CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

How Would You Handle These Hold'em and Omaha Hands?

21 May 2005

Flop-style poker has become so popular in casino card rooms that old-style stud poker is practically dead. Texas Hold'em and Omaha Hi/Lo monopolize the poker action with many of their players being newbies to the game.

The question is, how capably do the newbies play? If they've adopted their strategy from the do-or-die tournament showdowns they've seen on TV, their chips won't last long in regular open play.

So here are some starting Hold'em and Omaha Hi/Lo hands to look at, with realistic basic strategy guidelines for what to do with them.

Limit Texas Hold'em

1) You're under the gun (first to act right after the blinds) and you've got 10/J. Call, raise or fold?

Fold. When in early position, there are too many players behind you who could have a big hand, and yours is not strong enough to call a raise. Save those mid-high connectors (two cards in numerical succession) for when you're in late position and know you can get in for just one bet.

2) You're in the middle of the table and two players have called so far. You have two 8s in the pocket. Call, raise or fold?

Call. Typically, callers (but not raisers) from an early seat have two fairly high unpaired cards. Although your hand is worth a play, raising would be wrong since if any Jack or higher flops (and it usually will), you probably can't call a bet. Just limp in, encouraging others to come in behind you. Now, if all low cards flop, your 8s are probably in the lead and if you flop a third 8 you'll likely win a huge pot.

3) The under-the gun player has come in raising and you're next right after him with a pair of pocket Kings. Call, raise or fold?

Re-raise! Your hand is a monster favorite to be best at the moment and about 70% to end up winning the pot if you re-raise. But if you just call to invite more customers, your chances to win go down faster than your return on investment goes up. Protect your hand by thinning out the rest of the field.

4) In a late seat you've got the 5/6 of hearts and four players have already just called. Call, raise or fold?

Call. This is one of the few spots in which you can play small suited connectors. Late position, lots of customers and a cheap price are all mandatory to give this hand sufficient playing value.

Omaha Hi/Lo Split

1) You're in fairly late position and three players have called the blinds so far. You have 6/7/8/9. Call, raise or fold?

Fold. The first sacred rule to remember about Omaha Hi/Lo is: Middle cards are poison! If low cards flop, you've got a terrible low. If you make a straight, you'll usually get beaten by a higher straight, if not a flush or a full house. Avoid middle cards like the plague.

2) In an early seat, you've got A/2/3/4 with a suited Ace. Call, raise or fold?

Call. Omaha Hi/Lo is different from most poker games in that you've got nothing to protect until the flop comes down. If you miss the flop, you'll want to have paid the minimum. Yet, if you hit your nut low, no number of opponents can beat you. For these reasons, you want the maximum number of players in there.

3) In the middle of the table you've got 2/3/K/Q. Call, raise or fold?

Fold. Here's another Omaha Hi/Lo strategy edict: Your four cards need to be either all high or all low (unless you've got an ace/deuce). If a low comes, your 2/3 will usually get nothing. Two high and two low cards basically provide just two separate Omaha hands (2/3 and K/Q). But four cards closely linked together make six Omaha hands. For example, J/Q/K/A can use the A/K, A/Q, A/J, K/Q, K/J or Q/J to make a high hand.

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey