Explanation of Wrap
A “wrap” in Omaha is a term used to describe any straight-draw with more than 8 outs. These types of draws are impossible in Hold’em with the maximum number of outs being 8 for the open-ended straight draw.
Wraps are extremely important in Omaha since the regular 8 and 4 out straight-draws are often considered to be little more than garbage. Wraps are powerhouse hands in Omaha, especially in situations where they are accompanied by a flush draw or backdoor flush draw. Due to the sheer amount of outs some of these combo wrap draws have, it’s possible for them to be equity favourites even against strong made hands.
Example of Wrap used in a sentence -> Learning about the different types of wrap is a really important exercise for an aspiring Omaha player.
How to Use Wrap as Part of Your Poker Strategy
The number of outs a wrap carries is not the only variable to be considered. It’s not simply a case of “the more outs the better”. Since making dominated straights can be very costly in Omaha nut outs are significantly more valuable than non-nut outs. When counting our outs, we should also make sure to enumerate which of the outs are nutted.
13-out and 17-out wraps
One of the most valuable types of wrap in Omaha is the 13 out nut wrap which can be made with just 3 of our hole-cards. It’s also possible to make a 17 out wrap using only 3 cards, but it is impossible for these outs to all be nutted.
Hand 1: KQJ2 (13 outs, 13 nut outs)
Hand 2: QJ82 (17 outs, 11 nut outs)
Hand 3: J872 ( 17 outs, 7 nut outs)
Hand 4: 6782 (13 outs, 3 nut outs)
Notice the importance of being “on top of the board”. When we have 3 overcards to the board (first example) we actually create 13 outs, all of which are nutted. When we have 3 undercards to the board (last example) we create the same 13 out wrap, but only 3 of our outs are nutted. The strength of a wrap is defined largely (although not solely) by it’s number of nut outs. I.e. we’d prefer to have a 13 out nut wrap than a 17 out wrap where only 7 of the outs are nutted.
Note also that we can make 12 out and 16 out wraps in an identical way to above except our 4th hole-card blocks one of our straight outs. For example, we hold KQJJ on the T93 board. We now have a 12 out nut wrap.
13 out nut wraps made with broadway cards are often referred to as “broadway wraps”.
Hand: AQJ3 (13 outs, 13 nut outs)
Hand: AQK3 (13 outs, 13 nut outs)
Hand: AKJ3 (13 outs, 13 nut outs)
Notice with the broadway wraps above that the Ace is always in our hand and never on the board. Things change slightly when we construct a broadway wrap with the Ace on the board.
Hand: TJK3 (9 outs, 9 nut outs)
Note that we now only have 9 outs instead of 13. This is because in the case of the 13 out broadway wraps, we could catch a 9 to give us a straight. Since the Ace is on the board in the above example only a Ten, Jack or King can make us the broadway straight (and there are three of each of these outs).
Broadway wraps are not the only method of constructing a 9 out wrap.
Hand: 7893 (9 outs, 9 nut outs)
We can also construct a 9 out wrap when there is a 3-gap on the board and we have all of the three cards that fall into that gap.
16-out and 20-out Wraps
All of the wraps we have considered so far have involved just using 3 of our 4 hole cards. In scenarios where all 4 of our hole-cards connect with the board we can make wraps with even larger amounts of outs.
The best possible wrap is considered to be the 16-out nut wrap, although a 20-out wrap is possible if a number of our outs are non-nut. Let’s see both the 16 out and 20 out wrap.
Hand 1: KQJ8 (16 Outs, 16 Nut outs)
Hand 2: QJ78 (20 outs, 14 Nut outs)
Note that we are using all four of our hole-cards along with two from the board to construct these wraps i.e. 6 of the 7 available cards. The 20 out wrap is sometimes nicknamed “the maine to spain wrap” and requires us to specifically have a starting hand with a two-gap in its structure.
Although somewhat rare, it’s possible for all seven of the available flop cards to contribute to formulating a wrap. However, even with all seven cards the best possible wrap remains as either the 16 out nut wrap or the 20 out wrap with 14 nut outs. In most cases it’s better to have the 16 nut outs, but the 20 out wrap is obviously still a powerhouse hand in Omaha. Let’s see a few examples.
Hand 1: QJ97 (16 outs, 16 nut outs)
Hand: AKT9 (16 outs, 16 nut outs)
Hand 9865 (20 outs, 14 nut outs)
Hand: T975 (20 outs, 14 nut outs)
Hand: J986 (16 outs, 6 nut outs)
Hand J976 (16 outs, 10 nut outs)
The list of wraps we have discussed is by no means exhaustive. It will take some time to be able quickly identify the strength of a wrap. As starting point it helps if we can at least always identify the nut 13-out, 16-out and 9-out wraps.