PLO or Pot-Limit Omaha is the second most popular poker format in the world. Instead of 2 hole cards, players have 4 hole cards. Additionally, they need to form the best hand together with 5 community cards by using exactly 2 cards from their hand. Omaha is known for the excitement and action it offers to the players, which is why it has grown a lot in the last few years.
The skill differences between players tend to be a lot bigger in Omaha compared to No-Limit Hold’em. Many players want to see the flop in Omaha and chase weak draws. With a few simple strategies, you can start winning at the low stakes tables!
Before trying out a new game, it’s best to consider advice from expert players. We sought out the best PLO experts to give you the best tips for succeeding at the tables. To get to this goal, we contacted poker professionals from Beasts Of Poker to share some of the strategies they use for winning consistently. Here are the top 4 essential tips they shared:
Play mostly premium rundowns & big suited pairs
For a player trying out Omaha for the first time, it can be really difficult to figure which hands are playable. Thus, it’s best to stick to premium hands that are playable from almost all positions. With card advantage, you can overcome the skill advantage more experienced players have on you.
Premium hands include the following hands:
- Aces with other big pairs, for example AATT
- A-A-J-T, A-A-T-9 with one nut-suit
- Double suited Aces with any two cards
- Double suited 8-9-10-J
- Double suited K-Q-J-T
- Double suited Big pair combos like K-K-Q-Q and Q-Q-J-J
- Other double suited combos containing high straight and flush cards like Q-Q-J-T and J-J-T-9
As you can notice, premium hands have multiple ways to hit the flop big: Hitting the highest set (three of a kind with your pocket pair), a straight or a big flush draw to go with a big pair. This kind of hands will often make the best possible five-card hand.
Play aggressively in position
In PLO, no starting hand is a very big favorite to win against any four cards. For this reason, having the position becomes very important in PLO, much more so than in No-Limit Hold’em. You can see what your opponent does first and how he reacts to the flop, the turn or the river card.
You can get other players to fold their marginal hands by betting and raising on the button. You can also control the size of the pot more easily. For example, if you’re on the button and flop a nut straight, you can make sure at least one bet goes into the pot on each betting round. If you were out of position (like after calling a raise from the Big Blind), your opponent might check behind if you check to him.
Don’t go broke with small flushes or straights
In PLO, there’s a big chance your baby flush draws are dominated by bigger flush draws. If you chase this type of draws regularly, it’s hard to win at PLO in the long run. In Hold’em, it’s bad luck if you lose with a smaller flush to a bigger one – in Omaha, this can be considered bad play!
PLO favors players who have the patience to wait for huge hands that can dominate your opponent’s hand. This is a very crucial concept especially if you’re playing a 9-handed or 8-handed table, which is often the case in live poker. When the pot is multiway, you shouldn’t risk your stack on a draw that doesn’t make the best possible hand even if you hit your draw.
Every hand is a drawing hand in Omaha
A new player might get pretty excited for being deal A-A-x-x as their starting hand. With pockets aces, you’re not that big of a favorite to win the hand though. Many times you have to make tough folds on the flop or the turn with your unimproved aces.
There’s a good rule of thumb though about committing with Aces before the flop. If you’re able to raise at least half of your stack in before the flop, you can profitably commit to going all-in on the flop. For example, let’s say you’re playing with a 100 USD stack and manage to put 50 USD into the pot pre-flop against one player. Now you can go all-in on the flop without worrying about what cards are going to land.
Lastly, PLO is a game of big draws and a lot of fluctuations. You can’t win every pot even if you have the best possible draw, but you can ensure you have an edge against other players by sticking to premium hands.
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