The Quarter Pot Dilemma

One of the reasons you always want to be playing for both sides of the pot in Omaha high low, is because you may find yourself playing for a fraction of the pot, when you might have been anticipating winning at least half of the pot.So many players play A2 hands, without regard for their other two cards to the point of playing themselves out of the tournament or losing money in a ring game, simply because they don’t realize that other players are playing the same cards, but with better potential for the high side of the pot as well. It’s true that A2 of the best regards to have for the low side, but if you call a lot of raising pre-flop and the flop doesn’t work for you – it’s a useless hand.

It isn’t going to work for you all the time if you don’t know how to control the pot size. This hand can also be useless, even if you are declared one of the winners. In particular, it is often a fight for a fraction of the pot when you are up against multiple opponents. Let’s say for example you hold Ac, 2h, Jh, 9s, on the button and you see the flop with three other opponents of 6d, 3d, and 8d. Against three other opponents, you can pretty much be assured with a flushed flop like this that you are instantly out of the running for the winning the high hand.

Since you do have the nut low however, a lot of players will think this is a good flop with your hole cards. That simply isn’t true, because this hand is only going to involve difficult decisions from here to the river, if you don’t get out of the hand altogether.

If you are in a sit and go tournament, I can assure you, that you are likely to lose money on this hand if you stay involved whenever you are in a situation like this. The reason for this is that although you may win the low side on the occasion, you can virtually never be putting money into this pot with the expectation of scooping. Scooping is the key to playing profitable Omaha high low in ring and tournament games.

So if you can’t scoop a pot, you are resigned to be playing for half the pot or less. It’s going to surprise you to know how many times, you will actually be playing for less than half the pot. Keep in mind here that on this hand in particular, there is a flushed board, so you would also likely expect some aggressive betting – in particular on the turn and river making this pot relatively huge. Think about it �” you are going to have to commit more and more of your chips on the premise that you think you’re going to win half this pot with the nut low. That is a losing omaha hi-lo poker strategy, and you must have the discipline to throw away hands in this situation.

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