Pot Limit Omaha: Close Calls

In Pot Limit Omaha poker games, players are going to see a lot more in the way of flops, turns and rivers than in No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em. In addition to this, your actions before the flop are going to be much less automatic because there are a lot more cards in play and stack size comes into play more in PLO than in almost any other form of poker. While there’s usually a “right” way to play a hand in hold ’em, pot limit Omaha requires knowledge of what defines a “made” hand and draw, along with the occasional whiffed.

Combination hands are much more common on PLO. These are hands that change from street to street in the game. What was close to garbage on the flop may turn into a dynamo come the turn. Hand values tend to run a lot closer to each other in Pot Limit Omaha. For instance, hands are very rarely more than a 60% favorite before the flop, but in Texas Hold ‘Em, you can be higher than an 82% favorite if you’re holding AA and they’ve been dealt AK.

If you’re out of position at a Pot Limit Omaha table and you’re not sure of your cards and whether they cross the threshold of what does and doesn’t make a favorite, it can be very difficult to make your next decision. Do you three-bet or just flat call? If there are a pair and a flush draw on the flop, but the flush is only the Jack High flush, should you call or raise? These are just two ways in which the nature of Omaha poker makes the “right” call much more elusive.

Most of the time, close decisions in PLO arise because the real difference between checking and betting when you’re in position run very close together and knowing what to do can get much more difficult as the pot gets bigger. It’s not at all uncommon to find yourself with a hand you think is the best but you can’t quite commit to: something like holding top and bottom pair. With Omaha poker, it’s much more common for your opponents to have big draws. Pot Limit Omaha requires that players keep their head in the game, period.

All of these factors mean that it’s much, much harder to multi-table in Pot Limit Omaha and even the best online poker players will usually stick to four or less. If you’re new to the game, I recommend avoiding multi-tabling entirely and even if you’ve been playing for a while, I can’t imagine playing at more than two tables at the same time for a very long while.