Rule no 1 of replay poker

You raise preflop. There are a bunch of callers. Flop is AQ5 rainbow. You have pair of queens, maybe with a jack kicker. Does someone have the ace? Flop checks around. Turn checks around. Does someone have the ace?

Rule 1 of replay poker: No matter the lines taken, someone always has the ■■■■■■■ ace.

If it was KQ5 you’d be in a much better position.

People hate to fold an ace preflop on this site, so they have a range that is unbalanced because they have everything AKs down to A2o. So how do we exploit someone whose range is overweight with these hands?

I can think of a few things to get started:

  1. Bluff less often than you otherwise would on A-high flops. Like you said, someone always has an Ace and they ain’t folding.
  2. Bet for big value when you have an Ace with a great kicker or better and the flop has an Ace on it.
  3. Go for thinner value when you have an Ace yourself with a decent kicker. For example, on AQ5, if you had AJ or AT you can bet 50-60% pot on flop, turn and river and get calls from all the weak aces.
  4. When the flop doesn’t have an Ace, bluff more often than you otherwise would. These players will just have A-high too much of the time and will have to fold.

So what is the objective of raising preflop? You have a so-so hand, so this is a kind of bluff. If you raise from the small blind and are called only by the big blind, you can probably represent an Ace if one comes on the flop. However if you raise from early position early in a multi table tournament and get several calls, then you might as well fold on the flop unless you hit a draw to the nuts or trips on the flop.

I have found that if you are playing in the early going in a MTT on RP when the blinds are low, there is not a lot of point in raising high preflop with a hand like AQ, as you will probably get several calls and the odds of the flop hitting you square on are not in your favor, Better to just limp with hands like AK, AQ, and play them as drawing hands. You can also take weaker aces by surprise and win large pots. With AA, KK, or QQ, it may be better to shove preflop and hope to get a single caller or two callers at the most, as winning this hand will probably put you among the tournament leaders and if everyone folds, at least you will get a blind or two. And if you lose? Enter another tournament.

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I raise preflop with certain hands but only at holdem. I have rarely seen a good player raise a lot in omaha. When I have a good starting hand like A234 the flop is 9 10 q or such. I would have wasted chips if I raised pre flop…

A234 isn’t a very good starting hand in Omaha.

You’ll have at most one nut flush draw. If double-suited, you’ll have the low flush draw with very few blockers to high flushes to your non-ace suit. With no pocket pairs you can’t make a set. Any boats you make will likely be vulnerable to higher boats. If you’re playing the low part of a hi-lo hand, you may get quartered.

Good players bet with strong hands on every street, including preflop, regardless of game type. To illustrate this, the biggest pot in online poker ever was a heads-up pot-limit Omaha hand between Patrik Antonius and Isildur1. The blinds were $500-$1000. Isildur opened to $3K, Antonius 3-bet to $9K, Isildur 4-bet to $27K, and Antonius 5-bet to $81K. When Isildur called, there were 162BB in the middle before the flop. That’s simply not possible if players aren’t betting preflop in Omaha - and I think we can all agree that Isildur and Antonius are among the best PLO players in the world, or at least they were at the time.

Yes, sometimes you’ll raise preflop and the flop will miss you. However, when you’re ahead of your competitors’ ranges, choosing to limp instead of raise allows your competitors to catch free/cheap cards, and creates less of an incentive for them to fold off their equity. That’s why good players always raise their good hands preflop in Omaha, while weak players never do.

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