced by about 7% (from 82.2% to 76.2%). This is an often overlooked additional advantage of pocket aces over pocket kings with a high-only hand in Omaha Hi-Lo.

Making the nuts[edit]

The nuts is the best possible poker hand that can be made from the community cards. Due to the large number of opportunities to make a hand, it is not uncommon in Omaha for the winning hand to be the nuts, or at least close to it.

On the flop every poker hand uses the three community cards plus two other cards. For each board then, there are \begin{matrix} {49 \choose 2} = 1,176 \end{matrix} ways to make a poker hand and

{52 \choose 3}{3 \choose 3}{49 \choose 2} = 25,989,600

different possible combinations of poker hands made from the three community cards and two cards from a player's hand. On the turn there are \begin{matrix} {4 \choose 3} = 4 \end{matrix} ways to select three community cards and \begin{matrix} {48 \choose 2} = 1,128 \end{matrix} hand combinations giving 4 × 1,128 = 4,512 ways to make a poker hand for each board. This gives

{52 \choose 4}{4 \choose 3}{48 \choose 2} = 1,221,511,200

combinations of hands on the turn. Finally, on the river there are \begin{matrix} {5 \choose 3} = 10 \end{matrix} ways to select three community cards and \begin{matrix} {47 \choose 2} = 1,081 \end{matrix} hand combinations giving 10,810 ways to make a poker hand for each board, resulting in

{52 \choose 5}{5 \choose 3}{47 \choose 2} = 28,094,757,600

poker hand combinations possible on the river. For each board, one or more of the possible poker hands is the nuts.

Making high nuts[edit]

In the case of high hands, when the nuts is a royal flush or straight flush, the winning hand is often a flush; when the nuts is four of a kind, the winning hand is often a full house. The lowest hand that can be the nuts is three of a kind, which occurs when there is no straight or flush possible and no pair on the board. The lowest possible nut hand at the river is Q-Q-Q-8-7 which occurs when the board is one of the 600 possible combinations of Q-8-7-3-2 that doesn't have three or more of the same suit.

The following table shows the probability of the nut hand for the board on the flop, turn and river.

Poker hand After the flop After the turn After the river
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds
Straight flush 256 0.0116 85.33 : 1 11,712 0.0433 22.12 : 1 261,920 0.1008 8.923 : 1
Four of a kind 3,796 0.1718 4.822 : 1 85,368 0.3153 2.171 : 1 1,173,696 0.4516 1.214 : 1
Full house 0 0 13 < 0.0001 20,824 : 1 624 0.0002 4164 : 1
Flush 888 0.0402 23.89 : 1 27,772 0.1026 8.748 : 1 390,520 0.1503 5.655 : 1
Straight 3,840 0.1738 4.755 : 1 88,128 0.3255 2.072 : 1 724,800 0.2789 2.586 : 1
Three of a kind 13,320 0.6027 0.6592 : 1 57,732 0.2132 3.689 : 1 47,400 0.0182 53.83 : 1
TOTAL 22,100 1 0 : 1 270,725 1 0 : 1 2,598,960 1 0 : 1

Notice that while three of a kind is a 60% favorite to be the nuts after the flop, it's less than 2% to still be on top at the river—although the three of a kind has a good chance of improving to a full house or four of a kind, if it doesn't improve, chances are the nut hand at the river is a straight, flush or straight flush. At the river, having the nuts be four of a kind is more likely (45.2%) than all of the hands ranked below four of a kind combined (44.8%). Also, despite the rarity of straight flushes at showdown, 10% of the boards will have one as the nut hand by the river.

Straight flush[edit]

A straight flush is possible whenever the board contains at least three cards of the same suit where the ranks of the suited cards can create a straight with the addition of exactly two ranks. For three ranks, the two lower ranks must be chosen from the up to four next lower ranks, counting the rank of ace as low when trying to make the straight A-2-3-4-5. There are 10 possible straights (Ace high to 5 high). A straight is also possible with any three ranks from A to 4, which gives \begin{matrix} 10 \times {4 \choose 2} + {4 \choose 3} = 64 \end{matrix} ways. This gives

64 \times {4 \choose 1} = 256

combinations for a straight flush after the flop. With four or five cards of different ranks, the determination of the number of rank sets that yield a straight with the addition of exactly two cards is more involved because any enumeration must eliminate rank sets that are counted more than once, but it turns out that there are 432 such rank sets with four ranks and 1,208 with five ranks.[5] At the turn there are two ways to make a straight flush—there can either be four cards of the same suit with a rank set that allows a straight, or three cards of the same suit that allow a straight combined with any of the 39 cards with a different suit. This gives

432 \times {4 \choose 1} + 64 \times {4 \choose 1}{39 \choose 1} = 11,712

combinations after the turn. At the river a straight flush is possible with a suited rank set of either five cards, four cards combined with one of the 39 cards of another suit, or three cards combined with two of the remaining 39 cards, giving

1,208 \times {4 \choose 1} + 432 \times {4 \choose 1}{39 \choose 1} + 64 \times {4 \choose 1}{39 \choose 2} = 261,920

combinations.

Four of a kind[edit]

Four of a kind is the nuts whenever there is a pair or three of a kind on the board and no possibility for a straight flush. After the flop, three of a kind is possible by choosing one of the 13 ranks and three of the four cards in that rank; a pair is possible by choosing one of the 13 ranks and two of the four cards in that rank combined with a card in one of the other 12 ranks in any of the four suits. So on the flop there are

{13 \choose 1}{4 \choose 3} + {13 \choose 1}{4 \choose 2}{12 \choose 1}{4 \choose 1} = 3,796

boards with a pair or three of a kind. At the turn there can either be three of a kind and another rank, two pair, or one pair and two other ranks. In the case with one pair, any straight flushes made possible by the three different ranks must be subtracted. At the turn, the number of possible straight flushes with a pair on the board is one of the 64 rank sets with three cards that can make a straight in one of the four suits combined with a card that pairs one of the three cards to the straight flush, which is \begin{matrix} 64 \times {4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} = 2,304\end{matrix}. So there are

{13 \choose 1}{4 \choose 3}{12 \choose 1}{4 \choose 1} +
       {13 \choose 2}{4 \choose 2}^2 +
       \left [ {13 \choose 2}{4 \choose 2}{12 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}^2 - 2,304 \right ] = 85,368

combinations that make four of a kind possible at the turn. On the river, four of a kind can be made when there is either a full house on the board, three of a kind and two other ranks, two pair and one other rank, or a pair and three other ranks. With three of a kind or two pair, any straight flushes made possible by the three different ranks must be subtracted and with a pair, any straight flushes made possible by the four different ranks are subtracted. For three of a kind, choose one of the three cards for the straight flush and then choose 2 of the 3 remaining cards of that rank to make three of a kind for \begin{matrix} 64 \times {4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1}{3 \choose 2} = 2,304 \end{matrix} possible straight flushes. With two pair, choose two of the three cards that make a possible straight flush and then choose one of the three remaining cards for each rank to make one of \begin{matrix} 64 \times {4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 2}{3 \choose 1}^2 = 6,912 \end{matrix} straight flushes. With a pair there are three cases where a straight flush is possible that have a total of 97,536 combinations:

