Thinking about trying my hand at Omaha

    • Abhorrence
      Abhorrence
      Silver
      Joined: 13.11.2009 Posts: 150
      I've been thinking about trying out Omaha, I've never really played it seriously though. I've been reading up on the articles I have access to on this site. But I'd like to see people in action.

      Would anyone be willing to let me watch them play? Maybe they can talk and explain specific plays to me. Then you could sweat me later on. Or review some of my hands?

      Just let me know if you can, when you're free, what poker program you use, if you have team viewer, and how you would prefer to mic chat.
  • 23 replies
    • ArtisSkirpa
      ArtisSkirpa
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2009 Posts: 83
      Maybe you should consider watching some videos first to get the basics/theory down before jumping into play. DC has some great series for hold'em converts as well as some more advanced stuff.
      I guess if there is anyone who's willing to coach you it's fine as well.
      I play PLO a lot but I think I wouldn't make a good coach lol.
      Would be willing to try tho if English was my native language and if I had a connection that supports TW.
    • Abhorrence
      Abhorrence
      Silver
      Joined: 13.11.2009 Posts: 150
      Yeah I'm reading up all the articles and plan to watch the videos when I'm done. I've only really played in an omaha freeroll tournament once and came in the top 60 haha. So that's literally all the playing experience I have. So far it seems pretty complex, which I honestly like.

      I'd really like to watch someone play first, and have them explain things to me.

      But yeah I guess I should mention I can only speak English :f_frown:

      However ArtisSkirpa you could help me review hands. Let me know if you're interested. (This won't be for a few days-week though I'd like to really get the basics down before I commit any money into it.)
    • VilaRestal
      VilaRestal
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.12.2008 Posts: 22
      I've been playing Omaha for about a year now and i much prefer it to holdem.

      Not least because there are so many newish players, who are used to holdem and assess their hands and the flop with the same criteria as they would in that game. (And also use the same hyper-aggressive strategy without thought to how common good hands are.)

      It takes more thought to assess a starting hand than omaha but doesn't take a genius (or much more than a glance with experience). There's no point trying to memorise all the thousands of possibilities and what to do with each 1 - almost every hand is unique. Just certain blurred categories and whether it's better 1 on 1 or 1 on many.

      Getting Started:

      Obviously, start on play money.

      I'd also recommend starting with fixed limit.

      Find a table without maniacs (can be tricky) at 1st so you get a chance to actually play the hands and practice reading other people's (if there's just person raising everything it makes a mockery of it). You'll be wanting to see almost every flop and a significant number of rivers.

      Maybe after a few weeks or months start practice playing pot limit with a more serious approach. Preflop-fold hands that don't have good potential and try to keep the pot sizes down (at 1st - unless, after the flop, you know you have the nuts) and get out if not.

      Needless to say, going all in preflop with 2 aces and 2 suited connectors is ok: a bit more likely to beat anything other than an equivelant hand.

      However, at first (and possibly forevermore), I would avoid preflop raising very much until you've got a lot of experience under your belt. Call other people's modest preflop raises if you have a good hand and avoid going all in preflop at all (except possibly with AA + good supporting cards).

      Look for tables where such activity is rare and you can usually see the flop with 1 or 2 blinds.

      In other words, avoid committing yourself until you're sure.

      Another good thing about omaha (vs holdem) is that you find yourself in situations where you know without any doubt that you will win far more frequently (hit quads or straight flush on the flop). Then it's just a matter of suckering as many people in for as much as possible.

      There is almost always the element of uncertainty in holdem: The nuts are very rare there. Not so in omaha.

      But then, that's a good reason to be more wary and avoid all-in confontations unless you've already won.

      Omaha Hi-Lo:

      Hi-lo is great too but more complex and takes some explaining (and can be a bit more infuriating sometimes but even more fun at other times). Learn the rules then approach it in the same way as omaha (practice play, fixed limit, sensible players, avoid maniacs, play cautiously).

      Certain factors stand out:
      There is always a high hand and not always a low hand so high hands have more potential value.
      However, it's easier to be sure you've got the low nuts when a low hand is possible.
      However still, low hands or more likely to split the pot (quartering) with each other so the low nuts has to be careful not necessarily to raise (if he thinks someone else may have it to).
      Occasionally the opposite happens and the high is split and only 1 wins the low but this is rarer. Generally, the high nuts wants as big a pot as possible but the low nuts don't necessarily.

      The ideal position is, of course, to have both: One of the rare instances in poker where you can raise a big pot with a good chance of being called all in by multiple players knowing for a fact that you will win the majority of it. Happens more often in omaha than in any other version.

