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Hutchison Point Count System for Omaha High/Low

Omaha High/Low Hutchison Point Count System

Introduction

Point counts have been used in card games such as bridge for many years as a method to simplify hand evaluation. Their use in poker was not common until 1997 when Edward Hutchison wrote an article in Canadian Poker Monthly that described a point count system that could be used for Omaha High/Low poker. The following will describe this system and list some of its limitations.

Method

Hands can qualify as either a playable high or low hand. Note that a playable low hand can win both the high and low portions of a pot whilst a playable high hand can only win the high portion of a pot.

High Hand

A hand qualifies as a playable high hand if it meets all of the following three requirements:

  1. All four cards are of rank Ten, Jack, Queen, King or Ace.
  2. Contains one or more of a, b or c:
    1. Two pair.
    2. One pair and two suited cards.
    3. Two double suits.
  3. Does not contain three cards of the same rank.

Low Hand

Determine the number of low hand points a hand contains by adding together the four factors described below. In the original article it was recommended to play all hands with greater than 20 points and to consider raising with greater than 30 points.

  1. Lowest two cards by rank
    • Ace-Two = 20 points
    • Ace-Three = 17 points
    • Ace-Four = 13 points
    • Ace-Five = 10 points
    • Two-Three = 15 points
    • Two-Four = 12 points
    • Three-Four = 11 points
    • Four-Five = 8 points
    • All others = 0 points
  2. Two remaining cards not counted above (i.e. "kickers") using each rank only once
    • Three = 9 points
    • Four = 6 points
    • Five = 4 points
    • Jack, Queen or King = 2 points
    • Six or Ten = 1 points
    • Seven, Eight or Nine = 0 points
  3. Pairs
    • Ace = 8 points
    • King = 6 points
    • Queen = 5 points
    • Jack = 2 points
    • Ten, Four or Three = 1 points
    • Two = 3 points
    • All others = 0 points
    • Deduct half of the points from this section if hand contains three cards of same rank.
    • Deduct all points from this section if hand contains four cards of same rank.
  4. Two Suited cards
    • Ace High = 4 points
    • King High = 3 points
    • Queen or Jack High = 2 points
    • Ten, Nine or Eight High = 1 points
    • All others = 0 points
    • Deduct half of the points from this section if hand contains three cards of same suit.
    • Deduct all points from this section if hand contains four cards of same suit.

Limitations

As there with any simplifying system there are limitations as to its accuracy and use. For this system the main limitations are:

  • Opponents assumed to be average low limit opponents.
  • Only considers pre-flop hand evaluation.

Related Links

Hutchison Point Count Calculator - An online calculator that will analyze a hand and determine if it qualifies as a high hand and the number of low hand points.

Hutchison Point Count Quiz - An online quiz that will test a player's ability to evaluate a hand.