General Pot Limit Omaha Strategy

A lot of poker players around the world are starting to sit down for a game of Pot Limit Omaha. While players from North America are just starting to get interested in the game Pot Limit Omaha has been popular in Europe for quite a while.

The reason pot limit Omaha is becoming a favorite among players is you don’t need to have a lot of experience at the felts to get a big win.

A larger bankroll is often needed however when you play pot limit Omaha since it usually has higher variance than Holdem.

So let’s get started on learning the game but make sure to practice the skills you are about to learn before you hit the big time.

If you play Hold’em you might think that playing pot limit Omaha is similar but it’s not, there are big differences between the two variations. When you play Hold’em you will notice that you get called often by people with second best hands.

The reason you get called often is because players rarely hold the nuts in Hold’em, if players tended to fold their non nut hands they would end up being a loser in the end as you have to call or bet the hands that are not so great to come out on top in the end.

But you don’t want to call with the same type of hands when playing pot limit Omaha as you will soon find out that players here are holding the nuts and they want the other players to become calling stations. So don’t keep calling bets if you don’t have a good hand because your hand isn’t going to mysteriously become great but your chips will disappear.

So for instance if the flop brings a Q and 10 of Spades and a 9 of Diamonds then the player holding AAQJ should fold their hand to a strong bet. Now for those that play Hold’em this might not sound right but in pot limit Omaha your Aces aren’t good enough. There is a very slim chance that the Aces are the best hand and probably wouldn’t hold even if they were.

When playing Pot Limit Omaha you have to build the nut hand and keep your position. Building the best hand is an obvious goal in poker but not as easy as it seems. Hands are strong in pot limit Omaha so you need to be able to hold the best hand. Also you will find that a lot of hands in Pot Limit Omaha don’t go to a showdown and when they do it us likely that one player is holding the nuts or was trying to draw the nuts.

When two players are holding strong hands against each other generally one has the strongest hand and the other player has a near nut hand. So the board reads AQ544 one player could hold AA and the other might be holding QQ. So if the player holding QQ were to call a large bet this would be a foolish move to make in pot limit Omaha.

You need to start building the strongest hand from your hand selection, in order to have the best hand you need hands that coordinate well with themselves. When the board is dealt you want to be able to get the strongest hand in multiple ways you don’t want to just go after a flush.

This means you want cards that can build a straight, flush or a big full house. So if your straight becomes vulnerable to a flush you might still have a full house draw. You don’t want a hand that could become the second best hand.

If you don’t coordinate your hand well in the beginning it could still hit on the flop but then be easily outdrawn on further streets and you will have very little chances of redrawing again to the best hand.

So when you evaluate you preflop Omaha hand keep this in mind. High pocket pairs are good because there is a chance of hitting a full house. But if you don’t hit a set to go with your large pocket pair the pair will basically be worthless later on in the game.

Try to connect your cards, for instance a hand with J, 10, 9, 8 is a good hand to hold because you have multiple ways to hit a straight. Hands with only two connectors like Q, J, 4, 5 aren’t that good because you won’t be able to build many multi-way straight possibilities with those cards and you can’t connect QJ45 either.

When your dealt suited cards don’t get too confident as they won’t hold up on their own and you still need to build the nut hand. For instance one can call and draw to an Ace high flush but drawing with a non flush could turn out bad. Holding non Ace suited cards is only helpful for redraws, multiple draws or back door flush draws. You should never draw to just a flush that isn’t a nut flush.

Low to mid pocket pairs are worthless, they might now seem like it but they are. If you’re holding 5588 and hit a set your hand could still lose easily to a higher set, straight or a flush. This is a hand to fold because overall its chances at staying strong are slim.

You also need to pay attention to your position for several reasons. If you are in early position you will always to bet your hand for example if the board is 567 and your holding 899A you need to bet. Someone else could easily draw a stronger hand like a full house or a flush or even a higher straight.

Because of the need to bet the players in early positions tend to give away their hands while players in late position can bluff their way to pots because their reasonably certain that the people in early positions do not have a hand.

Also another good thing for players in late position is that they can sometimes get extremely nice free cards.