Swimming With The Sharks: Last Minute Omaha Tips!

Posted at 17:12 2009-04-08
Okay, so I said last week that this week we would change it up. I’ve decided to save my Hold’em article for later use, because right now, I’d like to mention a few last tips for those who are ready to hit the Omaha tables. Remember, if you have any questions you’d like answered, feel free to send me a message or post in the Hand Discussion forums, and I’ll look into it.
Some Last Minute Omaha Tips:
Value: Pot value and pot odds are extremely important in Omaha. Remember, you are most likely very live in many situations, in fact, it is generally safe to assume that you are around a 3-1 underdog at worst against anything your opponent is holding, so if an opportunity presents itself where you find value in calling with a weaker holding, be inclined to call and take a flop. But always remember what you’re playing for. If you have two low clubs and you flop a flush, were you playing for the flush preflop? Do you want to play a low flush out of position? Use your knowledge of the size of the pot to recognize whether you have value in calling.
History: Sometimes you can play against a player for the first time and still know exactly what type of player they are and what they will try to do. Knowing your history is important. I have often pulled players aside in games and just told them some information about a player that has sat down. For example, let’s say that you sit down on a 5/10NL table, and you notice a player who generally doesn’t play at these limits sitting down. You’ve seen him play at low stakes, and you believe he is trying to boost his bankroll by playing above his head. This means that there is a good chance he will be playing very tight/passive. This information is crucial to the way you play the game, because you know that his likelihood of bluffing is far less than others on the table, and that when he raises, he probably has it.
On the other hand, perhaps you’re playing low limits and a regular high stakes player sits down. He looks at his watch, and asks the supervisor when the next high stakes table is getting up. It is clear he doesn’t really seem interested in this game, which probably means he’ll end up playing quite loose/aggressive because he doesn’t really care about the money. This knowledge is vital to winning, as this is information that some of your opponents may not have.
Position Plays: Don’t be afraid of making moves. Good players might even be inclined to make a lot of plays at smaller pots, so people think they’re playing loose, leaving them with the chance to tighten up and take advantage of their new image. I prefer to make moves in position. It’s easier to assess your opponent’s strength when they act first, and it leaves you the opportunity to get out without ever having made the play. For example, if you call a raise preflop from the cutoff, and find that you and the raiser are the only ones in the pot, generally you will try to make a play at the pot if you miss to take it down. However, perhaps your opponent shows a lot of strength in his continuation bet, leaving you convinced that a play won’t work. You haven’t lost any money, either.
Going Broke: If you are afraid of going broke at a certain limit (and this transfers to any form of poker), don’t play at that limit. Playing with confidence is the only way to consistently win. You have to be able to sit down and be unafraid of losing every now and then, because it will happen. If you don’t think you can handle losing a few buy-ins at the level you’re playing at, don’t play at that level. This applies quite religiously to Omaha, as often you will find yourself in a ‘flip’ situation when you are all in, so you have to be prepared to take the loss, compose yourself, and rebuy.
Learn Some More: You are never too old, too good, or too experienced to learn more. There are many books out there that can assist you with strategies and tips. Super System, compiled by Doyle Brunson, is a good starting point. The book also covers other games, and is critically acclaimed for the knowledge and insight it delivers. From there, you can also check out online sites that will have strategy videos or blogs. Most poker sites have their own bloggers, so check them out.
Okay, now I think you’ve got enough knowledge to start playing some Omaha. Next week will definitely be a switch, but perhaps not to Hold’em. In fact, I would like to spend some time talking about my favourite form of poker – Razz – and the love/hate relationship you will have this unique variation of Stud poker.
- Michael “SharkBoy” Palti

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Last Minute Omaha Tips! Last Minute Omaha Tips!

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