Common Misconceptions about Omaha Poker

Omaha is a relatively straightforward game. In addition, Omaha is the easiest game to win big pots with a relatively small starting balance. However there are several misconceptions surrounding this poker game.

The first myth about Omaha is that it is a complicated game. While all poker games require some degree of intelligence Omaha is considered to be much simpler than Texas Hold’em. This is because Omaha is less random, uncertain and complex. Instead you can guarantee that in a game of Omaha one player will always clearly have a better hand than another.

Another common myth is that Omaha starting hands run close together in value. This is not true. A pair of aces is the best starting hand, and no other pair is equivalent. However, not all other starting hands are equal. In Omaha there an excellent hands, good ones, questionable ones, and bad ones.

The next myth is that you cannot raise before the flop. Omaha is all about the starting hands, and a starting hand only exists before the flop. Therefore if you want to make the most money you should aggressively bet your hands before the flop.

Another myth is that you should never raise with a low. This idea will usually cause players to lose money because a player will be humiliated by getting quartered. Because an Omaha hand is always for cards, you should consider you hand to be more than just a low. Anytime that you have anything high at all in your hand you should consider how you can manipulate the betting to get three-quarters instead of one-quarter. This will usually involve raising, which disproves the myth that you should never raise with a low.

Another misconception is that you play more Omaha hands than Texas Hold’em hands. This may be true for poor players but is usually not the case for players with merit. This is because there is a smaller change in your money supply because the marginal group of hands that is present with Texas Hold’em does not exist with Omaha. Basically to be an effective Hold’em player you have to play several second and third tier situations, which do not exist in Omaha. Essentially there are more good hands in Omaha but fewer hands in total that are considered playable.

Another common myth is that you cannot bluff in Omaha. While bluffing is less common in Omaha than in other poker games, it still plays a vital role in a good player’s strategy. Bluffing is slightly more difficult in Omaha because a complete nut hand happens fairly easily. For this reason, flop bluffing is more practical.

Some novice players believe that you cannot win with a set. This is a misconception, because flopping in Omaha is a draw. While there is no guarantee that you will make your draws, when you win you will usually scoop the whole pot. Because of this you should either bet aggressively or fold your hand.

Another misconception about Omaha is that aces never win. Much like the argument for winning with a set, a player should keep in mind that a pair of aces is just two cards in a game where a five-card hand wins. Raising before the flop will eliminate opponents and make it easier to win with aces.

Many of these myths compliment each other and almost all of them are brought on by players that do not understand the ins and outs of the game. Approaching the game properly and understanding the fundamental behind it can help put these misconceptions about Omaha to rest.

 

Darnell V. Denman
Poker Player

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