      Not that it's easy! Other good players know these things too and will get in those positions themselves. Minimizing your losses to them is perhaps more important than maximizing your winnings when you get those hands.


      I hope this helps (and hope other omaha players would agree).

      I play it almost exclusively these days and am almost always leaving a table with more than I brought (albeit for small stakes, can't afford to play for big money, maybe 1 day when I've built up enough). Being new to the game is also quite fresh in my memory so I think am well qualified to advise.
      (I stumbled around a bit at 1st and would have done exactly what I;ve advised here had I known what I do now.)

      I'm no expert though
    • Irooz
      Irooz
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.04.2009 Posts: 690
      .
    • VilaRestal
      VilaRestal
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.12.2008 Posts: 22
      WHAT! :s_evil: :s_evil:

      I'm not sure you have good intentions.

      You'd really advise someone who's never played a version of poker to start with real money?

      Of course, read articles, watch videos etc. but there's no substitute for real experience

      I don't mean play play money for long (necessarily - hopefully not) but unless you're wanting to spend money learning the basics (absolutely no need) don't follow Irooz's advice.

      I think he just wants more noob fishes to feed on
    • VilaRestal
      VilaRestal
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.12.2008 Posts: 22
      You didn't actually give him any advice other than:

      a) ignore me (spend money instead)

      b) learn how to play and do it

      Soooo very helpful of you Irooz!!!!
    • Irooz
      Irooz
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.04.2009 Posts: 690
      .
    • VilaRestal
      VilaRestal
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.12.2008 Posts: 22
      The rules are the same.

      If you can't win at play money I wouldn't advise moving onto real. And there are decent enough players to give a newcomer an edifying and educational game sometimes on some of the tables on some sites, but Irooz wouldn't know that 'cos he's never looked.

      And congratulations Irooz for backtracking!

      "Sure play 1-2sessions of play money to understand basic hand rankings and how the software works "

      sounds a little different to:

      "OP would learn more from sticking his hand in a toaster than playing play money"

      Care to go any further?

      I said you gave him no advice not awesome advise:
      Part a is waste your money (perhaps that's your idea of fun),
      Part b is stating the bleeding obvious.

      Any other gems of wisdom you'd like to impart or can't you be arsed to say anything constructive, such as how a newcomer should approach games? I'm guessing you'd advise them to approach it properly.

      Or maybe you'd like to describe the nuances of omaha or why you enjoy it? :D :D

      No, I thought not!
    • Irooz
      Irooz
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.04.2009 Posts: 690
      .
    • VilaRestal
      VilaRestal
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.12.2008 Posts: 22
      OK my Last Post

      You're "advice" was what he had said he was doing anyway and what Artis had already said with the addition of:
      learn on real money tables (bad idea).

      I do not only play tight and value betting with made hands (though it is very effective against fish that think they're sharks - patiently picking up their dumb bluffs/calls). I would recommend starting with it, especially if you're going to play real money.

      Your template is also wrong:
      Irooz recommends wasting money learning
      Also recommends what had already been recommended
      Irooz posts are, therefore, unhelpful in the extreme

      You're advice of playing real money to a beginner is tantamount to sabotage. Maybe you've got more than you need but most people haven't.

      If what you were suggesting did make sense, why would I hope he didn't see it?

      I have demonstrably put some effort into trying to help rather than your lazy contributions. I have seen no demonstration that you want to help. Quite the opposite: you have advised a beginner to jump straight into real money play (and presumably to play 'strong'(?)-:D -loose right from the start - omg!).

      Other newcomers to omaha may read this forum with the same question in mind and read your detramental advice too.

      I strongly recommend you ignore that bit of Irooz's advice. Take your time learning the game without risking money unless it is of no object to you or you're in some mad rush (??).

      Play tight and cautious value bets at 1st and gradually get more aggressive if you like.

      When you are confident on how to play against various other styles of play then move to the micros.

      But then that what apply to all forms of poker.

      But Irooz sees play money as beneath his dignity to even consider. Better to lose money than suffer the shame. :D

      Presumably he feels the same way about playing tight.
    • Irooz
      Irooz
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.04.2009 Posts: 690
      .
    • VilaRestal
      VilaRestal
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.12.2008 Posts: 22
      Neither can I

      Thanks for a more considered response this time Irooz

      Surely, the main reason of the free starting bankroll is to get people playing real money for the benefit of the poker site. Call me a cynic, but I'm sure they're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

      It is a sensible marketing strategy to get people playing for real money as much as possible, which is profitable for them. You can't withdraw it and if you win with it you're taking money off others who have deposited and will replace that money with more.

