The objective when playing Omaha 8/b is to win the entire pot, which is called scooping the pot.
Keeping this objective in mind at all times is critically important. In fact, if you folded every time you didn't have a chance to scoop, you probably would not be giving up much profit.
Why? Because scooping is MUCH more profitable than splitting the pot. You might think "win half the pot is good, winning the whole pot is twice as good" - but you'd be wrong. Winning the whole pot is usually 2-3x as good, and sometimes as much as 6-7x as good. This is because when you split the pot, you must share half of every bet you yourself put into the pot. Think of the money you put into the pot from preflop to the river as your fixed cost of entry, sort of like someone paying your entry fee to a poker tournament. Think of the money you can win as your total profit, except that you have to pay back your friend who paid the entry fee for you. Let's say the tourney cost $5 to enter. If you win $6 in prize money, your profit is $1. But if you win $9 in prize money, your profit is $4. So your profit goes up enormously if you can maximize your win PER HAND.
Let's take a simple example. You're the button in a pretty tight game. The cutoff seat immediately to your right bets and you call. The small blind calls and the big blind folds. So there are 7 small bets in the pot. On the flop, the cutoff bets, you call, and SB folds, so there are 9 small bets in the pot. On the turn those 9 small bets equal 4.5 big bets, and cutoff bets and you call so there are 6.5 big bets in the pot. On the river, cutoff bets and you call so there are now 8.5 big bets in the pot. So if you scoop, you win 8.5 big bets, and if you get half, you win 4.25 bets.. Now of those 8.5 big bets in the pot, you put in 2 small bets preflop, 1 small bet on the flop, 1 big bet on the turn and 1 more on the river. That's a total of 3.5 big bets.
So, let's recap:
- If you scoop, you win 8.5 big bets, minus the 3.5 big bets you put in yourself, for a profit of 5.0 big bets.
- If you split, you win 4.25 big bets, minus the 3.5 big bets you put in yourself, for a profit of 0.75 big bets.
That is a HUGE difference! In that example, scooping is 6 to 7 times more profitable than splitting the pot!!!