Tougher than it Looks

Because no limit Texas hold’em is a two card game then it appears deceptively simple to the novice poker player. Only two cards are dealt to each player and there is a three card communal flop that is used by all. There then follows a communal turn and river card assuming of course that the betting has reached that stage of the hand. No limit Texas hold’em and in fact hold’em in general is a simple game to learn but yet this is part of its difficulty as well.

Unlike Omaha where you have four starting cards, in hold’em you only have two. This makes identifying a playable hand far easier in hold’em because there is only one card combination to worry about. However in Omaha there are a possible six card combinations from the four starting cards which are A-B, A-C- A-D, B-C, B-D and C-D. However post flop then Omaha is a much simpler game than hold’em because of the fact that in full ring games then strong hands are nearly always out there against you.

This means that bluffing which is a big part of no limit hold’em is actually massively reduced in importance in Omaha and especially in full ring. If your opponent is betting and raising then the chances of them having a very powerful hand is much more likely than in hold’em. Because it is common knowledge that in hold’em it is very difficult to make a big hand then each opponent is aware of that fact.

Because of this then both opponents will try to bluff more often and this in turn leads to your opponents recognising that fact. So no limit hold’em can often lead into a game of chicken where each opponent understands that the other may not really have a hand. If you have ever seen a high stakes poker game on television where both players have ended up all in and you have wondered what exactly has just happened then this may be the reason for it.

The action starts where one player is raising with what could easily be a wide range. Their opponent recognises this fact and 3/bets. Meanwhile the original raiser then recognises that 4/bets with the other player also sensing that their opponent could be re-stealing and so shoves all in with a weak hand. Omaha on the other hand can be a very nuts orientated game post flop and especially in certain game dynamics.

Because it is much easier to bluff in no limit Texas hold’em then it is also much easier to bluff away your stack as well. You are always in a situation where your opponent is unlikely to have a strong hand in so much that a strong hand in the conventional sense is a hand that merits stacking off for your entire stack of 100bb or more. So whenever you get a situation in any poker game where your opponents are unlikely to have a real hand then the chances of a successful bluff escalate rapidly.

So remember that in games like no limit Texas hold’em then you can easily get yourself into a world of hurt simply because the pre-flop possibilities are extremely limited. No limit hold’em is not called “The Cadillac of Poker” for nothing by two time ex-world poker champions Doyle Brunson.

 

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