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Poker Skills

poker skills Introduction

The two additional areas which play a significant role to win at Omaha eight-or-better (and also in other forms of poker) are reading hands and psychology.

As stated earlier, reading poker hands is an art as well as science. The case is same for the correct concepts of psychology at the table. In either case, you should know your rivals. To be specific, the better you understand how your rival thinks and also how they play, you will be in a better position to select the best approach to use against them.

It is also relevant to pay attention to the game as to what is going on even when you are not in the pot. Because by doing so, you will get an idea and help you to understand how different rival play their hands in different situations and what tricks do they frequently apply. Also, you can feel for how they think. You will easily notice when they excite much and what makes them perplex and you will get an impression of what approaches work best against them.

Remember that the concepts discussed cannot be mastered immediately. The skill such as reading hands and applying psychology takes time to learn in Omaha eight-or-better. But, once mastered in reading hands and psychology, it will be helpful to win any game. And for those of you who make it to a large games (and contest against the world champions) you should become an expert in two major areas to bring success to your play.

Reading Hands

Best poker techniques are available for reading hands in Omaha eight-or-better. Generally, you should consider the meaning of a rival's check, bet, or raise and you see at the exposed cards and try to analyze from them what his entire hand might be. You can then join the plays he has made throughout the hand with the exposed cards and arrive to a conclusion about his mostly possible hand.

To put in other way, you use logic to read hands. You should consider your rival's plays in each round and observe that the cards appear on board and also carefully scrutinize the order in which they should appear. You can combine these two evidences together the plays and the cards on the board to arrive at a conclusion about a rival's possible hand.

Sometimes you can force to put a rival on a particular hand too early. But it is a mistake in doing so and then sticking to your original conclusion no matter how thing creates. A player who raises before the flop and again raises after two high poker hands have flopped might have made a set, but he can also be on a draw and tries for a free card. Drawing early a thin, irrevocable conclusion may prove to be expensive mistakes later, such as giving the free card or betting into your rival when he makes his hand.

One of the essential thing to do is to put a rival on a various hands at the start of the play and as the play develops, try to remove some of those hands based on his later play and also on the cards he chases. During the process of removal, you will get a good idea of what that rival has (or is drawing to have) when the last card is dealt.

Suppose before the flop, a rival calls after you raise. You can see two small cards on the flop and also two suited cards, and he raises after you bet. On the turn, an off suit eight comes but when you check to him, he checks too. It is certain that this player is on a flush draw might be nut flush draw and was chasing a free card. If on the river a flush card comes, you should ignore betting with him. Furthermore, if the flush card does not hit then you may want to check on the end and call, expecting to persuade a bluff. On the other hand, if you have a low made and cannot beat a weak high, you may want to bet as there is a fair chance that you can win the entire pot.

It becomes very important to know what your rival has at the end of the hand. The more precisely you can read hands, the better you can analyze what your chances are of having your rival beat. This will definitely help you in determining how to play your own hand.

Practically, several players try to analyze whether their rival has a worse hand, an average hand, a good hand or a best hand. Suppose your rival bets on the end. Generally when the player bets, it represents a bluff, a good hand or a best hand but possibly not an average hand. If your rival has an average hand, he would merely check. If you have only an average hand, you should ascertain what your chances are that your rival is bluffing and whether those chances guarantees call with respect to the pot odds. For instance, several players will not bet a rough low on the end which cannot the nuts, especially if they are against some players. With the average hands, they expect to win the pot in a showdown.

Noticed that in Omaha eight-or-better, one way to read hands is to start considering several possible cards which the rival can have and then to trying to remove some of the possibilities as the hand advances. A best way to read hands is to work backward. For example, if someone cold calls a raise and re-raise before the flop, the flop comes

and the card on fourth street is

and he raises on fourth street , you should try to remember his play on the earlier rounds. As it does not appear that that your rival would have called on the flop if he had hands like a three-card low or a big pair smaller than aces before the flop, you may have a doubt that he has made a set of aces.

Let's take another example. Suppose the board on fourth street is

In a multi-way pot, one player call a raise before the flop, call the bet on the flop, and now raises. What do you think could be his hand?

You would notice first that this player is unlikely to have the nut low, even though if he has started with an ace-trey. As the pot is multi-way, he would be scared to get quartered. This is why he only called on the flop. He would be afraid on the turn to be get quartered and as the straight poker card hit, he would not have raised if he had a set. But, he could have a nut low and a draw at the nut flush. Thus when he gets quartered, he will be able to take over the entire pot if a club hits. There is a fair chance that he holds the ace of clubs and also a trey and another club.

Let's take one more illustration. Some people limp in before the flop and in a later position the pot is raised by a player. Two high cards and two diamonds fall on the flop. One of the limpers in an early position bets, and gets some callers between him and before-the-flop raiser. If before-the-flop raiser raises again, he would have the nut flush draw. This would happen if he is not the player who puts more money in the pot before the flop with a high hand. However, if before-the-flop raiser plays his hands quickly, it would be possible for him to make a large set. This hand would be likely than the flush draw.

When you cannot put a person on a hand but have minimized his holdings to a limited number, you can take the help of mathematics to ascertain the chances of his having certain hands rather than others. Then you can determine what type of hand you must have to make the play continue.

Sometimes you can take help of mathematics calculations based on Bayes' Theorem to ascertain the chances that a rival has one hand or another. After determining on the type of hands the rival would be betting in a given case, you should ascertain the possibility of your rival holding each of those hands. Then make a comparison with the possibilities.

For example, a loose and aggressive rival calls before the flop. Two high cards flop which gives you a big set you bet and he calls. An ace hits on fourth street , which could have made a straight, and this player bets into you. You should determine whether you should raise or call. As your rival is a loose aggressive player, he will not have three aces, as he would have raised before the flop. But, he will bet in a hand like aces up. Hence, you must raise. If you get re-raised, which means that you are against a straight, you have more outs to improve. However, if the rival is tighter and conventional, he would probably have a straight. Now, you should call.

Knowing it is a bit possible that your rival has one type of holding against another which may not always indicates how you should continue the play with your hand. Consequently, the more you know about the chances of a rival having one hand instead of another when he bets or raises, the easier it is for you to decide whether to fold, call, or raise.

Suppose you have

You raise and a rival behind you re-raises. The flop comes king high. You check and your rival bets. If you think that your rival is having a hand like ace-deuce-trey as he is to have a pair of aces, you should just call. If on a later street an ace hits and your rival bets again, you should want to raise if you know this rival would bet if he had only two aces. This is because of mathematics calculation that you have a best hand.

In conclusion, this above illustration reveals you to add up your mathematical conclusion with what you know about a player. Players will call if they make a quality low on the flop and will try to raise you on a later poker street. If he calls on the flop and then raises on fourth or fifth street after hitting insignificant cards, he is likely to have a quality low than to make a set with one of the insignificant cards.

The number of players in the pot helps to determine how to read hands and how to play your own hands. In multi-way pots, people play their hands rather straightforward. This is correct when several players are yet to perform. Therefore, if a player bets in any of the given situation, you should certainly be sure that he has made a best hand.

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