Pre-flop play in PLO 6max. Chapter 2. Entering the pot on preflop (UTG- rundowns with danglers, rundowns with an ace, rundowns with duplication, two pairs)

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Pre-flop play in PLO 6max. Chapter 2. Entering the pot on preflop (UTG- rundowns with danglers, rundowns with an ace, rundowns with duplication, two pairs)

I continue to publish research on Omaha.

Previous articles: 



UTG + 1  

Now we consider rundown hands of the type AKQx, KQJx, AQJx, QJTx, where x is a small card at least 3 ranks away from the next-lowest card.


We will consider only the highest ranks as it is extremely rare to play the lowest ranks with danglers from UTG.  The chances of drawing to court cards are the same as for lower ranks, but our chances of ending up on the lower end of the straight are vastly reduced. 


So, if our hand is AKQ5 there are only 4 combinations of three cards that can fall on the board to give us a straight - TJQ, TJA, TJK, 9TJ


For a hand of QJT5 there are greater number of combinations : AKT / J / Q, K9T/J/Q, 89T/J/Q, 789 — in all 10 combinations.


Thus, the chances or making a straight are significantly less compared with the conventional rundown hands, even those with gaps.


At the same time, on many flops we will get a high pair, which - very importantly - will be reinforced with a high kicker and we shall be able to buy a high second pair and outs to a straight. This makes the high ranks with a dangler strong enough to be comfortable in drawing on dry flop.


However, in a multi-way pots, some flops are some extremely difficult for us to draw on. For example, a hand lik AQJ4 on a flop of AQT of TJQ — despite our two high pairs , we will have reason to fear Fourth Street.


In the light of this, we must value double-suited connectors with danglers even higher than the standard rundowns because flopping a flush draw can make our life much easier when we hit two pairs on a dangerous flop, as well as provide additional outs to fight for the pot against an opponent with a "dry" pair.


Accordingly, in order to enable readers to select their UTG raising hands from these rundowns with danglers, we give some mathematical odds for pre-flop without taking suits into account (+4 % for two double-suited connectors, -3-4 % for rainbows) .


Calculations are shown for the 10, 15 , 20 and 25 percent bands.


AKQ7 (41,35% - 44,99% - 47,14% - 48,52%)


AQJ8 (41,81% - 44,57% - 46,68% - 48,29%)


KQJ6 (37,17% - 39,94% - 41,97% - 43,44%)


QJT5 (37,60% - 39,26% - 40,84% - 41,99%)


I think the results table shows the reasons for the refusal to discuss UTG hands of the type 9872 in this context.


I shall conclude this section with a few words about the reaction to a 3bet. Since our UTG raise will in most cases be re-raised with hands like AAxx and KKxx, these hands should be an easy fold (with the possible exception of double-suited hands like QJT7, not containing A and K).


The reason is that against AAxx Kkxx, we will find a dead ace or a king and obtain pre-flop odds of about 27 % and 37 %, respectively.


Rundowns with an ace 

In this section we consider hands such as A89T ... A234, as well as similar hands with a gap in the rundown.


Prior to this in the text we have repeatedly mentioned the fact that the presence of an ace in a hand greatly reduces the probability of hitting AA. It makes sense to give exact figures.


I will not reproduce the exact arithmetic calculations - if you want you'll be able to easily perform the calculations as described in the chapter on the principles of poker hands.


Case #1: We do not have an ace.


In the remaining 48 cards in the deck, 4 of them are aces. Hence, the probability that a particular opponent has two aces in their hand is ( 4/48 ) * (3 /47) * 6 = 3.2 %.  The probability that one of the five opponents has 2 aces in their hand is 15%.


Case #2: We have an ace.


In the remaining 48 cards in the deck, 3 of them are aces. Hence, the probability that a particular opponent has two aces in their hand is (3/48) * (2/47) * 6 = 1.6 %.  The probability that one of the five opponents has 2 aces in their hand is 7.7 %.


