Pot Limit Omaha Strategy You Didn’t Know About
Poker has several variants, and each variant has a charm and fun of its own. While some basic poker rules remain the same, every variant comes with its own set of challenges and thrills. Every variant needs to be dealt with in a different unique way and requires a unique set of strategies.
Pot Limit Omaha, popularly known as PLO is one of the most exciting variants of poker. Although it is derived and has many similarities as Texas Hold’em, it is important to remember that it is different. This variant has different rules and thus requires one to use special Pot Limit Omaha strategy to ace this variant.
Pot Limit Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em except here the player gets four private cards and must make the best possible hand with compulsorily only of the hole cards and three out of the five community cards displayed on the board. Additionally, as the name suggests, Pot Limit Omaha is played with Pot Limit rules. This implies that the maximum bet a player can place in a given hand depends on the size of the pot. A player cannot bet all of his/her chips as they can in No Limit Hold’em games. Here are some Pot Limit Omaha strategies you did not know about and you can use to ace your game.
10 Pot Limit Omaha strategies you did not know about
1. It is not like No Limit Hold’Em
The first and foremost rule for playing Pot Limit Omaha is to realize that it is not the same as Texas Hold’em. There are a whole lot of differences between the two games when it comes to hands, the strength of starting hands, game theory, approaches, and more things. The most basic being, here, you are dealt with four hole cards against the two cards in Texas Hold’em. While you are allowed to use both or none of your two-hole cards to make the best possible hand in Texas Hold’em, in Pot Limit Omaha, you need to compulsorily use two and only two-hole cards to form the best five cards hand.
Often the majority of players that start playing Pot Limit Omaha poker come from Texas Hold’em. Hence, many a time, players often forget this rule and tend to play the game as a Texas Hold’em one. One should first have a clear difference in mind, that one is playing a Pot Limit Omaha and should adopt the most appropriate strategies in that given situation. Before you get on to playing Pot Limit Omaha, make sure you study the game well.
2. Choose your starting hands wisely
Whether you are playing any variant of poker, it is extremely crucial to know and understand what starting hands to play with under the given situation. This variant offers more range of starting hands one can play with. It is said that there are 16,432 possible combinations one can play with, having four hole cards in your hand and five community ones on board. Hence, you will see many top players focusing on their starting hands.
Study the game before you get started and know what starting hands hold what value. Given the opponents on the table and the stack you have. If you have a good PLO starting hand, play it confidently. If you think you have weak cards, fold! You need to choose your starting hands carefully and stick with those worth playing with.
These are the first cards you get to see and the hand you go on to form in the course of time, will only build on the starting hands. Hence make sure that your starting cards are worth betting your money on. Having an idea and playing the right starting hands can save you from a lot of losses thus saving a lot of money too.
3. Aces Don’t Hold Much Value
The golden rule of Pot Limit Omaha is knowing that aces are not as valuable as they are in Texas Hold’em. Omaha is known to improve the hands with every stage of the game, and hence having a pair of aces pre-flop doesn’t hold much value. Aces preflop doesn’t translate to much strength as there are very low chances that your aces will statistically improve because of the four-hole cards in play.
Usually, players play with a Texas Hold’em mindset and often get misled by the aces. So, don’t let what you’ve learned in Texas Hold’em trick you in Omaha poker when it comes to the strength of aces.
Unless you improve on the flop, you are unlikely to win with a pair of aces in Pot Limit Omaha, especially if the hand is a multi-contested pot.
4. Don’t Be Afraid If Short Stacked
Remember that the poker game is about survival, more than having the biggest stack. You don’t need to freak out and play impulsively of you are short-stacked. As mentioned earlier, there is a possibility of improving the hands with every stage of the game. It means even if you have a short stack, you can still improve your stack by playing good hands and winning pots.
Getting afraid of being a short stack and playing impulsively or with fear, can lead you to play good hands also poorly, thus facing a bad beat and running out of chips faster than expected. Thus, it’s important to know that patience is the key. Have patience and play your best game. You need to take risks whenever necessary and manage your risks wisely.
5. Get the Most of the pot
You could win maximum value from the pot even with a weak hand if you got the right skills and calculation of risks. If you think you have a strong starting hand, you can play wisely and get more people to contribute to the pot, thus increasing your chances of winning a bigger pot.
That does not mean you play aggressively. That may lead to scaring people out of the pot and accumulating a small pot. So always try to make the most of the pot, by withholding bigger bets and playing passively first. You may raise after opponents have raised or contributed to the pot. This will invite a stronger response from the opponents, thus accumulating a bigger pot in the process. Since you have a strong hand, you naturally have better possibilities of scooping the pot, thus adding considerable chips to your stack.
