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Poker Essentials

Learn the Basic Rules of Pot Limit Omaha

Pot Limit Omaha or PLO is considered the second most common form when it comes to poker before NLHE or No Limit Hold’em. Well, it existed back in cardrooms of brick and mortar as well as casinos. 

However, from there, this game became popular throughout the time, also with increased exposure of the cash games high stakes battles in the mid-2000s ‘Full Tilt Poker.’ This features Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Viktor Blom, Patrol Antonius and Phil Galfond.

To understand how to play the PLO, it is crucial to understand the rules first. Well to know that, here is what can help. 

POT Limit Omaha Rules To Know 

To start, let’s quickly go through the all-important poker rules to play Omaha. 

Since the game is quite similar to Texas Hold’em in different aspects. A lot of players start to play the game straight without having the complete information and rules of the game. 

Here is a simple breakdown of crucial important pointers you need to know when you are going to play PLO: 

  • To play the game, four-hole cards are needed instead of two.
  • Players are required to have always two of hole cards to make a hand ( its different than NLHE where  players can use one or none )
  • This game is played in pot limit format,  which means the pot size determines maximizing the size bet.
  • PLO uses a similar poker hand ranking as there is no limit texas hold’em

Along with these, there are different details that you require to understand, however, these basic rules are similar to how you play Hold’em, it includes : 

  • This game is played using small and big blinds.
  • The community card games have a flop, turn, and river. 
  • To win the pot, you have to get the best hand at the showdown. In a tie, the pot will be split among the players equally. 

To play PLO poker, there are certain fixed rules as well including: 

  • Same cards can be used for declaring Hi and Lo in Omaha pocket games. It means an individual can win both hi and Lo Omaha pot.
  • In case of no low hands, the complete pot will be won by the player with the highest poker hand ranking in Omaha.
  • Under the rules for Pot Limit Omaha, the flop card values should be less than 9.
  • To qualify as a low Omaha poker hand, the card’s value should be equal to or less than 8, 7, 6, 5, 4.
  • Flushes and Straight can be used but only in hi-pot limit poker, not when the lowest ranking hand is counting. 

What Are Omaha Poker Rules To Play The Game?

To play Omaha poker, some basic rules are included such as : 

  • To play this, you need to start with 52 cards deck.
  • Before you get the cards, all the players are required to bet some amount in this pot.
  • Well, players are free to bet maximum size, for example, if the pot contains INR100,  then you can fold, call or either raise the amount. The maximum can be INR 100 in this case. But there is no limitation in No Limit Omaha when it comes to betting. You can set a limit while you play the Fixed Limit Omaha. 
  • To win a chip here, here you get two different ways. The first is to have the best hand at the time of the showdown. The second way is that all players fold their hands to leave you the only player left in the pot. 
  • The first step is to choose the dealer as you have to draw the highest card ( the highest you get is Ace)when all players are in the face-up position.
  • In a situation of a tie between two, either they have to choose a dealer depending on suit or deal using a second card. 
  • The blind must be posted by two players who are to the left of the dealer.
  • The small blind will be placed out by the player directly to the left of the dealers. But the big blind will be put by the player directly to the left of the small blind. 
  • Now the dealer can deal with the cards after the blinds are set. Each player gets one card at a time until they all have four cards.
  • Betting action will go clockwise around the players.
  • Next is preflop which is the first betting round. Here players have their turn to act, and all those who haven’t folded will have to put in the same amount of money and the betting round is done.
  • Once the betting round is done, the flop will be there and every hand that reaches the showdown in the community card game has five community cards in total. The first three out of five will make the flop. 
  • When flop betting is done, the player discards all the top cards with him and the round is over. Here all the participants have matched their preceding bets and surrendered their hands. The dealer then discards one last face-down card,  this follows the final card face-up to the deal with their final community card. This includes the last betting round that starts after the fifth card. 
  • Here all live players join the showdown once the river (fifth community card) betting round is done. The idea of a showdown is extremely simple, the player who has the better hand wins the plot. 

What Are The Preflop Omaha Poker Rules?

The player is offered four-hole cards and face-down cards to either fold, call, or raise the pre-flop blinds. The betting can start from the person to the left of the big blind. 

Bling Blind And Small Blinds 

A small blind can be the fixed better amount which players seated to the left next to the Dealer button position in order to pay for behind the pre-flop and in different variations of Omaha poker. 

Actions In Variations Of Omaha Poker 

There are different actions that are included in Omaha Poker. It includes : 

  • Call –  this matches the current bet 
  • Raise – Increasing the current bet amount which is placed by the player previously.
  • Check: Pass the betting action to the player who is next as it is according to PLO poker rules. This can be used when there is no bet placed in the current round of betting. 
  • Fold –  Give your cards to the dealer and exit the current hand, here you lose any money you have put it in the pot. 