Thus, the presence of aces in our hands reduces the likelihood of running into an opponent with AA by almost half. This fact creates additional value in such hands and makes it possible to draw to them when UTG.


In general, a hand like 789A differs little from a rundown. It likewise has small pre-flop odds even against a wide range, but is fairly easy to draw to. Similarly, the important factors when judging a hand's strength are the presence of suits and high cards and whether or not there are gaps in the rundown.


The only non-obvious point on which to focus - is the importance of the distribution of suits in the hand. Thus, a hand with a suited ace has an additional 1-2 % of preflop odds compared with the same hand with two suited medium cards.


We present the results against various ranges from 10% to 25% for a number of different 679A suited combinations.


6♠7♦9♠A♦ (44,4% - 45,8% - 46,7% - 47,5%)


6♠7♦9♣A♦ (41,4% - 42,7% - 43,6% - 44,5%)


6♠7♦9♦A♣ (40,1% - 41,5% - 42,4% - 43,5%)


6♠7♦9♠A♥ (37,0% - 38,5% - 39,5% - 40,4%)


Note one more, perhaps the most important, feature of these hands, which distinguishes them from the middle straights.


Hands of this type fare much better than straight draws against most opponents' hands, including Kkxx.


But they are much weaker than straights against AAxx. This means that in response to a re-raise from the opponent, we'll fold those hands more often than the straights (remember that in such cases straights are hardly ever folded) .


Straights with pairs


We are talking about hands such as 9TJJ, JJQK, 5688. Such rundowns are identical to ordinary straights when drawing preflop (raise -call), but have the better pre-flop odds (2% compared to rundowns with high cards and suits).


There are some obvious features of such hands, which should be kept in mind:


  1. Ability to catch a set 
  2. Blockers to the opponent's straight, help for ours
  3. (lack of ) a pair makes for a more difficult game on the flop against AAxx / KKxx


The rest of the straight hands with a pair do not differ from the normal straights. Preflop odds for some strong series against 10% ... 25% ranges are below. As usual, we add or subtract 3-4% for, respectively, double-suited or rainbow hands.


1) JJQK (42,4% - 47,3% - 50,3% - 52,4%)


2) 9TJJ (41,5% - 45,1% - 47,6% - 49,7%)


3) 78TT (39,5% - 42,2% - 44,1% - 45,8%)



2 pairs 

Whether or not to play 2 pairs UTG and how to do it is a controversial issue. We assume that the top pair is no higher than JJ, as hands with QQ ... AA were considered earlier.


Two-pair hands have a characteristic that should be taken into account: the pair may act as blockers against an opponent with a straight draw. The presence of a pair in your hand makes joke flops with heavy straight possibilities is much more simple to play (eg, a flop of 69T or 59T is very nice to play with a hand like JJ77). Adjacent middle pairs are especially good.


It should be understood that two-pair hands are usually an attempt to catch a set, and therefore it is better not to inflate the pot pre-flop.


Based on the aforementioned, I play good 2-pair hands UTG with a limp, which reduces the chances of a 3bet building the pot. Tight players may choose not to play 2 pairs from UTG (with the exception of hands such as TTJJ, 99JJ, 99TT double-suited).


In general, the two-pairs of hands do not have very good chances against many hands. Below shows how some of these hands stand up against 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% hands. Rainbow hands lose 3-4%, double-suited hands improve our chances).


1) JJTT (43,8% - 47,5% - 50,0% - 52,1%)


2) JJ33 (39,1% - 42,8% - 45,4% - 47,5%)


3) 8877 ( 41.7 % - 43.5 % - 45.0 % - 45.9 %)


4) 2233 (38.1 % - 39.4% - 40.1% - 40.5% )




This section on UTG is completed.


Separately, I note that I have described only the basic types of hands. Some players can play UTG with hands like AK87 with suits and the absence of this hand in the analysis does not mean that it is in principle unplayable. I wanted to show only the key points that you should pay attention to when choosing to raise his hands from early position.


Next article: 

Chapter 2 (UTG +1)