If you are even the least bit familiar with internet poker, you know what a freeroll is, or at least you know what most people think of when they hear freeroll. The most common definition for freeroll is a tournament that you can win real money in that doesn’t have a buy in. There is, however, a different definition as well. It happens in many variations of poker, but most often it takes place in Omaha/8.
Free rolling an opponent is when you have the best hand, often in a tie, but have a chance to improve while your opponent does not. In these rare cases, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. On the other hand, you need to avoid being on the wrong end of this situation as often as possible. Here is an example in Omaha/8 to make this a little easier to understand.
With a flop of Jc Qc 8d, you have 9s Tc Ac 2d and your opponent has 9h Ts 2h 3c. Both of you have the best possible hand with a straight. You however, have a chance to improve to a better hand with any K or Club, and your opponent can’t. In this situation you want to get as much money in the pot as possible. This can be extremely profitable in a pot limit Omaha/8 game.
For this same reason, if you are the other player, the best option is to restrain your betting to some degree until the river. You should still bet, because you don’t know what your opponent has, but if he or she shows aggression, you should just call on the flop and turn to make sure you don’t get burnt too badly.
Though these situations only happen occasionally, the way to set yourself up to be in them starts with your starting hand selection. Concentrate on starting hands that have suited cards and cards close together in rank. These are the types of starting hands that can give you redraws to better hands and let you freeroll your opponents.
Keep an eye out for these types of freerolls, and until next week, good luck at the tables!