The Flop

According to the rules, the flop is considered the first three community cards which are revealed to the players on board. These help the players to get the best poker hand ranking in combination. 

Under the rules for playing Omaha poker, here you will learn to conduct the second round which is wagering clockwise from the dealer. 

The Turn 

Omaha poker rules say that once everyone acted on the flop dealers then distribute the 4th community card to players. 

According to all poker strategies that you get, this is the second last card for combating the bad poker hands into the hood. 

It can help you in turning your chances into winning if you know how to use the stage right. 

The River

The river is the last community that gets offered to players when they are playing in power. Here they do the final betting round from the left of the dealer. 


Well according to poker rules, if there is more than one player who still hasn’t folded their cards yet. They will lead to the showdown. 

They will sit clockwise from the dealer and start showing their cards. The person who has the best poker hands ranking will win the game. 

What Are The Specific Pot Limit Omaha Rules To Know? 

There are quite similar similarities between Pot Limit Omaha and Hold’em. A Lot of times people jump right into playing the game without understanding. 

Well, you need to understand the crucial difference between both. It includes : 

The first and most significant difference that you should be knowing is that you compulsorily need to use the two cards from hand, players get confused about these.

To understand, the example that you can consider:

Take a board run out that includes Ah Kh Jh Qs 5h

When you play Hold’em, any heart in hand gives flush whereas any ten gives a straight. 

But when you are playing PLO, if you have 10h 10d 6s 7d, your best in hand is a pair of ten. Well it is because : 

  • Here using only one hole card for making straight is not allowed, so 10 is not going to help. You need another card for straight making such as A, a 9, or any picture card along with ten.
  • Here you can’t use your single card for making a flush, so using 10h in this context is relevant. For making a flush, you are going to need another heart. 

This is the most common mistake players make when they are going for PLO. 

Here they think they have flush but they have a single card of relevant suit or claim a straight using one card only. 

This might take time to get used to, but the important point is to understand the rules before you start playing poker. 

What Can Help In Winning Pot Limit Omaha?

Once you are aware of the rules which are needed to follow when you play PLO, it will make the game easier to understand and to win. 

There is no doubt that Pot Omaha Poker is complex to play, this makes it difficult to come up with something that can help in winning.

There are some basic pointers that you should be remembering as they will work as a solid plot when you are aiming to win. 

And it includes : 

1. Make Sure You Are Being Patient 

When you are going for PLO, the first thing you should be paying attention to is being patient. Especially when you start the hand selection. 

Make sure you are not falling into the trap of thinking that having any four cards is going to be worth it. 

2. Bare Pair Of Aces Is Not Good Enough 

Having a bare pair of aces is not good as it is in hold’em. Two aces can help in forming a strong preflop hand when you are playing PLO poker. 

But unless they are improving on a flop, here you have no great chance to win a pot especially when it’s a multi-play contest. 

3. No Less Bluffing

While there are occurrences of bluffing, it is much less prevalent in most players who are playing with PLO strategy than in hold ’em. It shows off the strength that it has the strong hand in PLO. 

4. Draw To Nuts 

Although there might be times when weaker draw can be played aggressively, in such situations it’s best to go with drawing to nuts. 

5. Get Differences Straight 

When you are playing PLO, ist important that you think like a PLO player. There are many players who come from the background of hold’em and play games. But here they will overvalue their one pair and to pair hand as well as open-ended straight draws. 

This is important to stop thinking like a hold’em player and start playing Omaha poker. 


Pot Limit Omaha poker is indeed an exciting game, where you create the big pots and see players making big hands.  Well as exciting as this game is, you need to also focus on having a larger bankroll as compared to hold’em variation. 

Also learning how to play PLO can be done by reading, so make sure to try out the online apps and platforms like Pocket52

You are bound to make mistakes, especially on the first try, so don’t get frustrated. And keep learning and playing to be a better PLO player 

Also Read: Pot Limit Omaha Strategy & Tips


1. What are the rules in Omaha Poker? 

Well, the rules are quite simple to learn especially for those who just started as beginners.  Each player gets four hole face-up cards along with five community cards. Out of which the five highest poker cards use compulsory two-hole cards and three community cards.

2. What is the difference between Texas Hold’em and Omaha?

In Omaha, players get 4 to 5-hole cards depending on their variant which they require to combine with three community cards in order to achieve the best poker hand ranking.
But in Texas Hold’em player gets 2 hole cards along with 5 community cards for making the five highest-ranking hands out of seven cards. 

3. What is the best starting hand to play Pot Limit Omaha? 

The best starting hand in AAKK is double suited to Ace. However other strong hands include AAQQ double suited, AAJT double suited, and AAJJ double suited. 







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