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Bluffing in Omaha Poker

How to Bluff in Pot Limit Omaha Poker

Omaha, in its purest form with no fancy strategies or plays, is a difficult enough game to learn how to play well. Since all players are dealt 4 cards there is a slew of different hands or draws that can be made on the flop. This makes it likely in many cases that the best hand on the flop is very well not going to be the best hand on the turn or the river. With everyone chasing draws and the favourite of the hand exchanging with the flip of a card, is there a right time, if ever, to bluff in Omaha Poker? 

Well, just like any other poker game, it is not so much of "can you bluff", as it is "when do you bluff". This is because it is important not to eliminate the strategy of bluffing altogether. It will more than likely make you more predictable, making it difficult to get value out of any solid hands.

But since Omaha Poker is a much more difficult game to run successful bluffs in, we would like to share some tips on when it is, or isn't, the right time to attempt a bluff while playing Omaha.

Things to Look for Before Bluffing in Omaha

Flop Texture: Flop Texture is one of the first things that a player should look at when considering a bluff. For example, trying to run a bluff on a board of A-J-10 is probably a bad idea considering that not only are there several possible pairs or two pairs on the board, but also trips and straights as well. And that is'nt even considering the fact that there may be suited cards on the board.

To ensure that the bluff you are running is as successful as possible, the flop needs to be dry, or in other words, completely uncoordinated in anyway. In fact, it would help that the board is uncoordinated enough that if the flop bet is called that the turn will not be much of a concern allowing you to fire another shell.

Number of Opponents: The number of opponents in the pot will also determine whether you attempt a bluff. There are many other sites claiming that 4 players or less, preferably less, is ok when trying to run a bluff. Well, that really is not good advice.

The reason why it is not good advice is because you are already worried about flop texture, right, so what good does it do to have multiple opponents in a pot all of whom have 4 cards in their hand creating multiple hands and/or draws.
In any game, especially Omaha, it is important that you only try to bluff one opponent of their hand. It may be possible to bluff more, but you are already taking a risk bluffing with nothing, so why risk more when it is not necessary?

Table Image:  Many times a successful bluff attempt will rely on how your tablemates perceive you. If you have been super tight, your raises are going to earn a lot more respect, thus allowing you to make several bluffs without anyone giving a second thought.

However, if you have been trying to run over the table then many players will call with less than par hands to try to pick you off. If you have a loose or maniac table image at the table then it is a bad idea to attempt many bluffs, if at all.
On the other hand, it is also crucial to study your opponents for the same reasons. If an opponent is a calling station, then of course it would be stupid to try and run a bluff as they will call you down with little to nothing, if not hit their hand on the turn or river.

When trying to bluff, you want a player that is smart enough or scared enough to fold their hand. Tight players are the best to attempt bluffs against and tight aggressive players are ok to bluff against if the board is uncoordinated enough.

Chip Stacks: Player chip stacks are important to consider because if you do not have enough chips to put pressure on your opponent, then more than likely you will not be able to push them off their hand. Also, you need to bear in mind that you want enough chips to apply pressure on several streets if needed and not just one. As long as your opponent is not a short stack and you have him covered, that should also add to the pressure to make them fold.

Semi Bluffing: Semi bluffing is similar to bluffing with the only difference being that they have a hand that they could make on later streets should they catch one of their outs. This is actually much better that just a pure bluff in the sense that you can at least catch something if your opponent decides to call. All of the factors above still need to be considered however, as you still have an unmade hand.

Conclusion to Bluffing in Omaha

As we mentioned above, bluffing in Omaha is really the same as bluffing in any other poker game. The biggest difference is the emphasis on being able to analyze the board as many more draws can be made when an opponent holds 4 cards verses two in a game such as Hold'em.

Aside from that, as long as a player pays attention to their players, chips stacks, and table images, there is simply no reason why a player cannot attempt and be successful in running a bluff in Omaha poker.