8: Controlled aggression/ semi bluffing is important, but Omaha 8 Limit is not a game for bluffing
One of the keys to success in Omaha 8 is to work out when you have good equity in the pot, and try to get more money in. For example, suppose you hold A-2-3-x pre flop in late position. This is a strong drawing hand and if there are already multiple players in, you should often raise, as your equity in the pot is likely to be strong. As a second example, where you have a draw to the nut low or wheel with counterfeit protection on the flop, you should often play aggressively and jam the pot.
Note however that unlike in No Limit Hold’em, pure bluffs can be hard to pull off. Mike Matusow comments that Omaha 8 Limit is ‘ridiculously card dependant’ and that ‘you don’t make money by pushing people around.’ The reasons for this are that:
- Opponents will frequently call you down, either because they have a reasonable chance of half the pot, because they are drawing, because they are calling stations, or because they spot you have an aggressive table image. Most importantly, when facing a single bet, your opponent will often have great odds to continue.
- If you try to bluff on a low board, then the chances are that your opponents will call. Remember, this is Omaha 8, so most opponents will be playing low cards. When you bet on a low board they will tend to call either with their own low draw, or with two pair. Bluffing on a low board is a bad idea.
The best opportunities to bluff are when the pot is heads up and you are against a thinking opponent, particularly when a scare card comes on the turn or river, or when you suspect his draw has missed on the river.
Note also that bluffing has much more chance of working when the board is uncoordinated and there is no low draw available. For example, when last to act in a three way pot, a bet on a paired board with no low draw against competent players who have checked to you should have a good chance of success. Generally though you should always prefer to semi-bluff rather than bluff, as your equity is so much higher when called.
This is an extract from Omaha 8 or Better: Winning at Hi Low Poker by Andy Mack