Articles by Annie Duke

Omaha Eight-or-Better: Overestimating the Value of Connecting Low Cards

Another big mistake players make is overestimating the strength of connecting low cards that contain no ace. A hand like 2 3 4 5 might look very strong because of all the wheel possibilities but in reality it is not at all strong. Your flush feature is only 5-high. In order to flop the nut low or the wheel wrap you need an Ace to fall. And as I’ve said above it is never a good idea to wholly rely on exactly one card to fall when the flop hits. When your hand contains an A2 it is very easy to flop the nut low draw. Without that all-important ace you are most likely to flop the third best low draw when the low draw hits. For example, when any two low cards 3 and higher hit (34, 35, 36, 37or 38) A2 and A4 or A5 will be drawing better than you. You can only have the third best draw by definition and it is never a good idea to chase a draw when you can only make third best.

When you make a straight with this hand, your best high feature, unless it is exactly a wheel, it will generally not be the nut straight. So if the board is 456KQ you have the bottom straight and the third nut low. You will have to pay it off because your hand could win both ways will but you will often be scooped, particularly if the pot is multi-way. So the negative implied odds of this hand are substantial. It is important in Omaha 8/b to always consider the probability that your hand can make the nuts. Unlike in hold’em where one pair is the most likely hand to win a pot in Omaha 8/b the nuts is the most likely hand to win. So it is important to try to always put yourself in the position where that is what you are drawing for.

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