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Playing Straights and Sets in PL Omaha

Are straights and sets strong hands in Omaha? Yes. Are straights and sets unbeatable or dominant in Omaha. No. A lot of new Omaha players will automatically think they hit the jackpot when they land a straight or a set, but it can be quite easy to lose with these hands. There are so many landmines to avoid with sets and straights than it often seems more likely that these hands will lose enormous pots than win even small ones.

Think about the hands that most Omaha players are shooting for. Full houses and flushes are just the beginning of common Omaha hands that will crush straights and sets. In addition to the full houses and flushes, straights and sets are often topped by better straights or flushes. Flush over flush situations are commonplace in Omaha.

Unless you have the nut flush on an unpaired board, you should always be weary of just how far ahead you are. Omaha is a game where deception is always a major problem for players, so you need to be aware of where you stand in your hand in relation to the other players, not only how strong your own hand is.

Pre flop approaches in Omaha play a major role in how a hand will play out post flop. If you are always playing suited connectors, you will end up with a lot of straights. These hands are going to either win small pots or lose big pots.

There is some value in chasing after hands that are easily made, but the problem is that they are seldom going to earn you a lot of money. One of the best ways to eliminate the risk involved with sets and straights is to avoid playing hands that are easily beat pre flop. Pretty pre flop hands are the downfall of many Omaha players.

7c 8c 9c Tc might look like a very nice hand, but even a flush is going to be easily beat by a higher flush. Toss in the fact that you will land a lot of lower straights and you will be racking up the losses before you know it. Don’t get it wrong, hands like this certainly have a lot of value, but only if played correctly.

Inexperienced Omaha players are better off sticking to big pairs and hands that will often end up winners at showdown. Navigating the waters with suited connectors can be tricky and it will be difficult to land truly powerful hands.

Small Sets vs. Big Sets

There is a major difference between flopping small sets and flopping bigger sets. You can easily win a pot if you flop a set with a hand like QQKK, but it will be much more difficult to win when you flop a set with 3355. With the first hand, you will either have three queens or three kings, whereas the second will only net you a set of threes or fives.

The benefit to playing bigger pairs it that you won’t be topped nearly as often by better sets. You won’t have to worry about hitting your hand and still being a mile behind. Small sets can still make you money, but they can also lose you a lot of money when someone has you absolutely crushed. If you are willing to get money in the middle with smaller sets, you should also be able to get out when it is clear that you are behind.

Straights vs. Draws

When you make a straight, you often will have the best hand. The struggle is making it to the river with the best hand. There is a distinct difference between being way ahead on the flop and being ahead when the final card is dealt. With straights, you should always be looking out for the hands that either beat you now or could beat you later.

Omaha is a game full of hands that are chasing after something better, and that something better is usually something that beats a straight. There is a lot of value with any made straight, but the actual value of any straight is completely dependant on the hands that your opponents have. Go for as much value as possible, but don’t expect to be ahead when you get re raised on a double paired board.

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