Lately some online poker rooms have been offering the new version of poker, ALL IN OR FOLD. It is an interesting concept for those wanting a gamble but I found out that there is quite some skill involved in the Omaha version of it.
First of all how it works is there are four players. Each time you buy in you have to buy in 4bbs and small and big blinds are posted as usual. For the omaha version you get to see the flop. Then you can decide if you want to shove or fold. Every time you balance drops below 4bb it will top up automatically, if you have more than 4bb you can choose to remove some. Rabbit holers will love this game.
First of all I must say, it is a “gambly” game, be ready to get some bad beats and dish some out as well. But if you know your strategies and odds, you can be +ev long term.
1. Beware of the paired board:
I know nut flush draw or flush and straight draw combos look really nice, but on a paired board, it is worth so much less. You may already be drawing dead or drawing thin if your opponent has trips with 3 open kickers. You may want to shove to take down the pot and you rarely want to see a call. But calling with a flush draw on a paired board is a bad play long term.
2. How high is your flush draw:
For some reason we all love flush draws. But honestly in Holdem, you are likely to be 36% at best and in Omaha, if someone has a set or two pairs, you are not in great shape. Being there are so many possible combos, I would normally fold a J high flush draw and lower, unless I got more equity in the hand like straight outs, or top pair. Calling again is always a bad idea, you will be getting your money in bad. However there are some fishes on Natural8 that would shove a small flush draw so read your opponents carefully, there might be some merit to calling with the nut flush draw late. Also multiway pots then you have the right odds to catch your flush.
3. Position is key
Since this is a 4 handed game and the game is All in or Fold, then late position don’t mean anything. If anything the advantage is with UTG. Let’s say flop is A82 rainbow, and you have AJxx. I would sometimes fold here because you have three people behind you. You lose to sets, two pairs, better kickers, etc. However if you’re on the small blind and it is folded to you, then you can steal the pot. Remember we all start with 4bb, so stealing 1bb without showdown is great value.
4. Power of the paired board
Let’s say the flop is 992. Everyone folded to you and you’re in the sb. Only the bb behind you. What are the chances of the guy holding one of the remaining 9s. If you shove there, it would be hard for him to call with Queens or worse.
5. Wraps are not great
There is no way of betting your opponent out on the turn because the game is All In Or Fold. Wraps are good on PLO but not on this game. You can steal with wraps but I would not recommend calling with them after someone has shoved
6. Watch the stack sizes
Let’s say you’ve won a couple of pots, and you have 20bb instead of 4. No one else on the table has more than 5bb so you’re fine. However let’s say the guy on your left has you covered, you should be really wary and I would usually remove the rest and drop back to 4bb. Reason being, let’s say you’re making a move to steal the blinds with a draw, you are now risking 20bb to win 1.5bbs. The guy behind you might just be sitting with a monster to take you down.
7. Big stack in position
However on the flip side, you have a big stack and so does the guy on your right, then keep it! This is your chance to control that player. Let’s say the flop is KK2, even if he has AA he would think twice about shoving a big stack. What if you really had the K? Let’s say he has J high flush draw on a unpaired flop, what if you had a bigger flush draw? If he shoves you can always evaluate before deciding what to do. If you flopped a monster you can pick him off. If not you can fold risk free.
8. Bottom two multi way
Against two shoves before you, I might fold bottom two. Chances are you are already beat, or you have to dodge a lot of outs to win. Again taking the initiative to shove first is okay, but otherwise I would say fold your lousy two pairs.
9. Observe the time taken
AIOF is a very fast game. You need to read the board quickly and react just as fast. I tried multi-tabling 4 tables and it is really tiring. A few times I folded a monster because I ran out of time or read the board wrong. Observe your other players. Do they click on auto shove before their turn? Usually that means strength or a big draw. Flopped a nut flush draw, easy decision, click! But there are other players as well who take their time with a monster, pretending to think longer than usual. Observe your opponents and make notes. Do they shove with a small flush draw? wrap? air? Maybe you can call them down with marginal hands.
10. Always try to have a back up plan
If the flop is TTQ two diamonds, you are holding AAKJ two diamonds, you have some back up plans. In case the guy has a T, you are still in good shape. If he flopped a full house, you got Royal Flush draw and bigger house outs. You hate shoving and seeing the dreaded 0% next to your name.
This is a very fun and addictive game. I would not recommend the hold-em version as it is just pure gamble. But with Omaha you can read the flop and get the money in good and be profitable long term.
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