  • the three non-pair ranks have the same suit as one of the cards in the pair and the four suited cards form one of the 432 rank sets that allows a straight (example 3 9 J Q J), so choosing one of the four suited ranks and one of the three remaining cards of that rank gives \begin{matrix} 432 \times {4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} = 20,736 \end{matrix} possible straight flushes;
  • two of the non-pair ranks have the same suit as one of the cards in the pair and the three suited cards form one of the 64 rank sets that allows a straight (example 8 9 J J K), so choosing one of the three suited ranks and one of the three remaining cards of that rank to combine with a card from one of the 10 remaining ranks in one of the three remaining suits gives \begin{matrix} 64 \times {4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1}{10 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} = 69,120 \end{matrix} possible straight flushes;
  • the three non-pair ranks share a suit that is different from either of the suits in the pair and the three suited cards form one of the 64 rank sets that allows a straight (example 4 6 7 J J), so choose one of the 10 remaining ranks not used by the suited cards and choose two of the three cards of that rank that have a different suit to give \begin{matrix} 64 \times {4 \choose 1}{10 \choose 1}{3 \choose 2} = 7,680 \end{matrix} possible straight flushes.

Altogether there are

{13 \choose 1}{4 \choose 3}{12 \choose 1}{4 \choose 2} 3,744\, full houses
+ {13 \choose 1}{4 \choose 3}{12 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}^2 - 2,304 52,608\, three of a kind
+ {13 \choose 2}{4 \choose 2}^2{11 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1} - 6,912 116,640\, two pair
+ {13 \choose 1}{4 \choose 2}{12 \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}^3 - 97,536 1,000,704\, one pair
for a total of 1,173,696\,

combinations on the river that make four of a kind possible without making a straight flush possible.

Full house[edit]

Oddly enough, a full house can only be the nuts when there is four of a kind on the board (or if quads are not possible because you hold one of the cards necessary). This means that there is no chance of a full house being the nuts on the flop. On the turn and river there are

{13 \choose 1} = 13 and {13 \choose 1}{48 \choose 1} = 624

combinations that make four of a kind, respectively.

Flush[edit]

A flush is the nuts when no two cards share the same rank (no pairs, trips or quads) and there are three or more cards of the same suit that do not form a rank set that can make a straight. The number of rank sets that can't make a straight is \begin{matrix}{13 \choose 3} - 64 = 222\end{matrix} with three cards, \begin{matrix}{13 \choose 4} - 432 = 283\end{matrix} with four cards, and \begin{matrix}{13 \choose 5} - 1,208 = 79\end{matrix} with five cards. On the flop all three cards must be part of the flush which gives

222 \times {4 \choose 1} = 888

combinations where the nuts is a flush. On the turn a nut flush is possible with either four cards of the same suit that form one of the 283 rank sets that doesn't allow a straight or with three cards of the same suit that form one of the 222 rank sets that doesn't allow a straight combined with one of the other 10 ranks in one of the other three suits. This gives

283 \times {4 \choose 1} + 222 \times {4 \choose 1}{10 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} = 27,772

ways for a flush to be the nuts on the turn. On the river there are three ways to make a nut flush—five cards of the same suit that form one of 79 rank sets that can't make a straight; four cards of the same suit that can't make a straight combined with a card in one of the other nine ranks and one of the other three suits; or three cards of the same suit that can't make a straight combinded with two of the remaining 10 ranks, each selected from the three remaining suits. So there are

79 \times {4 \choose 1} +
       283 \times {4 \choose 1}{9 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} +
       222 \times {4 \choose 1}{10 \choose 2}{3 \choose 1}^2 = 390,520

combinations on the river where the nut hand is a flush.

Straight[edit]

A straight is the nuts when no two cards share the same rank (no pairs, trips or quads), the ranks form a rank set that makes a straight possible with the addition of two cards, and no more than two cards share the same suit. Given n cards of distinct ranks, there are 4^n ways to assign suits to the cards. This includes 4 suit sets that assign the same suit to each card; \begin{matrix} {n \choose n-1}{4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} = 12n \end{matrix} suit sets that assign the same suit to n-1 cards, and \begin{matrix} {n \choose n-x}{4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1}^x \end{matrix} suit sets that assign the same suit to n-x cards. The number of combinations on the flop where a straight is the nuts is then the 64 rank sets that allow a straight multiplied by the 4^3 - 4 = 60 suit sets that don't have three of the same suit:

64 \times 60 = 3,840\,

For four ranks, there are \begin{matrix} 4 + {4 \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} = 52 \end{matrix} suit sets that have either three or four of the same suit, giving 4^4 - 52 = 204 suit sets where no more than two cards share the same suit. For five ranks there are \begin{matrix} 4 + {5 \choose 4}{4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1} + {5 \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1}^2 = 424 \end{matrix} suit sets that have three or more of the same suit and 4^5 - 424 = 600 suit sets where no more than two cards share the same suit. This gives

432 \times 204 = 88,128\, and 1,208 \times 600 = 724,800\,

combinations on the turn and river, respectively, where the nut hand is a straight.

Three of a kind[edit]

Finally, three of a kind is only the nuts when no two cards share the same rank (no pairs, trips or quads), the ranks form a rank set that can't make a straight with the addition of two cards, and no more than two cards share the same suit. As with a straight, the number of combinations is the number of possible rank sets multiplied by the number of allowed suit sets. On the flop, turn and river, respectively, the number of combinations where three of a kind is the nuts are

222 \times 60 = 13,320\, and 283 \times 204 = 57,732\, and 79 \times 600 = 47,400\,

Making low nuts[edit]

See the section Low starting hands for a description of low starting hand shapes.

In Omaha Hi-Lo, it is often the case that when there is a low hand, the winning hand is the nut low hand. When there are more than two people in the pot at showdown and a low hand is possible, it is not uncommon for two or more players to both have the nut low hand. This makes playing a hand that is only contesting for the low half of the pot risky. For example, if at showdown there are two players in the pot and they each have the nut low hand but different high hands, the player with the better high hand will win 75% of the pot (split the low half and win the high half) and the other player wins just 25% of the pot (called "getting quartered").

A hand must have at least two different ranks from {A, 2, 3, 4, 5} in order to make a nut low hand. As with low starting hands in general, there are seven different shapes of low hands that can make the nut low. The probability of being dealt each of these hands is different. Using * to represent any of the 32 cards higher than 5 and lower case letters to represent card ranks from A–5, the following gives the probability of being dealt the various low hand shapes that can make a nut low.

