Beginning Omaha Poker – Outs, Nut Outs And Killer Outs Explained

In Omaha Poker not all ‘outs’ (card which can improve your hand) are equal – that is to say that the combinations of hands your opponents may hold can easily mean that a card which makes your hand could make an opponent an even better one.

The key factor in Omaha is to quickly assess whether an out will give you the best hand, a card which does this is known as a ‘nut out’. If this card comes on the turn you may not be in the clear just yet! If it is possible that a river card could allow an opponent to made an even better hand then you could still lose (the most common example is when the river pairs the board – giving an opponent a full house against your nut flush).

An out which makes you the best hand on the turn regardless of what comes on the river is known as a ‘killer out’. The most common examples would be cards that make you a straight flush or quads.
Here we will look at some examples of Omaha Poker hands on the flop and discuss the type of outs which each hand has. We will include the number of cards which might come on the river to counterfeit your hand in each example.

Your Hand: 4-5-6-8 (4 suits)
The Flop: 2-3-K (unsuited)

Here you have a monster draw – any ace, 4, 5, 6 on the turn will give you the nut straight, giving you a total of ‘nut’ 13 outs on the turn. Since the board is unsuited you do not need to worry about flushes, the only cards here that could ruin your hand are those which pair the board – potentially giving an opponent a full house. A 6 or 7 may not be as good a card as this seems on the turn here – now an opponent holding 4-5-7-9 or 4-5-6-9 will have a free chance to our draw you on the river.

Your Hand: A-A-K-J (double suited)
The Flop: A-4-9 (2 of your suit)

This is the best possible scenario in Omaha – you have flopped the monster holding of top set + the nut flush draw. Here you have 6 outs for a full house on the turn in addition to 1 ‘killer out’ of the remaining ace). In addition any of the remaining cards of your suit will give you the nut flush, since 2 cards are already suited to your hand we need to remove the remaining suited card to avoid double counting. This leaves you 8 more nut outs for a total of 15 – not bad in the situation where you have the current nut hand. The danger on this board is that you are facing an opponent with a low straight draw such as 2-3-5-6, in the event that this opponent hits a 5, 3 or 2 on the turn you would have an additional 3 full house outs on the river, and this is assuming that you did not make your flush at the same time your opponent hit their low straight!

The only (unlikely) scenario in which you may loose your hand is where an opponent holds trip 4’s or 9’s and makes quads on the turn or river. It is also feasible that unsuited cards

Your Hand: K-K-6-7 (unsuited with 6 of hearts)
The Flop: Q-J-9 (2 hearts)

Here you flopped an over pair to the board, however your hand is extremely vulnerable and will usually need to be mucked to serious action. The problem here is that there are either made hands containing 8-10 or 10-K already against you – or your opponents have such a large number of potential draws as to make them favorite in the hand. We should also note that you outs are not to the nuts. If you hit one of the remaining Kings on the turn you are in even more danger… one of them is a heart completing likely flushes and this card also allows any A-10 hands to make the nut straight. Hitting the king on the turn gives you a 10 out redraw to a full house or quads – however we strongly advise you to avoid getting into this situation by folding to any action on the flop!

Of course, holding kings here makes it more difficult to opponents to draw to straights – the cards you hold are ‘blocking’ your opponent’s outs to some extent. Check out our article on Blockers In Omaha Poker for more information how to play these type of situations.

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