Limit Omaha High/Low Eight or Better (Blog) – Overpulling Preflop

It’s a common notion that we should attempt to pull players into the pot with mediocre A2 holdings with little high potential because we want to “pull” players with worse lows into the pot. This means we will often limp in early position or just smooth call another player’s raise. However, in short handed situations it can be clearly advantageous to re-raise an opener in an attempt to get the pot heads-up.

Let’s look at one example, you are on the button with a decidedly mediocre Ac2s7h9h.  When faced with a raise from the cut-off many players will elect to just call in an attempt to lure the blinds in with worse low hands.  There are many reasons why a raise can be the better play:

  1. Against a 30-40% cut-off opening range we have around 50% equity so with dead money from the blinds and position we have a clear profitable situation.
  2. Calling usually means you are trying to win half of a small three way pot.  Getting the pot heads-up gives you a much better chance to scoop.  Pairing the seven with the nut low will give you a pretty strong hand.  It promote the value your mediocre flush draw. Also if your lone opponent folds, you scoop.
  3. The initiative will often allow you to more often play out the hand on your own terms, for example a free card on the turn could yield the card that makes your hand and thus preserve your equity.
  4. When you smooth-call in this spot your hand is somewhat face up as a mediocre A2 type hand with no real high value.  Even if you sometimes also smooth call with high hands there are many less combinations of these hands.

So when it appears likely that you may only be facing one opponent, considering breaking from what may be considered the standard play of just pulling with your low hands.