Nut
low
shape
Derivations Starting hands drawing to nut low
Distinct
hands
>5 rank & low suit
combinations
Distinct
hands
Hand
combos
Dealt any hand
Probability Odds
xy** \begin{matrix}{5 \choose 2}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^2{32 \choose 2}\end{matrix} 10 79,360 0.29314 2.41 : 1
xxy* \begin{matrix}{5 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}{32 \choose 1}\end{matrix} 20 15,360 0.05674 16.6 : 1
xxxy \begin{matrix}{5 \choose 2}{2 \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 3}{4 \choose 1}\end{matrix} 20 320 0.00118 845 : 1
xxyy \begin{matrix}{5 \choose 2}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 2}^2\end{matrix} 10 360 0.00133 751 : 1
xyz* \begin{matrix}{5 \choose 3}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^3{32 \choose 1}\end{matrix} 10 20,048 0.07565 12.2 : 1
xxyz \begin{matrix}{5 \choose 3}{3 \choose 1}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 2}{4 \choose 1}^2\end{matrix} 30 2,880 0.01064 93.0 : 1
xyzr \begin{matrix}{5 \choose 4}\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^4\end{matrix} 5 1,280 0.00473 211 : 1
TOTAL 105 120,040 0.44340 1.26 : 1

As the table shows, there is a better than 44% chance of having a hand that has a possibility of making a nut low hand.

While the table above shows 105 distinct hands that can make a nut low, there are actually 165 different cases to consider. The extra cases come from how the * ranks higher than 5 are assigned. More low ranks in the hand decreases the number of low cards available to make a low hand possible, although they increase the chance of the hand making a non-nut low hand. For shapes xxy* and xyz*, * can either be a qualifying low rank higher than 5, or a non-qualifying high rank. This doubles the distinct hands to consider in these cases, adding 20 and 10 distinct hands for xxy* and xyz*, respectively. For shape xy** there are four ways ** can be assigned: either two different qualifying low ranks, the same qualifying low rank (a low pair), one qualifying low rank and one high rank, or two high ranks. This adds 3 × 10 = 30 more distinct hands for a total of 60 additional distinct hands.

The probability of a hand making the nut low depends on several aspects of the hand:

  1. How many different ranks from A–5 the hand has;
  2. The rank of the second lowest rank in the hand (2–5);
  3. Pairs and trips involving the lowest two ranks—more cards here reduces the chance of the low being counterfeited (shapes xxy*, xxxy, xxyy, and xxyz);
  4. The rank of the third lowest rank in the hand (shapes xyz*, xxyz, and xyzr);
  5. The rank of the fourth lowest rank in the hand (shape xyzr);
  6. Whether ranks above 5 can qualify for a low hand—that is, for the shapes xy**, xxy* and xyz*, if * is one or more cards of rank 6–8 or 6–9 for 8-high and 9-high qualifiers, respectively (more low cards here reduces the chance of a low hand being possible);
  7. Pairs involving the third lowest rank in the hand when the third lowest rank can qualify for a low hand (shapes xy** and xxyz).

Perhaps surprisingly, although it affects the strength of non-nut low hands, the rank of the lowest card has no influence on either making a low hand or making the nut low hand. So the hands A-4-K-K and 3-4-10-K have the same probability of making both a nut-low hand and any low hand, although A-4-K-K is likely to make a better non-nut low hand. The hand A-4-7-K will have a slightly lower chance of making the nut low than either of the previous hands because the 7 in the hand reduces the chance of the board 2-3-7-10-J or A-2-7-10-J, which make nut low hands for A-4-K-K and 3-4-10-K, respectively. However, A-4-7-K will have a better chance of making a non-nut low hand because boards like 4-5-6-10-J still make a non-nut low for it, but make no low hand for either A-4-K-K or 3-4-10-K.

Combining the hands into groups based on the factors that determine the probabilities for making the nut low hand and making low hands, the 165 different cases fall into 56 groupings. The nut low hand shapes are denoted using the lower case letters x and y to represent qualifying low ranks higher than 5 (6–8 or 6–9 for 8- and 9-high qualifiers, respectively), and * to represent any high card. The following tables give the probability for select starting hands to make the nut low hand and make a non-nut low hand on the flop, turn and river. The hands in the table are listed in order of the probability of having the nut hand on the river, from highest probability to lowest. (See Probability of making the nut low hand in Omaha hold 'em for complete tables of all 165 nut low hand shapes.) The tables also give the probability that the hand will make a nut low hand if at least three different low ranks are on the board, making a low hand possible. See the section Making a low hand for the probabilities of a low hand being possible and the probability of making or missing a low hand when one is possible.