      For good poker players it's a great thing. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad and grateful. But to get that $50 and then 'spend it' learning the basics is a waste. You can learn for free. And then 'spend it' building it up.

      I agree, make use of all the information here, of course.

      However Irooz, you may not have noticed that the omaha articles (other than 'the rules') are silver or gold rated. Not available to beginners. And as you said originally most players won't want to teach a beginner 1 to 1, which is a shame. I don't hear you offering to do that.

      And you did not 'merely' recommend that. You 'merely' recommended ignoring everything i said and go straight into real money. Then back-tracked a bit to say 'play a couple of sessions of play money first'.

      Yes, there are lots of idiots on playmoney but there are some experienced players (decent standard, not pros, but you don't want to start vs pros unless you want to lose constantly). And many do take it quite seriously (are quite proud of their playmoney bankroll and hate to see it drop - after all it can't be bought back up like real money).

      So, yes other people do play 'proper' poker (much nearer than you imagine Irooz - value bets on decent awareness of probabilities) on playmoney and, furthermore, being able to beat those who don't (i.e. hyper-aggressive compulsive bluffers) is a very useful skill because there ARE players like that on real money too, quite a lot of them in fact, at all stakes.

      (There are millionaires out there who will quite happily risk thousands of dollars on a bluff. Real money is playmoney to them.)

      Playmoney play does not enduce bad-habits. Whatever you learn there can be developed or even discarded quite easily. Just a case of learning to walk before you run. You can develop the skills further later on. It's not like learning to play the piano. These are not physical memories you're training. When learning a musical instrument bad habits can be a real problem because they are physical. This does not apply to poker.

      Also, comparing playmoney to low-stakes real money is like comparing the latter to high-stakes.

      If Irooz's argument was true then learning on low-stakes would develop bad habits too.

      It doesn't, it's a curve. Each step takes some adjustment and you would be well advised to be at least comfortable on the previous step first.

      Adjusting from playmoney is easier and quicker than adjusting to it from a total lack of any experience.

      Just because there are not merely as many nutters on real money does not mean they can be ignored. As I said, learning how to recognise them and deal with them before meeting them for real money seems wise to me and the same really goes for all other types of players.

      You WILL, of course, play real money whenever you want. No 'bad habits' just a better foundation of experience of hands and players to build on. Then the learning curve will go up some more.

      But, you WILL start from a stronger position from having played a wide variety of games before as well as having an idea of what formats you are best at without having lost money in the process.

      What is the rush Irooz?

      Why waste money (and a newcomer almost certainly would), when a little preparation can prevent it?

      Reading articles is not real experience either and a lot less fun than learning by playing the game. Lessons learnt the hard way are never forgotten and it is best for your wealth to experience those hard lessons in playmoney.

      I disagree strongly that a newcomer to a format of poker will be turning a profit. They could lose the lot very quickly especially if they come across a table full of experienced players with lots of money doing their own version of play money - i.e. prepared to risk it all on outrageous bluffs. (And don't anyone tell me they could make a killing. Of course they could, but they very probably won't.)

      Playmoney IS experience (and we've established you don't play it so how can you comment on the quality of it?) and playing for real money when you don't know what you're doing is going to be a bad experience that could put people off playing completely (and could develop bad habits in and of itself such as a total lack of confidence).

      Finally

      I request you back up those authoritarian claims with some links:

      "This entire website recommends you start with real money"
      Does it? Please provide mupltiple examples

      "Play money induces bad habits and a bad learning curve, period."
      Does it? Please provide the link to the established empirical article on that

      (Incidentally, are you a member of staff Irooz? You refer to "the advice we give"? Maybe that's the problem here? I'm giving advice on strategy that you want to remain the exclusive property of silver ranks and above and I'm suggesting being more cautious with money at first, which is not in the interest of the poker sites. Now you're making me paranoid. I doubt you are a member of staff.)

      I challenge you Irooz to provide some real advice on how a beginner should begin playing omaha. Either specific links to those articles you mention (not just the rules, real strategy, that a basic has access to) or your own.

      If not then get off my back for trying!

      X(

      If this goes on without you actually giving advice then this should really be moved to a new forum of its own: Is playmoney bad for beginners as Irooz thinks it is (worse than losing money)?
    • Irooz
      Irooz
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.04.2009 Posts: 690
      .
    • i5bet72o
      i5bet72o
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,615
      continue playin holdem imo. easier and lower varience.
    • JackxxRatt
      JackxxRatt
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.07.2007 Posts: 116
      I dont have a problem with learning the ropes on play money or freerolls but fixed limit? I see no point in learning FL when virtually all cash games are PL.
    • Irooz
      Irooz
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.04.2009 Posts: 690
      .
    • VilaRestal
      VilaRestal
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.12.2008 Posts: 22
      Firstly, I never called myself that. It is you Irooz who has persistently been insulting and unhelpful. I have yet to see 1 person support your assertion that starting on play money is a terrible idea. You have not provided any links to support it.

