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Omaha Poker Strategy: Loose Aggressive Play

by Deke Marston

As Omaha is a game of the nuts, it's known as a game that rewards the tight-aggressive (TAG) players. This means that TAG players tend to stick to their guns, and that can mean a loose-aggressive player can get paid by taking advantage of their conservative style. Think you're able to handle the volatility and variance and want to make big money? Let’s look at how the LAG style of poker play can make Omaha that much more profitable.

To play a LAG strategy well, you need to keep two things in mind: your position and the tendencies of your opponents. Luckily, in a non-microstakes Omaha poker game, most players are going to stick to a very tight style because they're hoping to play combo hands. Don’t bother playing mediocre hands out of position. You can, however, play a broader hand selection, and you'll do it with a different factor in mind: fold equity. Fold equity is the amount of money you'll gain when your opponents fold over the long term, even if you're making riskier plays.

LAG players focus on fold equity more than almost any other factor. They look at their opponents chip stack and know when and how to apply pressure. A player with a smaller chipstack is going to be much less willing to push hard on a speculative hand, even with position. A good LAG player can take advantage of this. In fact, if your tight-aggressive opponent decides to continue playing after you've made an aggressive bet, that's fair warning that you're likely dealing with someone who has something very playable.

Loose aggressive play takes some time to get used to. You should first look to get in on multi-way pots with speculative hands, or be the first to raise pre flop. Avoid diving in with complete garbage hands like Q372, and instead focus on playing and pressuring players with those mid-range straights and flushes that are more common. Take the time to read your opponents and figure out their betting patterns before you pressure them.

You should remember that a LAG strategy is very much a situational playing style. Weak tight-aggressive players can be outplayed on later streets because that's where loose-aggressive play works less. Remember that you're still going to have to deal with calling stations and you should avoid them unless there’s a chance to push the showdown edge.

If you're looking to play a LAG style in Omaha poker games, I recommend trying it in situations where you're already forced to loosen your pre-flop starting hand range, such as a Sit & Go Heads-Up tournaments or a six-max cash game. Take the time to find out if the loose-aggressive style of play in Omaha works before you start investing real money it.


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