Making a nut low hand with an 8-high qualifier (selected hands)
Hands Make on flop Make on turn Make on river
Nut low Non-nut low Nuts if low Nut low Non-nut low Nuts if low Nut low Non-nut low Nuts if low
Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds
A-2-3-4 0.1314 6.6 : 1 0 0.9546 <0.1 : 1 0.3246 2.1 : 1 0.0067 149.1 : 1 0.9424 0.1 : 1 0.5087 1.0 : 1 0.0221 44.2 : 1 0.9283 0.1 : 1
A-2-3-5 0.1126 7.9 : 1 0.0187 52.4 : 1 0.8185 0.2 : 1 0.2788 2.6 : 1 0.0525 18.1 : 1 0.8095 0.2 : 1 0.4385 1.3 : 1 0.0923 9.8 : 1 0.8002 0.2 : 1
A-2-3-* 0.1203 7.3 : 1 0 0.7858 0.3 : 1 0.2859 2.5 : 1 0.0200 49.0 : 1 0.7641 0.3 : 1 0.4314 1.3 : 1 0.0638 14.7 : 1 0.7400 0.4 : 1
A-A-2-3, A-2-2-3, A-2-3-3 0.1110 8.0 : 1 0 0.8142 0.2 : 1 0.2723 2.7 : 1 0.0155 63.3 : 1 0.7965 0.3 : 1 0.4229 1.4 : 1 0.0507 18.7 : 1 0.7764 0.3 : 1
A-2-3-x 0.1064 8.4 : 1 0.0250 39.0 : 1 0.7731 0.3 : 1 0.2591 2.9 : 1 0.0722 12.9 : 1 0.7523 0.3 : 1 0.3997 1.5 : 1 0.1311 6.6 : 1 0.7294 0.4 : 1
A-2-4-5 0.0835 11.0 : 1 0.0479 19.9 : 1 0.6067 0.6 : 1 0.2108 3.7 : 1 0.1205 7.3 : 1 0.6120 0.6 : 1 0.3393 1.9 : 1 0.1915 4.2 : 1 0.6192 0.6 : 1
A-A-2-4, A-2-2-4 0.0833 11.0 : 1 0.0278 35.0 : 1 0.6107 0.6 : 1 0.2070 3.8 : 1 0.0808 11.4 : 1 0.6055 0.7 : 1 0.3267 2.1 : 1 0.1468 5.8 : 1 0.5999 0.7 : 1
A-A-A-2, A-2-2-2 0.0740 12.5 : 1 0 0.5536 0.8 : 1 0.1822 4.5 : 1 0.0250 39.0 : 1 0.5416 0.8 : 1 0.2842 2.5 : 1 0.0810 11.3 : 1 0.5283 0.9 : 1
A-A-2-2 0.0740 12.5 : 1 0 0.5479 0.8 : 1 0.1822 4.5 : 1 0.0250 39.0 : 1 0.5372 0.9 : 1 0.2842 2.5 : 1 0.0810 11.3 : 1 0.5250 0.9 : 1
A-A-2-5, A-2-2-5 0.0694 13.4 : 1 0.0416 23.0 : 1 0.5089 1.0 : 1 0.1727 4.8 : 1 0.1151 7.7 : 1 0.5051 1.0 : 1 0.2735 2.7 : 1 0.2000 4.0 : 1 0.5022 1.0 : 1
A-A-2-*, A-2-2-* 0.0740 12.5 : 1 0 0.4878 1.1 : 1 0.1760 4.7 : 1 0.0312 31.0 : 1 0.4737 1.1 : 1 0.2657 2.8 : 1 0.0995 9.0 : 1 0.4583 1.2 : 1
A-3-4-5, 2-3-4-5 0.0569 16.6 : 1 0.0745 12.4 : 1 0.4134 1.4 : 1 0.1500 5.7 : 1 0.1813 4.5 : 1 0.4355 1.3 : 1 0.2527 3.0 : 1 0.2782 2.6 : 1 0.4611 1.2 : 1
A-2-*-* 0.0740 12.5 : 1 0 0.4360 1.3 : 1 0.1697 4.9 : 1 0.0375 25.7 : 1 0.4191 1.4 : 1 0.2479 3.0 : 1 0.1173 7.5 : 1 0.4013 1.5 : 1
A-A-2-x, A-2-2-x 0.0648 14.4 : 1 0.0463 20.6 : 1 0.4750 1.1 : 1 0.1579 5.3 : 1 0.1299 6.7 : 1 0.4619 1.2 : 1 0.2440 3.1 : 1 0.2295 3.4 : 1 0.4480 1.2 : 1
A-2-x-* 0.0648 14.4 : 1 0.0555 17.0 : 1 0.4231 1.4 : 1 0.1525 5.6 : 1 0.1534 5.5 : 1 0.4075 1.5 : 1 0.2282 3.4 : 1 0.2670 2.7 : 1 0.3914 1.6 : 1
A-2-x-y 0.0564 16.7 : 1 0.0749 12.3 : 1 0.4101 1.4 : 1 0.1363 6.3 : 1 0.1950 4.1 : 1 0.3956 1.5 : 1 0.2090 3.8 : 1 0.3219 2.1 : 1 0.3813 1.6 : 1
A-2-x-x 0.0555 17.0 : 1 0.0555 17.0 : 1 0.4071 1.5 : 1 0.1344 6.4 : 1 0.1534 5.5 : 1 0.3931 1.5 : 1 0.2065 3.8 : 1 0.2670 2.7 : 1 0.3791 1.6 : 1
A-3-*-*, 2-3-*-* 0.0370 26.0 : 1 0.0370 26.0 : 1 0.2180 3.6 : 1 0.0891 10.2 : 1 0.1181 7.5 : 1 0.2201 3.5 : 1 0.1383 6.2 : 1 0.2269 3.4 : 1 0.2238 3.5 : 1
A-4-*-*, 2-4-*-*, 3-4-*-* 0.0148 66.6 : 1 0.0592 15.9 : 1 0.0872 10.5 : 1 0.0395 24.3 : 1 0.1677 5.0 : 1 0.0975 9.3 : 1 0.0687 13.6 : 1 0.2965 2.4 : 1 0.1111 8.0 : 1
A-5-*-*, 2-5-*-*, 3-5-*-*, 4-5-*-* 0.0037 269.3 : 1 0.0703 13.2 : 1 0.0218 44.9 : 1 0.0133 74.1 : 1 0.1939 4.2 : 1 0.0329 29.4 : 1 0.0300 32.4 : 1 0.3352 2.0 : 1 0.0485 19.6 : 1
