Deceitful Hands in Omaha

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As most players with any knowledge of Omaha know, it's a game of draws.

You often put a lot of your stack at risk without a made hand. But be careful when you choose which draws to chase.

When you're new to the game of Omaha many hands tend to look good that in reality are nothing but trouble. You might win with them occasionally, but often stand to lose a lot even when they hit.

Let's take a closer look at an example.

Say you are holding a hand like T 9 8 7 (a very decent starting hand) and the flop comes something like: T 8 K. You've flopped two pair, with a straight and a flush draw to go with it.

Great stuff, let's get as much money as possible to the middle of the table, right? Well - maybe not. If we take a closer look at the hand, it's not all that.

First, you hold the bottom two pair, which is usually garbage in Omaha. Someone can easily hold a higher two pair like K-T on this flop (or even a set). This means that even if you get lucky and hit one of your four outs for a full house, you run the risk of running into a higher one.

Well you also have a straight and a flush draw giving you 15 more outs, right?

You are drawing to the lower end of the straight, which means it might not be any good even if it hits. A player with something like J-9 or Q-J is drawing to a higher straight. The only card that gives you the nuts is a 6 - that's four outs or maybe even three.

If the six of spades or any other spade hits you get the flush. But that's only a king-high flush with a ten as the second card. Not a hand to risk any serious money on in Omaha.

So what you have here is a marginal hand at best. Remember when you're drawing in Omaha you want to draw to the nuts. And on this flop, you only have three nut outs (if you don't count the very unlikely runner-runner straight flush or four of a kind).

You don't necessarily have to throw a hand like this away, but I wouldn't commit any serious money with it without a very good read on my opponent.

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Go4Tilt 2010-01-04 07:24:04

I think this is an easy shove heads up but an easy fold in a big multiway pot. Against any hand except top two, or top set and a flush draw you are fine. Against a naked set - you are 50 50. Against any made hand you have draws and against any better made hand you have draws. (and possibly 2,4 to a underfull) The only hand that has you really smoked is a hand like As any K and another spade which is a great hand but against most hands I'd think you have at least 35% equity plus any fold equity.

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