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Poker players - Omaha Hi strategy

Discussion in 'The Poker Room' started by loonytoony, May 23, 2012.

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  1. loonytoony

    loonytoony VIP Whale

    Apr 19, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Do you any of you frequent poker players play Omaha Hi? I am curious as to what strategy you use in tournament style play. I have played recently and apparently I play too many hands cause I am going out early.

    Any strategy tips?
    Is this dorky?
  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

    Sep 15, 2010
    At the tables
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    your best option is to read one of the many hand grading books. they assign different numbers to different cards and holdings and you add up your cards in your hand and you only play the hand if it's over a certain threshold. you want to play as many hands as you can cheap in Omaha because of the draw factor, but you can't play poor hands for raises or you will go broke in a hurry.
  3. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

    Jan 8, 2009
    Burnaby, BC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I play a lot online, both cash and tournaments...

    In Omaha tournaments I don't mind playing a lot of hands early on, but I would say the big catch being: you have to know how and when to fold. I would also suggest don't overvalue hands, especially if they go to the flop and you are up against a few players, but even on the flop as well.

    For both of those:

    If you flop the nuts, hey you have the nuts and thats great... but depending on what you are holding and what you are up against it doesn't mean you are the favorite to win the hand. Especially early on a lot of bad players will take almost any four cards to the flop and so that means you could be pretty much up against just about anything or any kind of draw.

    For not overvaluing hands by that I mean if you are dealt pocket aces or another high pair thats a good strong starting hand against one opponent, but against two or three not so much. If you can't isolate a single player preflop then once the flop comes out the value of your aces drops significantly.

    For overvaluing hands on the flop: you want to watch out for things like having an under full house, IE: if its 228 and you have an 8 and a 2 you can be so easily dominated there... but likewise in hold'em having a king, queen or jack high flush (or flush draw) can be pretty strong, but in Omaha, especially early in the tournament, somebody having the nut flush or nut flush draw there is still a good chance of that.

    Also early in the tournament I am not so worried about getting it all in preflop or on the flop. If you win the hand but don't get the whole stack of the other guys chips thats not the end of the world... and on the flipside it works out for you if he is on some goofy draw and gets lucky you didn't just get busted.

    But this also goes back to the bad players: if you have the nuts on the river a lot of times early in the tournament you can still make a big bet, or maybe even push all in, and get the other player to call. Thats because early on the guys who have aces or kings preflop and push them hard all the way to river, even when they don't improve the hand, are still in, as well as the people who flop the nut straight but then the flush card comes on the turn and the full house card on the river and they still don't realize that they no longer have the nuts and just can't let it go, even to an all in.

    As the tournament goes on I will start to tighten up the hands I play preflop - in the later stages of the tournament chips have more value, but also the bad players are mostly gone, thusly so are your trapping opportunities.

    In the final stages of the tournament I am actually very good at playing two or three handed so when we get to the final table, or very close to it (10-14 players left), I generally at that point let the other players bust themselves.

    At that point I will usually sit back and mainly I will only enter a pot if I have very strong holdings or cards that will let me make the nuts in multiple ways... so I will usually play a little passively until there are five to six players left.

    Thats not to say I am just trying to fold my way to the final table, but more that at this point I probably don't need to accumulate more chips, there's going to be guys pushing shorter stacks and I can just let the other players beat themselves up or make bad plays that cost them their stack.

    For what shifter said, I think thats really important: you really do need to know what is a good hand, what is a bad hand and what might look like a good hand but is really a bad hand.

    If you know what are good hands I don't really think you need a book on the subject or anything. As long as you know which are the good hands and which are the bad hands, and then really stop and think about the hands you play (thats PLAY, not just the hands you lost, but also the ones you win too) and ask yourself things like why did I win/lose that hand? were there any telltale signs I should have seen? did I play it the best way possible? how could I have played it differently? did I win/lose the most/minimum?
  4. PokerFaceNJ

    PokerFaceNJ Low-Roller

    Feb 7, 2004
    New Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo are my two favorite poker games. The reason being is that the game is more complex than Holdem and more bad players exist. Having four cards instead of two causes more players to look for reasons to play every hand. Yes, they may get a good catch but over a long haul playing every hand will typically cause severe damage. In a tournament, I rarely see someone playing too many hands last deep into the day.

    I have done well playing both games. I have also spent some time reading books that are out there on the games. Each of these books discuss opening hands and the possible win percentage and when to lay them down and stop chasing after the flop.

    Seems like you already recognize your faults...that's half the battle. Stick with the game, check out some of these books...and you will certainly improve and get in the money.
  5. Cracker

    Cracker Tourist

    Feb 27, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Omaha hi is usually played Pot Limit. Do you play PLO cash? Most new PLO players mistakenly play pot limit like no limit. There are significant differences.

    No preflop hand in Omaha is really a big favorite, and you can't make a large raise in early position so don't do it. If you raise in EP, by the time it comes back to you with two more raises you may be looking at a big call with a hand that is not that much of a favorite.

    PLO is a post flop game.
  6. Check-Raise

    Check-Raise Low-Roller

    May 2, 2011
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Never played it very seriously and only played it once as a live cash game. I did pretty well but that was mostly luck I think. As the last poster said and as I observed Pre-Flop hands aren't really significant. In my pre-flop hands (in pot limit) I'm likely to play several combinations of cards, and see a lot of flops, I just dump almost any hand that eats up my strong hand outs. If I have a hand like 4S/6C/JC/QS, 5h/Jc/10c/5s I will likely try to see a flop. If I have something like Ad/Kd/10s/6d or As/Kd/Kc/Jh I will throw it away. I'm mostly looking to connect with a set and fill up on turn/river or trying to flop/turn a straight or flush. Always being mindful when I hit a flush of who might be holding the nut flush.

    A pair is as valuable as high card, two-pair rediculously common, a set is almost always drawn out on, trips are typically beaten by a full house, a straight is good on a rainbow but has to roll with the punches when suits pile up, a flush needs to be weary of a higher one, full house is good with a set but should be cautious of a higher FH when using the board (not pocket pair). This is all assuming you are playing a full table of PLO at lower levels. If you step up to higher demoniations the play becomes much more complex than throwing loser hands at the right time :p
  7. martay

    martay Tourist

    Apr 2, 2004
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Unless you are playing a very sophisticated tournament, you can pretty much coast along by NEVER pre-flop raising. Save your chips for the turn and river. Keep pots small and wait. Because the mistakes your opponents will make on the turn and river are so much larger than the mistakes they will make pre-flop, you can just zoom along. You can also see a great number of hands that way and wait for the nuts. Don't chase non-nut flush and straight draws. Remember that no set smaller than queens can ever be the nuts at the river, and even sets of queens, kings and aces aren't usually the nuts.
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