Making a nut low hand with a 9-high qualifier (selected hands)
Hands Make on flop Make on turn Make on river
Nut low Non-nut low Nuts if low Nut low Non-nut low Nuts if low Nut low Non-nut low Nuts if low
Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds
A-2-3-4 0.2105 3.8 : 1 0 0.9712 <0.1 : 1 0.4657 1.1 : 1 0.0089 111.6 : 1 0.9591 <0.1 : 1 0.6628 0.5 : 1 0.0275 35.4 : 1 0.9440 0.1 : 1
A-2-3-5 0.1855 4.4 : 1 0.0250 39.0 : 1 0.8559 0.2 : 1 0.4091 1.4 : 1 0.0655 14.3 : 1 0.8425 0.2 : 1 0.5811 0.7 : 1 0.1092 8.2 : 1 0.8277 0.2 : 1
A-2-3-* 0.1989 4.0 : 1 0 0.8360 0.2 : 1 0.4204 1.4 : 1 0.0311 31.2 : 1 0.8101 0.2 : 1 0.5721 0.7 : 1 0.0903 10.1 : 1 0.7794 0.3 : 1
A-A-2-3, A-2-2-3, A-2-3-3 0.1850 4.4 : 1 0 0.8598 0.2 : 1 0.4051 1.5 : 1 0.0242 40.4 : 1 0.8387 0.2 : 1 0.5689 0.8 : 1 0.0718 12.9 : 1 0.8135 0.2 : 1
A-2-3-x 0.1792 4.6 : 1 0.0312 31.0 : 1 0.8271 0.2 : 1 0.3894 1.6 : 1 0.0852 10.7 : 1 0.8019 0.2 : 1 0.5424 0.8 : 1 0.1479 5.8 : 1 0.7725 0.3 : 1
A-2-4-5 0.1355 6.4 : 1 0.0749 12.3 : 1 0.6254 0.6 : 1 0.3042 2.3 : 1 0.1703 4.9 : 1 0.6266 0.6 : 1 0.4421 1.3 : 1 0.2482 3.0 : 1 0.6296 0.6 : 1
A-A-2-4, A-2-2-4 0.1388 6.2 : 1 0.0463 20.6 : 1 0.6448 0.6 : 1 0.3072 2.3 : 1 0.1220 7.2 : 1 0.6361 0.6 : 1 0.4377 1.3 : 1 0.2030 3.9 : 1 0.6259 0.6 : 1
A-A-A-2, A-2-2-2 0.1295 6.7 : 1 0 0.6107 0.6 : 1 0.2834 2.5 : 1 0.0447 21.4 : 1 0.5932 0.7 : 1 0.3973 1.5 : 1 0.1304 6.7 : 1 0.5725 0.7 : 1
A-A-2-2 0.1295 6.7 : 1 0 0.6061 0.7 : 1 0.2834 2.5 : 1 0.0447 21.4 : 1 0.5899 0.7 : 1 0.3973 1.5 : 1 0.1304 6.7 : 1 0.5703 0.8 : 1
A-A-2-5, A-2-2-5 0.1203 7.3 : 1 0.0648 14.4 : 1 0.5588 0.8 : 1 0.2648 2.8 : 1 0.1645 5.1 : 1 0.5483 0.8 : 1 0.3758 1.7 : 1 0.2650 2.8 : 1 0.5373 0.9 : 1
A-A-2-*, A-2-2-* 0.1295 6.7 : 1 0 0.5479 0.8 : 1 0.2722 2.7 : 1 0.0559 16.9 : 1 0.5272 0.9 : 1 0.3679 1.7 : 1 0.1598 5.3 : 1 0.5030 1.0 : 1
A-3-4-5, 2-3-4-5 0.1156 7.6 : 1 0.0694 13.4 : 1 0.5373 0.9 : 1 0.2500 3.0 : 1 0.1793 4.6 : 1 0.5176 0.9 : 1 0.3462 1.9 : 1 0.2945 2.4 : 1 0.4951 1.0 : 1
A-2-*-* 0.1295 6.7 : 1 0 0.4969 1.0 : 1 0.2610 2.8 : 1 0.0671 13.9 : 1 0.4721 1.1 : 1 0.3397 1.9 : 1 0.1879 4.3 : 1 0.4443 1.3 : 1
A-A-2-x, A-2-2-x 0.1085 8.2 : 1 0.1020 8.8 : 1 0.5005 1.0 : 1 0.2373 3.2 : 1 0.2372 3.2 : 1 0.4888 1.0 : 1 0.3355 2.0 : 1 0.3548 1.8 : 1 0.4778 1.1 : 1
A-2-x-* 0.1018 8.8 : 1 0.0833 11.0 : 1 0.4729 1.1 : 1 0.2178 3.6 : 1 0.2114 3.7 : 1 0.4510 1.2 : 1 0.2989 2.3 : 1 0.3419 1.9 : 1 0.4273 1.3 : 1
A-2-x-y 0.0728 12.7 : 1 0.1376 6.3 : 1 0.3362 2.0 : 1 0.1703 4.9 : 1 0.3043 2.3 : 1 0.3507 1.9 : 1 0.2580 2.9 : 1 0.4323 1.3 : 1 0.3675 1.7 : 1
A-2-x-x 0.0728 12.7 : 1 0.1376 6.3 : 1 0.3362 2.0 : 1 0.1703 4.9 : 1 0.3043 2.3 : 1 0.3507 1.9 : 1 0.2580 2.9 : 1 0.4323 1.3 : 1 0.3675 1.7 : 1
A-3-*-*, 2-3-*-* 0.0509 18.7 : 1 0.1341 6.5 : 1 0.2364 3.2 : 1 0.1168 7.6 : 1 0.3125 2.2 : 1 0.2418 3.1 : 1 0.1737 4.8 : 1 0.4670 1.1 : 1 0.2484 3.0 : 1
A-4-*-*, 2-4-*-*, 3-4-*-* 0.0185 53.1 : 1 0.1110 8.0 : 1 0.0710 13.1 : 1 0.0456 21.0 : 1 0.2825 2.5 : 1 0.0824 11.1 : 1 0.0748 12.4 : 1 0.4529 1.2 : 1 0.0978 9.2 : 1
A-5-*-*, 2-5-*-*, 3-5-*-*, 4-5-*-* 0.0037 269.3 : 1 0.1258 6.9 : 1 0.0142 69.4 : 1 0.0133 74.1 : 1 0.3148 2.2 : 1 0.0241 40.5 : 1 0.0300 32.4 : 1 0.4977 1.0 : 1 0.0392 24.5 : 1

