Anything But Hold Em

There\’s More to Poker Than Texas Hold Em

Mason Malmuth on Low-Limit Games

Posted by pmpoker on December 28, 2006

From the 2+2 archives

An interesting result that I have noticed over the years is that the easier games like Omaha 8 or better, or razz are more profitable against absolutely terrible players. While the more complex games like limit hold ’em and stud are more profitable against those who play a little better.

This is in response to Tom B, who wrote:

I think I can speak to this issue. I have played low-limit hold’em and low-limit omaha for the past several years. It is much easier to make steady money in omaha than in hold-em. There is one catch however. The catch is that the omaha games must be good.

What tends to happen with low-limit omaha is that you get two kinds of games. The first kind occur at tournaments or during times of day when the “regular” crew isn’t in the game. These games are the closest to a regular job I’ve experienced while playing poker. It’s almost impossible to lose money if you play long enough and know what your doing. The second kind of low-limit omaha game occurs when everybody has a pretty good idea of how to play the game. You can spot these games by walking by the table and counting the collective money between the players. If it doesn’t look like a lot then your probobly in a bad game. Can a really good player beat a bad game? Of course he can, but he won’t make that much money.

Low limit hold-em in my opinion is a much streakier game. But there is one great advantage. The games are almost always great. However the skills required to beat these games are much harder to learn. I can attest to this, my hold-em results are much worse than my omaha results, (but they are getting better as I gain a better emotional understanding of the game.) I’m trying in Mason’s words to “Really learn how to play well” , but it is very difficult.

Bottom line – If you need to make money, play in a good low-limit omaha game. If you want to progress up the poker ladder, fight it out in low-limit hold-em.

Additional players in multi-way razz and omaha/8 pots are often very close to dead money. Additional players in multi-way hold em and stud have a much better chance of outflopping your or drawing out. For each bet, you gain more from the 5th best razz hand or the 8th best omaha hand at the table than from the 7th best hold em hand or the 6the best stud hand.

Of course, any game should still be profitable against absolutely horrible players.


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