Poker Beginners Guide: Nuts Test (1)

In this section your task is to identify which is the nut hand in various situations:

  Board Cards  
   
A   B  
       

We can see that Hand A has a Queen-high straight. He can use the Queen and Jack from his hand together with the 10-9-8 on board to make Q-J-10-9-8. Note that he does not have four Jacks because three of them are in his hole cards. Hand B has the nut Ace-high straight here: A-K-Q-J-10.

  Board Cards  
   
A   B  
       

Here the best Hand A can make is a Jack-high straight, using the Ten and Nine in his hand to form a J-10-9-8-7 straight. He does not have the nut flush because he only has the Ace of spades in his hand. He must use two cards from his hand and there is no spade to accompany the Ace.

Hand B does contain at least two spades, so he does have a flush. In fact, by using the Ten and Nine of spades in his hand, rather than the Queen, he can make a straight flush: J-10-9-8-7.

It may seem counter-intuitive to Holdem players, but when the fourth and fifth flush cards appear among the board cards in Omaha, it becomes less likely rather than more likely that anyone possesses a flush. You can only use three cards from the board, so when the third flush cards appears on the board either you already have a flush or you will never make one. The addition of further flush cards on the board just makes it more unlikely that someone actually has two flush cards in the hole.