Making high hands[edit]

The probabilities for making high hands in Omaha hold 'em fall into three categories based on the poker hand:

  1. Rank-based hands that are based solely on the rank type of the starting hand. This includes the poker hands four of a kind, full house, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and no pair (high card).
  2. Suit-based hands that are based solely on the suit type of the starting hand. The flush is the only poker hand based solely on suit.
  3. Sequence-based hands that are based on the rank sequences in the starting hand. This includes both straights and staight flushes.

Making hands based on rank type[edit]

See the section "Starting hands" for a description of starting hands and rank types.

The probability of making either four of a kind, a full house, three of a kind, two pair, one pair or no pair depends only on the rank type of the starting hand. This ignores when these hands also make straights, flushes and straight flushes—these hands are based on the suit type and rank sequences of the starting hand. Starting hands consisting of four of a kind can only make a full house, two pair or one pair. Starting hands that include at least two cards of the same rank can make no less than one pair. The rank types have the following probabilities of improving on the flop, turn and river.

Rank type Poker hand Make on flop Make by turn Make by river
Probability Odds Probability Odds Probability Odds
Four of a kind Full house 0.0027752 359.33 : 1 0.0109158 90.61 : 1 0.0268270 36.28 : 1
Two pair 0.1831637 4.46 : 1 0.3378353 1.96 : 1 0.4995375 1.00 : 1
One pair 0.8140611 0.23 : 1 0.6512488 0.54 : 1 0.4736355 1.11 : 1
Three of a kind Four of a kind 0.0000578 17,295.00 : 1 0.0002313 4,323.00 : 1 0.0005782 1,728.60 : 1
Full house 0.0065333 152.06 : 1 0.0252698 38.57 : 1 0.0597826 15.73 : 1
Three of a kind 0.0661425 14.12 : 1 0.0824237 11.13 : 1 0.0909652 9.99 : 1
Two pair 0.1640842 5.09 : 1 0.2950971 2.39 : 1 0.4243756 1.36 : 1
One pair 0.7631822 0.31 : 1 0.5969781 0.68 : 1 0.4242985 1.36 : 1
Either four of a kind or a full house 0.0065911 150.72 : 1 0.0255011 38.21 : 1 0.0603608 15.57 : 1
Four of a kind, a full house, or three of a kind 0.0727336 12.75 : 1 0.1079248 8.27 : 1 0.1513259 5.61 : 1
Two pair Four of a kind 0.0053191 187.00 : 1 0.0106332 93.05 : 1 0.0177048 55.48 : 1
Full house 0.0178076 55.16 : 1 0.0656337 14.24 : 1 0.1463408 5.83 : 1
Three of a kind 0.2136910 3.68 : 1 0.2351732 3.25 : 1 0.2220167 3.50 : 1
Two pair 0.1526364 5.55 : 1 0.2543941 2.93 : 1 0.3376503 1.96 : 1
One pair 0.6105458 0.64 : 1 0.4341659 1.30 : 1 0.2762874 2.62 : 1
Either four of a kind or a full house 0.0231267 42.24 : 1 0.0762668 12.11 : 1 0.1640456 5.10 : 1
Four of a kind, a full house, or three of a kind 0.2368178 3.22 : 1 0.3114400 2.21 : 1 0.3860623 1.59 : 1
One pair Four of a kind 0.0027752 359.33 : 1 0.0057817 171.96 : 1 0.0100204 98.80 : 1
Full house 0.0109852 90.03 : 1 0.0413969 23.16 : 1 0.0950871 9.52 : 1
Three of a kind 0.1259251 6.94 : 1 0.1510947 5.62 : 1 0.1586634 5.30 : 1
Two pair 0.1665125 5.01 : 1 0.2886216 2.46 : 1 0.3971491 1.52 : 1
One pair 0.6938020 0.44 : 1 0.5131051 0.95 : 1 0.3390800 1.95 : 1
Either four of a kind or a full house 0.0137604 71.67 : 1 0.0471785 20.20 : 1 0.1051075 8.51 : 1
Four of a kind, a full house, or three of a kind 0.1396855 6.16 : 1 0.1982732 4.04 : 1 0.2637709 2.79 : 1
No pair Four of a kind 0.0002313 4,323.00 : 1 0.0009251 1,080.00 : 1 0.0023127 431.40 : 1
Full house 0.0062442 159.15 : 1 0.0219241 44.61 : 1 0.0480616 19.81 : 1
Three of a kind 0.0270583 35.96 : 1 0.0470398 20.26 : 1 0.0699058 13.30 : 1
Two pair 0.1561055 5.41 : 1 0.3018039 2.31 : 1 0.4440964 1.25 : 1
One pair 0.4995375 1.00 : 1 0.4625347 1.16 : 1 0.3602725 1.78 : 1
No pair 0.3108233 2.22 : 1 0.1657724 5.03 : 1 0.0753511 12.27 : 1
Either four of a kind or a full house 0.0064755 153.43 : 1 0.0228492 42.77 : 1 0.0503742 18.85 : 1
Four of a kind, a full house, or three of a kind 0.0335338 28.82 : 1 0.0698890 13.31 : 1 0.1202800 7.31 : 1

Not surprisingly, starting with two pair gives the best overall chance of making four of a kind, a full house or three of a kind; one pair has the next best chance for each of these hands. Two pair will improve to at least three of a kind by the river more than one in three times and will make a full house or four of a kind almost one in six times. However, starting with three of a kind is only marginally better than starting with no pair, and starting with three of a kind actually yields the lowest probability of making four of a kind. Starting with four of a kind has very few possibilities to improve—there is almost never a reason to play these hands.

See Probability derivations for making rank-based hands in Omaha hold 'em for the derivations for the probabilities in the preceding tables of making hands based on the rank type of the hand.

Making a flush[edit]

See the section "Starting hands" for a description of starting hands and suit types.

The probability of making a flush depends only on the suit type of the starting hand. This ignores when these hands also make four of a kind and full houses—these hands are based on the rank type of the starting hand. Starting hands consisting of all four suits (suit type abcd) can't make a flush. The starting hands that can make straight flushes are a subset of the hands that can make flushes and the boards that make straight flushes are a subset of the boards that make flushes. The subset of both starting hands and boards that can make straight flushes are based on the rank sequences of their respective suited cards.

To make a flush on the flop, all three cards must be the same suit. If s is the number of cards with the same suit in the hand (s = 2, 3, 4) then the probability P_f of making a flush on the flop with that suit is

P_f = \frac{{13 - s \choose 3}}{{48 \choose 3}}

On the turn a flush is possible with either four cards of the same suit, or three cards of the same suit combined with one of the 39 - (4 - s) = 35 + s cards from one of the other suits, which gives the probability

P_t = \frac{{13 - s \choose 4} + {13 - s \choose 3}{35 + s \choose 1}}{{48 \choose 4}}

for completing a flush in a suit by the turn. On the river there are three ways to fill a flush—five cards of the same suit; four cards of the same suit combined with one of the 35 + s cards in one of the other three suits; or three cards of the same suit combinded with two of the remaining 35 + s cards in one of the other three suits. This gives the probability

P_r = \frac{{13 - s \choose 5} + {13 - s \choose 4}{35 + s \choose 1} + {13 - s \choose 3}{35 + s \choose 2}}
                  {{48 \choose 5}}

of making the flush by the river. For hands with flush draws in two suits (suit type aabb), multiply the probability of making a flush with two suited cards (s = 2) by the two suits to give probabilities of 2P_f, 2P_t and 2P_r.

The suit types with at least two of the same suit have the following probabilities of making a flush on the flop, turn and river.

Suit type Make on flop Make by turn Make by river
Probability Odds Probability Odds Probability Odds
aaaa 0.0048566 204.90 : 1 0.01748381 56.20 : 1 0.0392944 24.45 : 1
aaab 0.0069380 143.13 : 1 0.02451434 39.79 : 1 0.0540745 17.49 : 1
aabb 0.0190796 51.41 : 1 0.06614246 14.12 : 1 0.1431545 5.99 : 1
aabc 0.0095398 103.82 : 1 0.03307123 29.24 : 1 0.0715772 12.97 : 1

Making a straight flush[edit]

See the section "Starting hands for straight flushes" for a description of straight flush starting hand types.

The probability of making a straight flush depends primarily on the number of different sets of three cards that can fill a straight flush in the hand. For convenience, the term straight flush sequence means a three-card set that can make a straight flush when combined with the starting hand. A secondary factor to the number of straight flush sequences, although much less significant, is the amount of overlap (shared cards) in the straight flush sequences—the more overlap, the lower the probability for a straight flush on the turn and river. More overlap reduces the probability because some of the board combinations make more than one straight flush and are thus counted multiple times.

For example, the hand 5 6 7 A makes a straight flush with either of the two straight flush sequences 2 3 4 or 8 9 10, which have no overlap. The hand 5 8 A A makes a straight flush with either of the two straight flush sequences 4 6 7 or 6 7 9, which have an overlap of two cards—the 6 and 7. On the turn, the board 4 6 7 9 satisfies both sets and is only counted once, making the frequency of boards that make a straight flush on the turn for 5 8 A A one less than for 5 6 7 A. On the river, any of the 44 remaining cards combined with 4 6 7 9 makes two straight flushes, making the frequency of boards 44 less.

