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Deceptive Strength in PL Omaha

There are never ending landmines in Omaha, and one of the biggest is the deceptive strength of hands. It’s quite easy to be overwhelmed by the euphoric feelings you get when flopping a full house. Ok, well hopefully you don’t feel euphoric, but you should be excited when you flop a big hand.

So, you land a big hand on the flop and are probably already counting the mountains of money that you are about to rake in. This is the mistake that many, many Omaha players make on a regular basis. You should never assume that the pot is yours in Omaha, because there will be a lot of situations where the flopped nuts just wont hold up in the end.

If you make quads or a straight flush, you can probably discount the odds of you losing the hand, but this isn’t exactly a worry. Straights, sets, flushes, and even full houses can easily be crushed in Omaha. If you are not very careful and aware, you might just get lured into a big pot where your dominant hand has completely lost its edge.

Always being aware of your opponents and their actions is the most important thing that you can do in order to keep a handle on just how strong you are. Don’t ever assume that the other players can’t catch up to you, because they can. Sometimes you will forget that a straight flush was made possible after you flopped the ace high flush.

Most people don’t think about how they can lose when they make a very big hand, and it is only natural to start thinking about how much money can be made. There is no reason to forget about how to extract the most value from your big hands, but there is also no reason to check out and forget that there are still other people in the hand.

What you are reading probably sounds quite repetitive by now, and that is partially the point, as Omaha players will misread the strength of their hands way more often than they should.

The Difference Between Deceptive and False

Some Omaha players jump out of their seats whenever they make a straight or trips. This is not what is considered deceptive strength so much as it is completely false. Omaha hands need to be quite significant in order for them to have a monster edge on the field, and straights and sets hardly have a big edge over other hands in Omaha.

It is so ridiculously easy to lose with a straight in Omaha that it is the reason why many players end up quitting the game altogether. Now that you understand how moderately strong hands are not deceptively strong hands, you can take a look at examples of what is truly deceptive.

Pretend that you have a double paired hand pre flop, 3355, with the suits being irrelevant. When the flop comes 577, you are probably counting your blessings. Yes, you did indeed flop a full house, but what hands will realistically pay you off here? A random 7 with a big kicker would probably see this hand through, but even they would have a chance at a full house. Actually, a random 7 could already have you beat with 75xx.

Suddenly your monster flopped full house is not so strong anymore. Don’t be confused, you still have a very valuable hand in this spot, it just isn’t the almighty dominant hand that you might have originally figured. If the turn is an ace, and then the river is an ace, your hand might as well be up the creek.

Now, your hand is only going to be losing value if the other player is really keeping up with the action. Needless to say, you are still going to have a lot of players beat, so a passive opponent could easily be trailing your full house and still make some calls. The players that you need to beware of in these spots are the ones who will raise and re raise you.

If you have a very powerful hand, but are still facing a lot of aggression or resistance, it often means that you could actually be behind. Context clues and the ability to evaluate the strength of other players will allow you to accurately determine the real time strength of your hand.

When you look at a full house as a full house, and not as a full house with 3355 on a 577AA board, that is when you are going to get into trouble. Step back and think before you over commit yourself to a hand that could be dead.

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