Articles by Annie Duke

Omaha Eight-or-Better: Overestimating the Value of A2

Speaking of A2, although you can always play a hand containing these cards don’t overestimate the value of having them in your hand. Remember that everyone plays A2 and it happens quite often that when you have these two cards someone else does too, leaving you drawing at a half of the low side of the pot. So if A2 is the only feature to your hand, remember to always play with some caution. A 2 9 6 is a hand like this. Limping in rather than raising would probably be the preferred play with a hand like this-waiting to see what hits the board. You have no strong high features to the hand and your back up low features (if an A or a 2 hits the board) are quite weak by virtue of containing a 6. This hand is weak enough that I would not call a double raise from an early position player with this hand, despite the A2 feature. It is too likely that either the first or second raiser or both also has the A2 feature and you have nothing else really working in the hand.

In reality, I would much rather have a hand like A 3 4 5 than A296 no suits. With the first hand you have two suits, one to the Ace and 4 wheel cards. Even if a deuce doesn’t hit the board you still have a good chance at the low side. You have lots of straight and wheel possibilities in the hand and all your back up lows are strong. Therefore this hand is much stronger than a hand that just contains a stranded A2.

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