To make a straight flush on the flop, the three cards on the board must exactly match one of the straight flush sequences for the hand. If s is the number of straight flush sequences for a hand, then the frequency F_f of boards that make a straight flush on the flop is

F_f = {s \choose 1}

On the turn, one of the s straight flush sequences can be combined with any of the remaining 45 cards. Enumerating the frequencies this way ends up counting any board that can form two different straight flushes twice. On the turn, for every pair of three card sets that share two cards (for example A 3 4 and 3 4 6) there is exactly one board that makes two straight flushes (A 3 4 6 in the example). Where n_{42} is the number of boards containing four cards that make exactly two straight flushes, then the frequency F_t of boards that make a straight flush on the turn is

F_t = {s \choose 1}{45 \choose 1} - n_{42}

On the river, one of the s straight flush sequences can be combined with any two of the remaining 45 cards. Now all boards that make exactly two straight flushes are counted twice, and all boards the make exactly three straight flushes are counted three time. Where n_{52} is the number of boards containing five cards that make exactly two straight flushes and n_{53} is the number of boards containing five cards that make exactly three straight flushes, then the frequency F_r of boards that make a straight flush on the river is

F_r = {s \choose 1}{45 \choose 2} - n_{52} - 2n_{53}

The probabilities of making a straight flush are the same for any two starting hands that can make a straight flush with exactly two straight flush sequences that contain no overlap. So A 2 10 A (which makes a straight flush with either 3 4 5 or J Q K) and 5 6 7 A have the same probabilities on the flop, turn and river. Likewise, 2 3 A A (which makes a straight flush with either A 4 5 or 4 5 6) and 5 8 A A each make a straight flush with one of two straight flush sequences, with two cards overlapping.

A complete straight flush hand pattern is then the number of straight flush sequences for the hand combined with the overlaps between all of the straight flush sequences. The following rules can be used to derive a notation for describing complete straight flush hand patterns:

  1. Label each element in each straight flush sequence according to the number of straight flush sequences that contain it.
  2. Sort the labelled elements of each straight flush sequence to derive the labeled straight flush sequence. Arbitrarily, choose to sort the elements in descending order.
  3. Sort the labelled straight flush sequences. Arbitrarily, choose to sort the straight flush sequences in descending order.

Each element can be either the low, middle, or high rank of a straight flush sequence. Using numbers to label the straight flush sequence elements, each element in a straight flush sequence is assigned a label from 13 depending on whether it appears in 1, 2 or 3 straight flush sequences. For example, the two straight flush sequences for a hand 2 3 4 and 8 9 10 are labelled as 111 and 111 since each element appears in only a single straight flush sequence, and the straight flush hand pattern is 111+111. The two straight flush sequences 4 6 7 and 6 7 9 are labelled as 221 and 221, and the straight flush hand pattern is 221+221.

To determine the probability of making a straight flush from any starting hand, first identify all of the straight flush hand patterns, and then determine the probabilities for each hand pattern. It turns out that there are 32 hand patterns possible using a single suit to make the straight flush, with either 2, 3, or 4 cards from the suit being used to make straight flushes. The following table shows each of the single-suit straight flush hand patterns, listed in order of probability of making a straight flush on the river, from highest to lowest probability.

Straight flush hand pattern Make on flop Make by turn Make by river
Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds
333+333+333+333+332+332+322+322 8 0.0004625 2,161 : 1 353 0.0018142 550 : 1 7,611 0.0044449 224 : 1
332+332+322+322+322+322+322 7 0.0004047 2,470 : 1 310 0.0015932 627 : 1 6,708 0.0039175 254 : 1
333+333+333+332+332+321+321 7 0.0004047 2,470 : 1 309 0.0015880 629 : 1 6,666 0.0038930 256 : 1
332+332+322+321+222+221 6 0.0003469 2,882 : 1 266 0.0013670 731 : 1 5,763 0.0033656 296 : 1
322+322+322+322+321+321 6 0.0003469 2,882 : 1 266 0.0013670 731 : 1 5,763 0.0033656 296 : 1
333+332+332+322+321+211 6 0.0003469 2,882 : 1 266 0.0013670 731 : 1 5,763 0.0033656 296 : 1
333+333+332+332+321+321 6 0.0003469 2,882 : 1 265 0.0013619 733 : 1 5,720 0.0033405 298 : 1
222+222+221+221+221 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 223 0.0011461 872 : 1 4,860 0.0028383 351 : 1
222+222+222+221+211 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 223 0.0011461 872 : 1 4,860 0.0028383 351 : 1
322+322+321+221+211 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 223 0.0011461 872 : 1 4,860 0.0028383 351 : 1
322+321+321+221+221 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 222 0.0011409 875 : 1 4,818 0.0028138 354 : 1
332+332+321+321+111 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 222 0.0011409 875 : 1 4,818 0.0028138 354 : 1
322+322+321+222+221 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 222 0.0011409 875 : 1 4,817 0.0028132 354 : 1
332+332+322+321+211 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 222 0.0011409 875 : 1 4,817 0.0028132 354 : 1
333+332+332+321+321 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 221 0.0011358 879 : 1 4,774 0.0027881 358 : 1
222+221+211+111 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 179 0.0009199 1,086 : 1 3,915 0.0022864 436 : 1
221+221+211+211 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 179 0.0009199 1,086 : 1 3,915 0.0022864 436 : 1
222+222+211+211 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 179 0.0009199 1,086 : 1 3,914 0.0022858 436 : 1
221+221+221+221 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 178 0.0009148 1,092 : 1 3,872 0.0022613 441 : 1
322+321+321+111 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 178 0.0009148 1,092 : 1 3,872 0.0022613 441 : 1
222+222+221+221 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 178 0.0009148 1,092 : 1 3,871 0.0022607 441 : 1
322+322+321+211 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 178 0.0009148 1,092 : 1 3,871 0.0022607 441 : 1
332+332+321+321 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 177 0.0009097 1,098 : 1 3,828 0.0022356 446 : 1
111+111+111 3 0.0001735 5,764 : 1 135 0.0006938 1,440 : 1 2,970 0.0017345 576 : 1
211+211+111 3 0.0001735 5,764 : 1 135 0.0006938 1,440 : 1 2,969 0.0017339 576 : 1
221+221+111 3 0.0001735 5,764 : 1 134 0.0006887 1,451 : 1 2,926 0.0017088 584 : 1
222+221+211 3 0.0001735 5,764 : 1 134 0.0006887 1,451 : 1 2,925 0.0017082 584 : 1
322+321+321 3 0.0001735 5,764 : 1 133 0.0006835 1,462 : 1 2,882 0.0016831 593 : 1
111+111 2 0.0001156 8,647 : 1 90 0.0004625 2,161 : 1 1,980 0.0011563 864 : 1
211+211 2 0.0001156 8,647 : 1 90 0.0004625 2,161 : 1 1,979 0.0011558 864 : 1
221+221 2 0.0001156 8,647 : 1 89 0.0004574 2,185 : 1 1,936 0.0011306 883 : 1
111 1 0.0000578 17,295 : 1 45 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 990 0.0005782 1,729 : 1

