Omaha: Two More Tips To Improve Your Play – By Folding!

It’s not always easy to know when to fold in Pot Limit Omaha, even for experienced Hold ‘Em players making the transition. This week, we talk about two situations where being cautious and folding may present you with the opportunity to keep more money in your bankroll than you’d make by betting recklessly.

Don’t Go Down With The Ship
Even the strongest Omaha poker players can make calls that go against their better judgment. As a rule, if your gut is saying, “walk away,” you probably should. Omaha is a drawing game and a player can go from holding the nuts on the turn to facing down someone else’s flush on the river. Let’s say you’re dealt something like KhKc9d7s and raise the pot. Your opponent calls and the flop hits KdTd4c. You’ve got the top set with your hand and you bet the pot. The turn hits and it’s 5c. Your opponent checks and you once again bet the pot, meaning that you’ve invested quite a bit of cash into the hand.

The river hits and it’s 9d. Suddenly, the guy who was check/check calling earlier hits you with a bet that’s hard to ignore – half the pot amount. What do you do? You fold. It’s very likely you’re facing down a flush on the diamonds and throwing any more money at the situation is a bad, bad idea.

Be Careful With Flushes
In the early days of my Omaha poker play, I overvalued my non-nut flushes and lost a good deal of cash as a result. Let’s say you’ve got a ten high flush on the flop, you want to make sure you’re willing to fold rather than throw good money after bad. Here’s an example. You’re dealt AdAh5s9s and the flop hits with Js9d2s. You get checked and you bet a pot-sized bet with the flush draw and overpair that you’ve got. You get called and the pot swells again. The turn is 3s. What should you do?

If you’re a recent adoptee of Omaha poker, you’re likely to get really excited with the situation. However, a flush where you’re holding 59 with two low cards and a face card on the felt means that if you bet, you stand to win a small pot or lose a very big one. Let’s consider what hands your opponent might have at the moment. We expect him to have called the flop with all his flush draws, most of his straight draws and occasionally a hand like J2xx if he somehow called with that preflop. If he flopped a set he’ll usually have check raised the flop rather than slowplayed because of all the possible draws that could hit on the turn putting him in a tough position to know where he’s at.

I’d recommend a small bet to see if your opponent is holding something bigger. A 9 high flush is not good enough to throw an entire fistful of cash at without getting more data from your opponent,