Quick thinking can be costly

The poker tables in the Trump Taj Mahal
Image via Wikipedia

Quick thinking can be costly especially when playing No-Limit Omaha High/Low Poker.

I was involved in a game with 9 other players. This was a fairly active group with players going all-in many times during the session. As long as you did not make a single mistake and thought things out, you would be okay.

Folding unless you had AAKK, AA22, AA23 was usually a good idea with this group. You also wanted to make sure that your AAKK or AA22 was double suited as well, meaning that the AAKK should be AK of one suit with the other AK another suit. While this might seem to be unreasonable, you get hands like this more often then you might imagine. Playing Omaha High/Low, these hands are  definitely worth waiting for because they can win you the entire pot. The actual number of good starting hands is much more than just the two examples but I will save that for another day.

When playing Omaha High/Low, your object should be to win both halves of the pot, the highest hand pot and the lowest hand pot. If your hand is not strong enough to win both, you should fold. It can get quite costly trying to win only the high end or the low end of the pot. The reason it can get costly just trying to win one side of the pot only is due to the fact that the pot can be split up between two or more individuals;  two or more could share the high hand and two or more the low hand.

The tricky part about Omaha High/Low is that you can misread your hand and cost yourself a lot of money. Since you have four hole cards and can only use two of the hold cards with three of the five common cards, it is easy to mistake what you have for a hand. You might quickly think that you have a full house and instead have three of a kind or worse, two pair. It gets even worse when you get three queens as part of your hole cards and a queen flops giving you only three of a kind while you might thinking – wow – four of a kind.

Typically in Omaha High/Low, the winning high hand is usually a full house or better. At the minimum a flush. Only occasionally will top pair win the high end of the pot.

So anyway, what this is boiling down to is that I had a hand that gave me a low straight and a low hand, with the possibility of the best high and best low hand. I was thinking scooping. And without thinking what my opponent had, I called my opponent’s all-in bet with just one click, in just one second.

And guess what, that quick thinking cost me $20.00 as I had the second best high hand and the second best low hand. The second best hands however don’t pay anything and that cost me my entire $20 stack that I had brought to the table with me. Lesson learned the hard way. Think before you click.

If I had taken the time allowed, which is 10 seconds, and then requested additional time, which is 60 seconds more, I could figured out that my hand was not the best possible high and best possible low. Then I would have made the appropriate decision and folded.

Moral to the story:  Take the time to think about what you have for a hand before committing any or all of your chips to any hand.

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