Introduction to Pot Limit Omaha
Pot Limit Omaha, also known as Omaha Hi or just simply PLO, is one of the most exciting poker games. Expect bigger swings with larger pots and less players folding. Unlike most forms of poker, where once you reach a certain level everyone seems to have a good grasp on the game, you’re always bound to find players who either have no clue what they’re doing or just tilting off their money in Pot Limit Omaha.
Rules and Gameplay
Pot Limit Omaha plays out like holdem, but with a subtle differences that have a huge effect on game-play and strategy. In Omaha, you’re dealt 4 cards instead of 2 and to make a hand you may use 2 of your cards and 3 from the board.
Pot Limit is similar to no limit but instead of having no restrictions, your bet is restricted to the size of the pot. This allows for more play and larger pots, which is what Pot Limit Omaha is all about. It also ads a new element of skill to the game in controlling the pot size.
At first it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the added possibilities that the extra two cards in PLO make. The hands you dream of getting in holdem, like sets, straights, and flushes are common in Omaha. Instead, you should be focusing on getting the absolute nuts or close to it.
Pot Limit Omaha Starting Hands
The best starting hands in Pot Limit Omaha are ones that work well together after the flop. For example, with J-T-9-8 you have the great drawing possibilities of J-T, J-9, J-8, T-9, T-8, and 9-8. But with a hand like Kc-Kd-6s-2s, your only valuable combination is K-K, which is virtually worthless in omaha unless you hit a set.
The best hand in Pot Limit Omaha is Ad-Ac-Jd-Td. It can make the nut full house, several nut straights and two nut flush possibilities. It’s still no more then a 65% favorite against a random hand, but if you make a hand with it after the flop, you’ll know if it’s the best.
Pot Limit Omaha Strategy
If you have a good starting hand, you should raise to build the pot but you don’t want to commit to much of your stack pre-flop. Even the best pre-flop hands can be an underdog in multi-way pots. The value of a good Omaha hand comes into effect after the flop, where you can see all the potential draws and combinations that the flop makes.
Low limit players can usually get away with nut-peddling. Nut-peddlers will sit back, wait for premium hands and only commit significant money to the pot if they have the nuts or a great draw. When combined with multi-tabling, low limit nut-peddlers can actually earn a decent hourly rate.
The higher limit games become more about reading the players, getting a feel of the table, and adjusting your play accordingly. Spot the players who are only playing the nuts or overplaying their hands, take some notes, and capitalize from their mistakes.
And lastly, remember that Pot Limit Omaha is one of the highest variance poker games. Make sure your poker bankroll has some extra cushion so you can push through the swings.