Of the 32 hand patterns that can make a straight flush in one suit, four of the hand patterns (111, 211+211, 322+321+321, and 332+332+321+321) use exactly two cards in the suit. For hands that can make a straight flush in two suits, each of these hand patterns can be used by one of the two suits. This gives \begin{matrix} {4 + 2 - 1 \choose 2} \end{matrix} = 10 different combinations of single suit hand patterns for making a straight flush in one of two suits. There is no overlap in the straight flush sequences between suits and it is not possible to make a straight flush in more than one suit. Therefore, where P_1 and P_2 are the probabilities of making a flush in each of the two suits, then the probability P of making a straight flush in either suit is P = P_1 + P_2. The following table gives the double-suit straight flush hand patterns, listed in order of probability of making a straight flush on the river, from highest to lowest probability.

Straight flush hand pattern Make on flop Make by turn Make by river
Suit 1 Suit 2 Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds Combos Probability Odds
332+332+321+321 332+332+321+321 8 0.0004625 2,161 : 1 354 0.0018193 549 : 1 7,656 0.0044712 223 : 1
322+321+321 332+332+321+321 7 0.0004047 2,470 : 1 310 0.0015932 627 : 1 6,710 0.0039187 254 : 1
211+211 332+332+321+321 6 0.0003469 2,882 : 1 267 0.0013722 728 : 1 5,807 0.0033913 294 : 1
322+321+321 322+321+321 6 0.0003469 2,882 : 1 266 0.0013670 731 : 1 5,764 0.0033662 296 : 1
211+211 322+321+321 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 223 0.0011461 872 : 1 4,861 0.0028389 351 : 1
111 332+332+321+321 5 0.0002891 3,458 : 1 222 0.0011409 875 : 1 4,818 0.0028138 354 : 1
211+211 211+211 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 180 0.0009251 1,080 : 1 3,958 0.0023115 432 : 1
111 322+321+321 4 0.0002313 4,323 : 1 178 0.0009148 1,092 : 1 3,872 0.0022613 441 : 1
111 211+211 3 0.0001735 5,764 : 1 135 0.0006938 1,440 : 1 2,969 0.0017339 576 : 1
111 111 2 0.0001156 8,647 : 1 90 0.0004625 2,161 : 1 1,980 0.0011563 864 : 1

Making a straight[edit]

See the section "Starting hands for straights" for a description of starting hands for straights and sequence types.

The probability of making a straight depends on how many different arrangements of three ranks can make a straight when combined with two ranks from the hand (the sequence type of the hand) and the probability of each of those arrangements occurring. The probability of an arrangement of three ranks appearing depends on the number of cards available for each rank. There are four different possibilities for the cards available for the three ranks based on how the ranks overlap with cards in the hand:

  1. There is no overlap between the three ranks and the ranks in the hand. Every hand that can make a straight has at least one set of three ranks with no overlap that makes a straight.
  2. One of the three ranks is the same as the rank of an unpaired rank in the hand. This is possible when the hand has three ranks that are part of a straight, such as {5, 6, 9}, which are part of the straight 5-6-7-8-9.
  3. One of the three ranks is the same as the rank of a paired rank in the hand. For example, the hand 3 5 5 6 makes a straight with {4, 5, 7}.
  4. Two of the three ranks are the same as the ranks of unpaired ranks in the hand. This is possible when the hand is four different ranks that are part of a straight, such as the hand {6-7-8-9}, which is part of the straights 5-6-7-8-9 and 6-7-8-9-T.

Naming these rank sets based on the number of cards available for each rank gives the rank sets 444, 443, 442 and 433, respectively. The number of ways to make each three-card straight rank set are:

Straight
rank set
Combinations
Derivation Number
444 \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^3\end{matrix} 64
443 \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^2{3 \choose 1}\end{matrix} 48
442 \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}^2{2 \choose 1}\end{matrix} 32
433 \begin{matrix}{4 \choose 1}{3 \choose 1}^2\end{matrix} 36

To calculate the probability of a hand making a straight it is necessary to first determine the number of rank sets of each type can make a straight. If r_{444}, r_{443}, r_{442} and r_{433} are the number of rank sets of the respective types that make a straight, then ignoring straight flushes, the number of combinations that produce a straight for the hand is

C = 64r_{444}+ 48r_{443} + 32r_{442} + 36r_{433}.

To account for straight flushes simply subtract the number of rank sets that produce a straight flush from the total. The hand with the best probability for making a straight is a hand with a sequence type of 20, consisting of four consecutive ranks from 4-5-6-7 to 8-9-T-J. These hands have two rank sets of type 444, six ranks sets of type 443 and twelve of type 433, giving (2 × 64) + (6 × 48) + (12 × 36) = 848 different three-card combinations that produce a straight.

To make a straight on the flop, all three cards must be different ranks in the rank set. This gives the probability

P_f = \frac{C}{{48 \choose 3}} = \frac{C}{17,296}.

That gives a hand of sequence type 20 with four different suits (thus no chance for a straight flush) a probability of approximately 4.9% of making a straight on the flop.

See also[edit]

Derivations and probability tables for Omaha:

Poker topics:

Math and probability topics:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The odds presented in this article use the notation x : 1 which translates to x to 1 odds against the event happening. The odds are calculated from the probability p of the event happening using the formula: odds = [(1 − p) ÷ p] : 1, or odds = [(1 ÷ p) − 1] : 1. Another way of expressing the odds x : 1 is to state that there is a 1 in x+1 chance of the event occurring or the probability of the event occurring is 1 ÷ (x + 1). So for example, the odds of a role of a fair six-sided die coming up three is 5 : 1 against because there are 5 chances for a number other than three and 1 chance for a three; alternatively, this could be described as a 1 in 6 chance or \begin{matrix}\frac{1}{6}\end{matrix} probability of a three being rolled because the three is 1 of 6 equally-likely possible outcomes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edward Hutchison. "Hutchison Omaha Point System". Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  2. ^ Edward Hutchison (December 1997). "Hutchison Point Count System for Omaha High-Low Poker". Canadian Poker Monthly. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  3. ^ Mike Cappelletti. "Cappelletti Omaha Point Count System". Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  4. ^ Ian Berry. "Mr Hutchison, You Suck....". bet-the-pot. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  5. ^ Brian Alspach (2003). "Rank Sets and Straights". Retrieved 2006-10-30. 

External links[edit]