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Omaha Poker Strategy

Omaha Poker Strategy
by K. Swope of

Cash Games

This article offers some strategy to use when playing Omaha poker in a cash game. Unlike tournament play the rate at which it is necessary to accumulate chips does not apply to cash game stakes. The blinds do not increase and there is always the option of buying back into the game if the unfortunate bust occurs. Hopefully we can avoid the latter.

Scouting a game. This is essential to any type of cash game play. The internet makes this much easier than if playing in a casino. However, the logic is identical. Do not sit at a table where your money can be dominated by large chip stacks. Always buy into a game where you'll be financially competitive from the start. If this is unachievable then do the best to sit to the left of the player(s) with the most money, this way you'll be able to fold when the big stack decides to make a move.

Selective aggression. There is nothing wrong with being an aggressive player. Just keep in mind your goal in a cash game is to grind out profits not eliminate competition at the table.

Play strong starting hands in early position. Strong hands hold up better when you are required to act first. This is not the case when you are playing late position, and when you should consider playing some weaker hands especially from the button. Stick to big pocket pairs, single suited is ok, double suited is a must. Try to avoid hands with four cards of the same suit since these types of hands take away your outs, and Omaha is won and lost on draws. Never play middle linking cards such as 7, 8, 9, T or 8, 9, T, J. These are sucker hands and will almost always lose to a larger straight if one happens to show on the board.

Tournament Play

Tournaments offer the chance to play many styles of poker without the risk of losing more than your initial buy-in. That being the case it is not wrong to see more flops with weaker hands throughout the course of the game.

Early play. Seeing 20 25% of the flops here is good. The bad players normally exit early unless they brought their luck box along to the game. Try and eat up those chips before they are gone.

Middle and bubble play. Mid tournament most likely is where the blinds have increased four to five times the original amount; a smart place to tighten up your style. Save the chips for at least another thirty minutes to an hour when players will be approaching the prizes. When it comes time to determine a bubble player, opponents will do one of two things. Players will either become very aggressive or very timid. The aggressive players will look to steal pots and build stacks while others will hope what they have accumulated will last long enough to make the money. Loosen your play here, and feed on the weaker, less experienced players.

Late play. This is where you need to play tight. Save your chips for premium hands. You're up against good players now. Play like one.

Final table. Now its time to incorporate all of your previous strategies into a single table. Determine who the loose and tight players are, the opponents that will chase any draw, and those that bet according to the weakness or strengths of their hands. Now, combine that info with smooth speed changes and you could find yourself a winner.

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Poker Sayings

If, after the first twenty minutes, you don't know who the sucker at the table is, it's you.

Cards are war, in disguise of a sport. ~Charles Lamb

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Most of the money you'll win at poker comes not from the brilliance of your own play, but from the ineptitude of your opponents. ~Lou Krieger