Texas Hold ’em: The worst game you’re playing online

An examination on the profitability of NLHE

Hello again all

So, I got to thinking, that profit in poker is made by making the right decisions over and over and over again.  The concept of EV (expected value) basically says that anytime you make a decision that (in the long run) will make money, you are playing properly.  If you take the time, you can work out how much that particular decision is worth.  For example, if you know that AA will win against any random hand 85% of the time (no, not the actual percentage, but close enough and will allow me to do the math easier), then for every dollar you bet on that, you’re making 85 cents.  If you make these large +EV moves over and over, you’re going to watch the profit come rolling in.  So clearly, any poker player worth their salt would prefer a move that is say +85EV than +25EV.

I was considering this concept, and decided to take it to a broader level.  If any given hand can be +EV given a situation, that’s all fine and good.  But what about the game you’re playing?  Without a doubt, the most popular game online and in casinos is No Limit Hold ‘Em.  The draw of easy money, and the deceptively “easy” game, there are PLENTY of people willing to give away their money.  However, there are other games that people are playing online, literally thousands of people, who haven’t even a base knowledge of how to play it!

Even the most inept NLHE player knows that 72 is the worst hand in poker, and that AA is the best.  They know what hands usually are good enough to win, and possibly most importantly, they may even know when they’re outmatched.  Take that same guy, and put him into a game of Omaha?  Dead, dead money.  The thing is, with Omaha, this guy will make more mistakes, for more money, more often.  This is the guy that will mary his AA on a board with a straight possibility.  This is a guy that will call for his straight draws on paired boards, or “value bet” his bottom two pair.  In short, this is the guy that is going to make the game HUGELY +EV.

A friend of mine said it best, “Omaha is today what Hold em was before anyone knew what they were doing”.  I personally think it’s the most profitable game online.  However, if you’re diverse enough, there’s tonnes of money to be made playing Stud, Razz, and the various other games.  So my suggestion to you is, go out there and try some bigger EV games.  My next entry will discuss how I think diversity in your game selection will improve your skills in ALL games.


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