Mixed Game Poker Strategy: Pitfalls to Avoid in Omaha-8

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February 03 2010

Written to Poker Strategy by compncards

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"Avoid these Omaha-8 pitfalls and help improve your HORSE game!"
February 03, 2010

Besides Texas Holdem, the only other flop game in H.O.R.S.E. is Omaha Hi-Lo split, also known as Omaha 8 or Better. In Omaha-8, you are looking to put yourself in the best position to scoop pots. However, there are many traps that new Omaha-8 players fall into while learning the game. Let’s take a look at some of these pitfalls.

If You Must Draw – Draw to the Nuts

With 36 cards being dealt to players each hand, there will be a plethora of potential straight and flush draws. When the board pairs, the odds of at least one player having a full house are much higher than in Holdem. As a result, you want to be drawing to the nuts if you choose to chase a draw. Also, when the board pairs, keep in mind a full house is much more likely.

Beware of Quartering

Since there are so many cards being dealt, the odds improve for multiple players being dealt A-2 in their hand. As a result, be very careful with your hand if you are involved with a multi-way pot and only have the nut low. Short of getting scooped, there is nothing worse than committing a lot of chips to a pot and getting quartered.

Do Not Fall in Love with the Naked A-2

All Omaha-8 players at one time or another have fallen into the trap of playing a hand for the sole reason that it includes an A-2 in it. Granted, a hand with an A-2 is going to be playable in almost any situation, but it is not a hand that you should not battle to the death with. For example, if you are dealt A-2-8-J with no suits, you are looking at a hand that needs to get very lucky to scoop. If you are in a multi-way hand, you may only be getting a quarter of the pot if you are lucky.

Also, what do you do if an ace or a deuce hits the flop when you have a naked A-2? In many cases, you will either fold, or make crying calls while watching your chips being pushed to another player.

Middling Cards can be Meddling Cards

Hands including multiple middling cards such as 6-7-8-9 can be very tricky to play in Omaha-8. The main reason is that if you make a low, it will be among the worst lows and if you make high, it will usually be vulnerable. For example, if you make the nut straight with 6-7-8-9, you will likely only get half the pot as a low will be possible. If you make a flush with the same cards, it is not the nuts.

In Omaha-8, you are looking for hands that give you the best chance to scoop. At the same time, you must do your best to avoid the above mentioned pitfalls in order to avoid bleeding off chips. As always, there are going to be exceptions to the above rules. There are going to be times where you will play and win with the 2nd or 3rd nuts. Also, you may even win pots with middling cards. However, as just pointed out, they are exceptions. Avoiding the above pitfalls in Omaha-8 will help you to scoop more pots or at the very least, control the bleeding.

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