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Poker Strategy | Omaha Poker Strategy

Poker plays with Pokerpeaker: Overestimating Weak Redraws in Omaha

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You can always spot the Hold 'Em players at the Omaha tables. They tend to overvalue their hands.

You can also tell the more advanced but still weaker Omaha players. They tend to overvalue their redraws.

Let's take a look.

I'm playing .10/.25 Pot-Limit Omaha on PokerStars, and I've got {J-Spades} - {J-Hearts} - {9-Spades} - {8-Diamonds}  in the cutoff position. OK, this isn't a bad hand at all, and I could raise with it, but I'm going to limp in. I don't mind limping in Omaha because when you're raising, you're just building a pot for someone else if you don't hit your hand. It's hard to get people off their hands with pre-flop raises, in other words. And what am I going to win at this point? A buck?

All right, the flop comes {J-Diamonds} - {Q-Spades} - {3-Spades}. Sweet. Right?

Well, yes, it is sweet. Kinda. I've got a set, and more importantly, I've got a lot of redraws.

Redraws, to review, are cards in your hand that will improve your hand, and in Omaha, they're essential to surviving the river.

In fact, as I've said before, that's why flopped straights aren't nearly as valuable in Omaha as they are in Hold 'Em. There's just too many cards to come that can ruin them, especially cards that complete flushes or pair the board, and you rarely have redraws when you've flopped a straight. They're hard to improve.

So in this case, I thought I was covered. A set, after all, already has redraws built in, as you can get a full house with any pairing of the board. But I've also got a flush redraw. A set with a redraw is one of the most powerful hands you can have in Omaha.

The problem, though, is I forget that both my hand and my redraw are weak. They're not the nuts, and any hand that isn't the nuts in Omaha is vulnerable.

That sounds like an obvious statement. I can feel you say "Duh!" Any hand that isn't the nuts is vulnerable in ANY game. Yeah, sure. But that's especially true in Omaha.

It's not really bad luck when your flush gets beat by a higher flush, unless your flush is King-high. If you're drawing, you really need to draw to the nuts.

And this is really hard for Hold 'Em players to understand, but middle set, even a set of Jacks, may not be the best hand either, even if no obvious draws are completed.

So I was totally in love with my hand because I had a set and redraws, and I forgot to consider that both my set and my redraw were hands that I should not take to the grave.

I do though. I bet the pot and my opponent calls.

A {10-Clubs} falls on the turn. When my opponent bets the pot, I shove all-in. When the third spade hits the river, I celebrate until I see my opponent's King-high flush.

Oops!

He had {K-Spades} - {4-Spades} - {A-Hearts} - {3-Diamonds}.  So he had a straight on the turn and a redraw to the K-high flush. I don't like his call on the flop, but I like his made hand on the turn, and I love his redraw as well.

It's a redraw that, unlike my hand, you may not get in trouble overestimating.

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