Poker Book Review: Omaha High-Low by Bill Boston

May 31st, 2010 by admin Leave a reply »

I have often found myself in such a midst of bad luck and bad plays in NL (no limit) hold’em that I force myself to either switch sites, go to lower limits or take a clean break from playing. If the latter is as hard for you to do as it is me, then the solution may be a different game. Omaha High-Low is a different game from NL hold’em for sure, but the skills you have developed in hold’em can pay off much more consistently in Omaha Hi-Lo.

With the help of a book like Bill Boston’s Omaha High-Low, you can be proficient at this game in a matter of a few sessions. After reading this book, I started playing the 10 buck Omaha Hi-Lo sit and go tournaments at Party Poker, and with no experience at all had a 50% win rate after 12 games for a nice 220 profit. Well worth the 20 bucks for the book which had been in publication for years as in independently produced manual, but now picked up by Cardoza Publishing and presented in soft cover version.

Bill Boston used the very popular program called Turbo Omaha High Low Split by Wilson Software, testing numerous Omaha Hi-Lo hands against random flops. (Same programmers of the software called Turbo Texas Hold’em, used by Sklansky, Ferguson, Raymer among other pros) Combine this research with his years of experience in that game and this book makes for a solid foundation to profitable play.

What holdem players need to realize with this game, even with pot limit betting, is that it is generally not a bluffing game. So your good hands do pay off, especially when scooping the high and low hands. Boston stresses this throughout, and has played this way with success for years. This kind of strategic showdown play, could be a welcome relief for holdem players at their wits end, over getting pushed around. You really can’t do that in Omaha Hi-Lo, save for rare specific conditions being meant.

Unfortunately, Boston doesn’t get into poker tournament play with this book, mainly focusing on 10/20 ring games, which leaves a lot of explaining for us tournament players. On the good side, the hand analysis for strength will give any player the power of knowing when to get in a hand or not. This is truly vital information and will save you enormous amounts of stress, in effect avoiding tough decisions during the hand.

A good portion of this book is a table of values associated with each and every Omaha hand combination. It is quite scientific looking, but if you peruse through some of the hand combinations and look at how they can lose you money, it is very alarming. In this game, many hands you are dealt look good, but are simply money losers. This is what separates the winners from losers, amateurs from professionals. The ability to throw strong hands away is stressed here in the balance of knowing that even if you win, your pot is likely split several ways. Certainly a good read and if you combine it with Lou Krieger’s Poker Player’s Bible which has an extensive chapter on Omaha Hi-Lo, and you on your way to professional, profitable play.

Marty Smith is webmaster of http://www.PokerCalculatorReport.com where all the online poker calculators are tested and reviewed, including Sit and Go Shark, Calculatem Pro, and Poker Spy. He is also editor of http://www.PokerBookReport.com.

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