WMGSD: Dramaha 49 (5 Viewers)

MrCatPants

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Per my other thread, going to start an open discussion thread a week on a new mixed game for people to openly discuss strategy points - the 'weekly mixed game strategy discussion" or WMGSD.

These games have different aspects than Hold'em and PLO, and so looking to generate a thoughtful discussion on strategy points like starting hands, hand strength, and other key aspects of these mixed games. Each week I'll start the discussion with an overview of the game (and it's known/common subvariants) and some of my observations based on limited play to get the discussion started.

This week, let's explore one of the many Dramaha variants: Dramaha 49.

About the game:

Sequence: All Dramaha variants follow a similar structure. Players are dealt 5 (standard variants) cards, and there is a pre-flop betting round. After the flop there is a second betting round. Players still involved in the hand then choose 0-x (x being dependent on the player count and variant being played) cards to discard and draw additional cards. They declare their number of cards to be drawn in normal betting sequence for the hand, and then are dealt the appropriate number of replacement cards. The turn card is dealt immediately and a third betting round commences. Then the river card, and a fourth and final betting round.

Winning Hands: Dramaha 49 is a split pot game - there is no qualified so it is guaranteed to be split. Half the pot goes to the best omaha hi hand (2 from your hand, 3 from the board) and half the pot goes to the highest numbers of pips (numeric rank of the cards). (a 6 is worth 6, an ace is worth 1, a jack is worth 0, etc.) in your closed 5 card hand.

Variants: There are variants based on the number of cards you can draw during the drawing phase, and also some six card variants. The most common is Draw2maha 49 which limits drawing cards to up to 2 per player. This game is usually played pot limit but can be played fixed limit or no limit.

Mr. Cat Pants' Observations (please debate these if you disagree):
  • Of important note is that the pot is ALWAYS split (versus hi-lo games where there is generally a 60% chance of a low being possible, and a slightly lower chance of someone actually making a low). You play split pot games for scoops generally to play them well, and to me this means strong starting hand selection (high pip count) is even more critical in this game than it is in other poker games.
  • It is rare circumstances where the pips side of the pot will be won with a value of less than 30. Generally, pips winning hands are mid 30s and greater. Accordingly, starters should be hands of 35+ if you are planning to keep all 5 cards, or hands with 30+ if you plan to draw 1, or 25+ if you plan to draw 2. Drawing more than 2 means you really shouldn't be in the hand.
  • Broadway flops (outside of flops like QJT/KQJ that make straights on the bottom end with strong pip cards) are generally going to miss most hands with players who are experienced at the game. And if they hit a hand (e.g. top set, broadway straights, high flush draws) they are likely rolling over on the pips half of the pot.
  • Flops of high pip cards are very dangerous if you don't have the nuts/close to the nuts, as preflop hands should be narrowed to holdings favoring 7s/8s/9s/10s - if the flop comes 10 10 9, and you have an 87x hand - both your straight draw and your pips hands should be in a great deal of trouble against competent opponents
  • Card removal is key for determining where you stand on your pips hand. Hands that get to the upper 30s with mostly 10s and 9s and a low dangler are safer than hands like 7 7 7 8 9.
  • The average card you'll receive on a draw is effectively a 4. Strong hands with a single low pip dangler may not want to risk trading in a 3/4/5 and potentially getting worse.
Mr. Cat Pants' Contemplative Questions
  • On a flop where you have the nut flush draw, and a strong pips hand with the suited ace dangling - should you trade in the ace? What if you have two suited strong pip cards in addition to the ace?
  • If you see a flop cheap, and flop a broadway boat or similarly strong hand using poor pips cards - do you stand pat and bet hard to put opponents in a bad position? Is this a check call situation against multiple strong pip hands that could do the betting for you? Do you trade in your pips cards to potentially get better redraw cards for the high if possible?
  • How strong should your pips hand be preflop to raise/re-raise pre? Same question for action post flop.
 

DrStrange

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This game plays much better fixed limit vs big bet.

As a big bet game, the winners are often nut peddling while searching for a once a session lucky scoop, The weak players are going to get slaughtered,

Not saying it isn't fun. Just that it plays better as a limit game. Be patient, your winners will still get all the money most nights.

Strategy: In big bet style games, fold more than you think is reasonable preflop. same with the flop. If one half of your hand isn't the absolute nut hand or close to it, fold. If you don't have any hope of winning more than half the pot with a lucky turn or river, strongly consider folding.
 

CraigT78

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As a big bet game, the winners are often nut peddling while searching for a once a session lucky scoop, The weak players are going to get slaughtered,
And this is where I learn that the Windy Crest Poker Room is full of weak players ;)

We play this game a lot and it's not nut peddling. Lots of action.
 

Legend5555

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You started with a game in have literal zero experience in. Though in my experience, any 5 card, flop based split pot game, should be player quite tight. Looking to have one side locked out nearly locked with a free roll on the other side.

In most Dramaha games, the draw hand tends to be a more important quality to your starting hand than the Omaha part. And in a game like this where the nut draw hand is basically trash on the Omaha side, the draw hand might even be more important since it's much easier to know how good your draw hand is vs knowing how strong your Omaha hand will be.

Big bet split pot games are generally "terrible" in that the good players are going to just completely slaughter the bad players.
 

Frogzilla

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+1 for playing these limit. Circus big bet sucks, especially when the game is very passive pre so you go to the flop with massive SPR.

Your questions…
If your 49 is nutted dont need the ace flush draw if you have the T especially if a broadway board. And you know where the ace is. If you just have a bluff catcher keep it around

Very rare for me to take inferior draws for deception.

Preflop potting and repotting is quite fun and you want some board coverage. Not quite AFC for me but close
 
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