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Pot Limit Omaha Strategy: Mistakes

by Deke Marston

Many poker players want to play Omaha poker because it's got more action or they're simply bored with Texas Hold 'Em. Those that are new to Omaha frequently overestimate how good they will be at the game and make some basic mistakes that can mean more money for you. We're going to look at some common mistakes new (and sometimes even experienced) players make in Omaha and how you can make money from it.

Mistake #1: Predictable Raises
Because they understand the value of high pairs in Texas Hold 'Em, new Omaha players get into the groove of only raising when they have one or two high pairs. If you see someone consistently taking high pairs to the showdown on a board that could offer a bigger hand (suited and/or connected cards), make a note. You'll also occasionally see other players who only ever raise with aces because, again, they're stuck in the Texas Hold 'Em mentality.

Mistake #2: Raising Out of Position
Position is actually more important in Omaha poker than in is in most other games. A lot of new players don't understand that and end up putting themselves in a difficult pre flop position because they're raising without thinking about the whole hand. If you’re unsure of your hand’s value, just make sure that you only raise when you’ve got position and let others get themselves in trouble.

Mistake #3: Betting Too Big
Even with the pot limit rule, Omaha tends to be a game where the bets get bigger than in Texas Hold 'Em. The increased size of the pot is due to the number of starting hands that tend to get played and how combination draws work. New players frequently play in Omaha games with stakes that are the equivalent of the hold 'em games they just left and find themselves challenged by better players.

Mistake #4: Overvaluing High Cards
It's something that we've said literally dozens of times on this site when talking about the game: Omaha is a game of the nuts, and many new Omaha players take a while to catch onto that fact. If they raise while holding a pair of aces and someone calls them before and after the flop and on the turn, they shouldn't be surprised when they find out their opponent has a straight flush.

Making yourself aware of these mistakes can help you in two ways. Firstly, if you see a player making these mistakes, you can more accurately put your opponents on a hand and push them to make decisions that can make you money. Secondly, you can prevent yourself from letting these errors create a hole in your own game.


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