How to Play Hands in Omaha Poker

How Not to Play Bad Aces

Another spectrum of how you should not play aces is when you have a really bad hand, with aces in them. Let’s take the worst kind of “ace” hand for example; AcAs7h2d, it is unsuited, and has no valued side cards whatsoever. Ok, you can make a straight with A2-345, but that is IT. The only other thing you can hit is an Ace, but usually the board is still scary, especially when you reach a non-board pairing turn.

And perhaps a board like 22x or 77x can make you happy, but still, almost no chance on a full house, since you have a pair in your hand. And even if you hit another 7 of 2, you don’t really have a very good full do you? So what are you doing with such a hand? Just throw it away, not always, mind you, but I think that even if you always throw this kind of hand in the bin, you will not lose money on it, in fact, you will win money.

The only possible situation you want to encounter is when you can push near all-in preflop in a heads up scenario, and even then you are not really a big favorite, except against non-premium Kings. And think about the rake (usually 5%) in a near coin flip situation for example.

How to Play Ace Hearts, Seven Hearts, Ten Hearts, Eight Clubs

Now for a hand I lost, I had Ah7hTh8c in middle position. UTG raises to $1.75, I call. What else could I do? I could fold this slightly marginal hand, but the table was quite loose and there was a very loose player (V$PIP of 80%) sitting on the cutoff next to me. He would almost certainly call or raise, and I would have the advantage over him when I do flop something good, even top two would make me quite the money favorite against this player. The cutoff calls the $1.75 as well, as I suspected. Flop comes Tc6dAc, I flop top two with a gut shot straight draw. UTG checks and I decide to bet $5.00 in the $6.00 pot. Since I have quite a good hand but with the flush draws and bigger straight draws out there and only 1 person left to act, slowplaying really isn’t an option. I am also almost never a real fan of the slowplay.

Slowplaying is good when you want to get some more money into the pot in confident situations, let’s say when you have top/middle set and a good (nut) draw, you might want to slowplay, but even then betting isn’t less of a good move. Like all things in life, it shouldn’t be overused.

The cutoff calls me quite smoothly, as I suspected. He could have anything here, since he is a very idiotic player who chases everything, even bottom 2. On the other hand, he could have bottom set, or worse, but the odds are against that and he would usually show a lot of aggression.

With the turn being a 9d, I make my nut straight, but there are 2 flush draws still out there, and the cutoff could hold anything in his hands, so I make my move and put in another $12.50 in the $16.00 pot. The cutoff instantly raises to $52.70. Here I had no choice, I had to go all in, but I was quite afraid that he might have the same hand as me, plus a flush draw. He would have 7 diamond (not the Ad and the Td) or 8 club (not my 8c) outs to grab the whole pot, but I would have 4 (any A or T for a full). His possible redraws were no certainty, and even the fact that he held the same hand as me wasn’t written in stone.

I raised all in, he calls and shows me his hand. And my face turns pale as I see his Js7d3s8d, not only did he have 7 flush outs. He also had 4 straight redraws that would make him a bigger straight! So that makes a total of 11 outs against my 4. I had 35% and my opponent had 65% equity. For a $134 pot, this was quite the disaster. But as I said before, my play was quite good, perfect even, I just ran into his monster, while he could have done this with any other possible marginal hand.

The river was a Jd, making him a flush. I was quite upset, but I patted myself on the back, that I would win money if I kept on playing this particular opponent like this.

Playing King Clubs, King Hearts, 8 Spades and Jack Diamonds

This hand has 4 different suits, no flushes possible at all. 6 max, as always. I’m on the Big Blind. UTG (who is short stacked with $10) makes it $.50 to go, the dealer and small blind both call. I did not want to fold since for a mere $.25 in a $1.75 pot I could hit my king and/or my straight (draw) which would usually net me a good profit. I could also just take the pot down on the river by making kings up if a small pair hits the board, raising is also not an option since it is in fact not a hand to start playing big pots with on a regular basis, especially since there are no suits.

So I just call and the flop comes Th2cKc, the small blind checks and on a draw heavy board, with 4 very aggressive players in and a small pot I like to bet in order to lure out a raise with a smaller set or a draw. $2 in a $2 pot, UTG calls and both the button and small blind fold.

With a $6 strong pot we head into the turn which is a 9d, no flush could have hit, but there is one possible straight that might have, the QJ. But with one more card to come, and only one straight being out there, I decide in favor of firing another bullet, especially since my opponent is short stacked. I bet $6 in the $6 pot, and my opponent folds after about 20 seconds of tedious number crunching while I was sitting on a very high cloud.

The turn bet could have been done differently, but a check behind would have spelled disaster.

How to Play Ace Hearts, Seven Hearts, Ten Hearts and 8 Clubs

Now for a hand I lost, I had Ah7hTh8c in middle position. UTG raises to $1.75, I call. What else could I do? I could fold this slightly marginal hand, but the table was quite loose and there was a very loose player (V$PIP of 80%) sitting on the cutoff next to me. He would almost certainly call or raise, and I would have the advantage over him when I do flop something good, even top two would make me quite the money favorite against this player. The cutoff calls the $1.75 as well, as I suspected. Flop comes Tc6dAc, I flop top two with a gut shot straight draw. UTG checks and I decide to bet $5.00 in the $6.00 pot. Since I have quite a good hand but with the flush draws and bigger straight draws out there and only 1 person left to act, slowplaying really isn’t an option. I am also almost never a real fan of the slowplay.

A Note On Slowplaying

Slowplaying is good when you want to get some more money into the pot in confident situations, let’s say when you have top/middle set and a good (nut) draw, you might want to slowplay, but even then betting isn’t less of a good move. Like all things in life, it shouldn’t be overused.

The cutoff calls me quite smoothly, as I suspected. He could have anything here, since he is a very idiotic player who chases everything, even bottom 2. On the other hand, he could have bottom set, or worse, but the odds are against that and he would usually show a lot of aggression.

A Nut Straight On The Turn, But Still Not Sure

With the turn being a 9d, I make my nut straight, but there are 2 flush draws still out there, and the cutoff could hold anything in his hands, so I make my move and put in another $12.50 in the $16.00 pot. The cutoff instantly raises to $52.70. Here I had no choice, I had to go all in, but I was quite afraid that he might have the same hand as me, plus a flush draw. He would have 7 diamond (not the Ad and the Td) or 8 club (not my 8c) outs to grab the whole pot, but I would have 4 (any A or T for a full). His possible redraws were no certainty, and even the fact that he held the same hand as me wasn’t written in stone.

Calculating Equity In Omaha Poker

I raised all in, he calls and shows me his hand. And my face turns pale as I see his Js7d3s8d, not only did he have 7 flush outs. He also had 4 straight redraws that would make him a bigger straight! So that makes a total of 11 outs against my 4. I had 35% and my opponent had 65% equity. For a $134 pot, this was quite the disaster. But as I said before, my play was quite good, perfect even, I just ran into his monster, while he could have done this with any other possible marginal hand.

The river was a Jd, making him a flush. I was quite upset, but I patted myself on the back, that I would win money if I kept on playing this particular opponent like this.

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