Choosing Starting Hands in Omaha High – P2

Testing Hutchison’s Point Count System

Because the Hutchison system determines a hand’s approximate winning percentage if every player stayed through the river, we can test its accuracy in Wilson Software’s Turbo Omaha High. We decided to start at the top, with A♠A♣K♠K♣ (“Ace, King double-suit- ed”). The Hutchison system assigns this hand points in the following manner:

4 points for the Ace-high flush draw in spades

4 points for the Ace-high flush draw in clubs

9 points for the pair of Aces

8 points for the pair of Kings

4 points for the two pairs within two ranks of each other

–2 points for the Aces

The total is 27 points. How does the predicted worth correlate to the actual performance of the hand against nine opponents who never fold? Figure 8.3 shows the results of a 100,000 hand simulation in Wilson Software’s Turbo Omaha High.


Figure 8.3 When you add the split pots to the scooped pots, A♠A♣K♠K♣ wins at the predicted rate.

To interpret the results of this simulation, you need to know that the player with the test hand is in seat 10 (though you probably guessed that from the big positive number in
the money column). The next step is to add all of the split and scooped pots for the nine players with random hands and compare it to the total split and scooped pots won by our hero with A♠A♣K♠K♣. The result? Our test hand won 26,736.67 out of 100,000 pots, which is near enough to the predicted 27 percent win rate.

Let’s try another decent hand to test the Hutchison system: K♦K♥Q♣J♠. The system assigns points as follows:

0 points for flush draws
8 points for the pair of Kings
6 points for all cards Eight or higher in a one-pair hand

The total is 14 points. Figure 8.4 shows the results of a 100,000 hand simulation in Turbo Omaha High.

This simulation shows that K♦K♥Q♣J♠ will win 14,255.33 pots out of 100,000, which is right at the predicted 14 percent win rate.


Figure 8.4 The Hutchison system accurately predicts another win rate.

Finally, let’s see how the system handles a mediocre starting hand such as 8♠7♠4♥4♦. After all, the system wouldn’t be of much use if the point counts in the middle of the pack and below weren’t accurate. The Hutchison system assigns points to this hand as follows:

1 point for Eight-high flush draw in spades

4 points for the pair of Fours

4 points for the straight possibility in a one-pair hand where some of the cards are ranked Eight or lower

The total is nine points. Figure 8.5 shows the results of the Turbo Omaha High simulation.

In this simulation, 8♠7♠4♥4♦ won 8,436.42 pots out of 100,000, which is very much in line with the 9 percent predicted win rate.

♠♥♣♦ Note

The Hutchison system will occasionally be off by a percentage point or two in its predictions, but it’s very accurate for such a simple system.


Figure 8.5 This hand is a dog. The system predicted it, and the simulation proved it.

Scoring Practice for Omaha High Hands

Here are five Omaha hands for you to score using the Hutchison system. You’ll find the answers below the final hand.

A♠A♦J♠4♣

K♥Q♥J♠8♦

T♣T♠7♥7♠

9♥8♦7♠6♣

5♥5♠4♥4♠

You should assign the following scores to the sample hands:

A♠A♦J♠4♣ receives 4 points for the Ace-high flush draw in spades, 9 points for the pair of Aces, and 4 points for the straight cards (not all cards are an Eight or above), for a total of 17 points. There is only a two-rank gap between an Ace and a Four, so you don’t subtract a point.

K♥Q♥J♠8♦ receives 3 points for the King-high flush draw in hearts, no points for pairs, and 11 points for an Eight-low hand with four cards of different ranks, for a total of 14 points.

T♣T♠7♥7♠ receives 1.5 points for the Ten-high flush draw in spades, 6 points for the pair of Tens, 4 points for the pair of Sevens, and 2 points for the straight possibilities, but –2 points because there is a gap of more than one rank be- tween the pairs, for a total of 11.5 points.

9♥8♦7♠6♣ receives no points for flush draws or pairs, but it does receive 9 points for the Six-low hand with four cards of different ranks, for a total of 9 points.

5♥5♠4♥4♠ receives 1 point for the Five-high flush draw in hearts, 1 point for the Five-high flush draw in spades, 4 points for the pair of Fives, 4 points for the pair of Fours, and 2 points for the straight possibilities, for a total of 12 points.

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