      Anyway, with regards to ranges:

      Surely, first and foremost you should be playing your own hand.

      Why care what cards the other players have if you've folded? (Other than out of curiosity and reference for future hands - and you don't have to speculate you can just wait and see. :) )

      Reason to Begin on FL

      You will see the flop, river and turn more often and bluffing is barely an issue. No need to put people on ranges there initially (again just talking about a beginner on play money) until the turn and river bets start to show strength and weakness. Just the best place to learn the hands in Omaha because you get to play them.

      Moving to PL

      There will be idiots who will raise to all-in with anything. Knowing how to deal with them is a useful skill (i.e. be TAG). By now a beginner should be better at assessing starting hands and post-flop potential.

      You just play to that. Preflop-fold weak hands. Play strong preflop hands but try to keep the pot sizes down at 1st (in practice for starting real money) and then assess the hand's odds after the flop. If they're good get the chips in, otherwise get out. If they're borderline try and stay in but not if it looks like it will cost too much, which it probably will. (That's true of starting on real money too :) .)

      You can put good players on ranges after you've played them for a while but never donkeys. That's true of play money and real money :) . Pointless to try otherwise.

      The most important question a beginner should be asking on PL:

      Is your hand likely to be the best?

      Of course, a tight player suddenly raising (out of character) implies he/she's got a strong hand.

      The example you gave:

      Not knowing anything about those players previous style of play it's impossible to say with any confidence. I expect none of them hit the flop in any meaningful way except, possibly, CO, who may have QT, KK, JJ, 99, KJ, K9, J9, AA etc. etc. but, then again, he was pot committed anyway.

      Obviously BTN isn't slow-playing when he's the last to bet on the river and doesn't. It's a silly flop to slow-play early on anyway. You would certainly get callers and the pot's big already. More likely nobody has it or they would have bet (probably quite heavily).

      But you're out so, just watch to see who was playing large bets preflop with garbage and wait for a good hand that hits and take their chips.

      The important skill this would teach anyone is patience/discipline and that is the key to success in omaha (not just my opinion) at play money and real money in the lower-level, full-table ring games.

      I would avoid the 6-player real money ring games until you're very confident. It's more like Texas Hold'em in terms of playing marginal hands and playing the person as much as the hand.

      Lastly, you never have the "odds for quads" (4%!). Having top set on the flop is almost always good for a call (35% chance of growing into the definite nuts and it may be and remain the nuts anyway). Lower sets are more risky but certainly worth calling small bets.

      I repeat, I am no expert but this is really elementary stuff and works in play money just as it does in real money.

      It seems to me that unless it's really complicated you don't think it's a good place to learn. That seems insane to me. Totally backward.

      Start in simple situations against mostly simple players and move up to playing more skilled players when you yourself are more skilled (i.e. when beating the simple players is easy).

      Most people playing real money are just waiting for beginners to join their table for that reason: They're easy to beat. Hence, I wouldn't recommend any beginner goes there first because they will lose!
    • Irooz
      Irooz
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.04.2009 Posts: 690
      .
    • VilaRestal
      VilaRestal
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.12.2008 Posts: 22
      Of course it isn't! It's learning in an environment where mistakes aren't costly.

      Your approach is like learning to play the guitar by performing live the first time you ever held one. Albeit a small gig but still a terrible way to start.

      And still no helpful comments from you Irooz! You persist in trying to undermine my attempts to help with these ridiculous analogies and unsubstantiated claims.

      I will (again) try to help you to be helpful:

      Perhaps you could provide the links to these articles that beginners have access to that will teach them how to play profitably from day 1?

      Perhaps you could explain how you think beginners should play and why?

      Perhaps you could give examples of people starting Omaha on real money and instantly making a profit? (And not yourself as an example. Quite frankly, I don't believe you.)

      There are examples of the opposit to that on this forum. (You posted unhelpful comments on those too i notice.)

      Time to start providing evidence Irooz or to shut up (assuming you'll never admit you're wrong).

      Here's some evidence from me:

      http://www.playwinningpoker.com/articles/how-to-play-poker/

      "After a bit of reading, these days the best way to learn how to play poker is by playing the free poker games"

      Steve Badger
    • 1
    • 2