Is Omaha/8 Poker’s Land of Opportunity?

by Lou on June 18, 2008

Mark Tenner and I wrote Winning Omaha/8 Poker a couple of years ago, and we’re in the midst of writing a second edition—which means updating the book and adding new material where appropriate.

As a result, I’ve been playing Omaha/8 online these days instead of Texas hold’em—my usual game of choice—just so I can stay in closer touch with Omaha as I write about it, and stay tuned to whatever nuances seem to be developing in terms of new game strategies and that sort of thing.

Online poker players have changed Texas hold’em—particularly no-limit and tournament hold’em—dramatically in recent years, and if you don’t keep up with the game, you won’t recognize it. Newish concepts, such as “floating” and the use of Independent Chip Modeling are attributes of Texas hold’em that weren’t commonplace as recently as three or four years ago.

But Omaha/8 seems to have been stuck in a time warp. The game is not innovating as rapidly as hold’em has, and the players don’t seem to be improving either. I’ve been playing $10-$20 and $15-$30 online and I see errors I wouldn’t expect raw beginners to make, never mind supposedly skilled mid-limit players.

They raise way too often before the flop, call raises with hands that look to be one-way only, play draws in the face of bets and raises that are not draws to the nuts, and that sort of thing. It seems to me that Omaha/8 is the Land of Opportunity in online poker right now.

The same caveats apply: You can’t play too many hands, you have to toss hands that are outgunned on the flop if you don’t have a good draw, and as much as possible playing to scoop—not to split—is the game’s major strategic objective.

If you’ve got the patience and attitude for Omaha/8, there’s opportunity online right now. See you at the tables.


CSuave June 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Totally agree. Been playing some PLO8 but at micro limits and everyone seems to try to play it like NLHE. Just keep jamming with just AAxx…. and thinking it will be good. Or if they make any low, even 8 low… just keep calling all the way down.
Have to admit that I am somewhat of a fish in this arena but compared to much of what I see I feel better about my own play.

stuwe June 20, 2008 at 10:54 am

Been playing Omaha/8 online since now 8 years and i Totally Agree

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