6. Raise or Fold, Avoid Calling
Calling is one of the easiest and most neutral actions to take when you feel like you have an average hand, or event when you have a weak hand. It may be tempting, but many successful Omaha players advise to either raise or fold but not call. This is because if you have a strong hand you want to raise and make the most of the pot. In case you have an average hand, raising lets you take the risk which in turn can lead to you winning the pot. In both these cases, your raise will encourage more players to bet in more money thus fattening the pot for you if you win the hand. If you have a weak hand, simply fold instead of calling. This is because your possibilities of winning are anyways slim, and that risk is not worth taking. Folding will save you from losing the few blinds that you would otherwise waste by calling.
When you call, you pass on the message that you are not confident about your hand and giving them a free opportunity to exploit you. Hence, it is one of the best Pot Limit Omaha strategies to either raise or fold and avoid calling as much as you can.
7. Avoid playing small pairs
Small pairs can do well in Texas Hold’em but rarely win pots in Pot Limit Omaha. If you happen to be dealt with a pair of smaller ranks, there are high chances that your hand will fail at the flop. In rare cases, you could be lucky to flop a set. However, there are always chances of your small pair being beaten by a higher pair or even a higher-ranking hand. Thus, experts suggest, that low-value pairs hold very less or no value at all in the Pot Limit Omaha variant of poker.
This is mainly because in Texas Hold’em only two hole cards are dealt to each player. As against this, in pot Limit, Omaha, each player is dealt with four-hole cards. This means, there are higher possibilities, and easier to be dealt with in pairs, especially when there are more players on the table. It’s likely that every player will already have pairs of different values.
8. Understand your odds and outs
Any poker variant you play, including Pot Limit Omaha, knowing your odds and outs is the most crucial strategy you will ever come across. Study the game well and understand the concepts like odds, outs, equity, and bankroll management. It involves analytical and mathematical skills and can be a little overwhelming at the beginning. However, once you master these, there’s nothing like it.
Odds and outs will help you understand and analyze your possibilities of winning a given hand based on the cards you hold, the cards on the board, and the remaining cards in the deck. This analysis will then help you take the right decisions regarding what actions you should take against what opponents under the given situations. This will also train your mind to think logically and take the most appropriate decisions on the poker table and otherwise.
9. Limit your bluffing
Bluffing is not considered one of the effective strategies when it comes to the Pot Limit Omaha variant of the game. This is because in this variant, players usually play for the strength of their hand So even if you try and bluff, players will keep continuing to play for their hand and not fall for your bluff. Additionally, the possibility of the number of hands also considerably increases, given the four-hole cards, in this format.
In fact, your bluffing can prove fatal if you have some really good players playing against you. Your bluffing strategy could lead to giving out the message that you are a weak and inexperienced player, thus giving your opponents an advantage to exploit you.
But that doesn’t mean you should not bluff at all. Any poker game is incomplete without successful bluffing. However, one should assess the situation and their opponents well before choosing to bluff. Best Pot Limit Omaha players swear by using the bluffing strategy sparingly in the most favorable situations. It is advisable to bluff in Omaha games in the later rounds of betting like on the turn or on the river. Also, the number of players in hand is also a factor to be considered before bluffing. It is easy to bluff one or two players as compared to many.
10. Watch your position
Always watch out for the position you are at in a given hand, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of that position. Your position at the table can greatly influence how you need to act and take well-informed decisions. The late positions usually have the added advantage of knowing how the previous players have acted and then deciding their action. In Pot Limit Omaha, it is advised to play tight when out of position, i.e., in the early and mid-positions. This is because you don’t know how your opponents are going to act. So, always try to bet carefully when out of position.
While playing out of position it is advised not to raise or re-raise preflop. This will saves your bankroll and allow you to play the following rounds of betting after getting an idea of what your opponents are chasing down.
Pot Limit Omaha is an interesting variant of the game that has something new to learn every day. As you learn new and new things, you will have to be flexible to adjust your strategy according to your new learnings and implement them effectively.
So by now, you must have realized that Pot Limit Omaha involves bigger and more valuable hands as well as pots. Always remember, that this format of the game requires a bigger bankroll as compared to Texas Hold’em because there is a closeness when it comes to the strengths of the hand preflop and posts the flop.
In Pot Limit Omaha, if you run well, you will run incredibly well. But it’s the same if you run bad. So always remember to play carefully, manage your risks and be ready to adopt a mix of several strategies at once as per the demand of the game.
Also Read: Pot Limit Omaha Poker Rules
The best Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) strategy is to understand the difference between PLO and Texas Hold’em. Don’t use your Texas Hold’em rules and strategies in PLO. Many players make this mistake and it can prove costly for you.
Your position matters when deciding on your PLO strategy. If you are in the later positions, you have more advantages than the early positions.
In PLO players are mostly playing for the value of their cards, therefore, bluffing is not a good strategy when playing PLO.