Here’s a comprehensive guide to Pot-Limit Omaha. In this article, we will focus on basic theory, the most important aspects of the game, and common mistakes.
Pot-Limit Omaha is currently the second most popular form of poker in the world. Prior to the 2003 poker boom, Omaha was dominated by American cardrooms and was the most popular cash game in many rooms in Europe.
Texas Hold’em, in turn, has become a kind of world poker standard, leaving Pot-Limit Omaha the most popular alternative game. Any important tournament series (WPT, WSOP, LAPT …) is not complete without buy-in Omaha events, from the smallest to the highest professional level.
The features of Omaha make this game more action-packed than regular Hold’em at the same limits.
For the same reason, Omaha is rarely played in No Limit format. Draw based action games require a more advanced structure, which is why it is customary in Omaha to play in Limit or Pot Limit format.
In Hold’em, the first two betting rounds (preflop and flop) are the most important, while in Omaha, preflop is not as important as the flop and turn.
Often, when comparing Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha, the first game is referred to as the “flop game” and the second is described as the “turn game” and “nut game”.
If you have already familiarized yourself with the rules of the game in Omaha, then in this material you will find a more in-depth analysis of the main characteristics of this poker game.
In this article, you will find all the necessary tips that will allow a beginner player to gain the necessary knowledge and confidence when playing Omaha. In other words, you will become “savvy” in this matter instead of playing on the “feel”.
The key skills of a good Pot-Limit Omaha player are:
- Rigorous hand selection (patience / discipline)
- Choosing the right tables (an essential skill for all poker games)
- Discipline (the ability to wait for a good hand and not take risks with the second best hands)
- Ability to read your opponents
- Aggressiveness (the ability to bet and raise with the draws and hands you feel are the best at the moment)
- Tilt immunity
Comparison: Pot-Limit Omaha vs. Texas Hold’em
- In Omaha, players see the flop more often. The difference between premium and marginal hands in Omaha is not as great as in Hold’em. Since PLO is a draw game, suited and connected cards are more powerful than in Hold’em, which makes pocket aces less desirable and powerful.
- More players on the flop increase the average preflop pot size: it is significantly larger than in Hold’em. And the bigger the pot preflop, the bigger the postflop bet, which makes Omaha a bigger game.
- In Omaha, you need a stronger hand to win. In Hold’em, most pots are picked with two pair or weaker hands. In PLO, these hands are not often the best, which means that a made hand should always have a redraw.
- In Omaha, hands are more important, so you have much less room to bluff. If there are three suited cards on the board, then in almost all cases you can assume that someone has a flush. And if you see a paired board, then it is likely that someone has made a full house. In Hold’em, you rarely need to worry about this.
- Since you are constantly dealing with many different draws in Omaha, betting for value becomes more important. If you are unable to maximize profits from situations in which you have maximum equity, then you are unlikely to be able to consistently win PLO.
- Position is important in both games, but for different reasons. In Hold’em, the player in the most advantageous position will win more often, while in Omaha, success depends more on the hand. However, in Omaha, the player in position can control and manipulate the size of the pot.
- It’s harder to exploit tight passive players in Omaha. Since you have limited bluffing opportunities, you cannot effectively pressure these players. It’s different in Hold’em. True, no one says that this is impossible; it’s just much more difficult
Pot-Limit Omaha bets
If you are completely new to Pot-Limit games, then you should definitely understand the differences that arise when comparing to No-Limit games. But before we go directly to the differences, it should be clarified what the Pot-Limit format is.
The maximum Pot-Limit bet is equal to the total amount of the pot, including your call. Hard? Let’s take a look at an example:
Pot: $ 1,000
Max Bet: $ 1,000
Pot: $ 2,000 ($ 1,000 preflop + $ 1,000 pot bet from first player)
Maximum bet: $ 4,000 ($ 1,000 preflop + $ 1,000 bet from first player + $ 1,000 your first bet call. This is $ 3,000, which is the pot raise. If you add $ 1,000 of your call to this $ 1,000, the total bet is $ 4,000)
A version of the Pot-Limit Omaha game.
The alignment is not easy.
Sometimes it is difficult to count all this in your head. If the pot is $ 424 and someone bets $ 68, what is your maximum bet? Don’t waste time doing maths – just say “Sweat” and then you can calmly do the math. First account for your call, then add the total pot with all bets, and then your own bet (if you’re interested, in this case the answer is $ 628).
Remember, if you do not say “Pot” before your bet, it will be considered a “string bet” and such bets are prohibited. In other words, it will be unclear if you are calling or raising. Therefore, always voice your decision.
If you do not want to calculate everything yourself, then ask the dealer about it – what is the pot size or what is the maximum bet.
Hand strength rating
Below you will find a list of the top 30 hands in Pot-Limit Omaha (all of the following hands must be double suited).
Even if these hands are three or four suited, they will still represent serious strength.
This guide contains enough information to enable you to have all the necessary knowledge and skills to start playing Pot-Limit Omaha correctly. But most importantly, now you know some of the features and subtleties of this game.
But, as with any form of poker, there is no better way to learn the game than to experience it yourself. If you want to play at a high level, then now it’s up to you.