Top 10 PLO Tips You Should Swear By to Significantly Improve Your Results
Pot Limit Omaha is an exciting game that’s been gaining more and more popularity as of late. Players are looking for alternatives to Texas Hold’em as it’s getting increasingly difficult to find an edge in these games, and PLO represents a great alternative.
If you've been considering a transition as well or have been trying your hand at the game with no success, you've come to the right place.
This article will provide you with 10 PLO tips to swear by, and adopting them should help you see almost immediate improvements in your results.
1. Don’t try to Transfer Hold’em Concepts to PLO
The importance of this tip can’t be overstated. Since most people come into PLO from a Hold’em background, they’ll often try to copy certain ideas and concepts from Hold’em to Omaha at their face value.
This is a very dangerous road to take. Although these two games have some similarities and PLO rules resemble those of Hold’em, these are two entirely different games.
If a certain strategy worked well for you in Hold’em, don’t automatically assume it will work in PLO as well.
2. Pay Attention to Game Selection
One of the main reasons why people turn to PLO is to find softer games. You can definitely find some good games out there, but you need to pay attention to game selection. Don’t just jump into the first seat that opens.
If you’re new to Pot Limit Omaha, getting involved in games with several experienced players will almost certainly cost you money.
If you’re from the US, you should check out USPokersites to find the best rooms offering PLO games before doing anything else.
You can always spend some time observing the tables, check out the average pot size and the number of players to the flop to figure out if a particular game is likely to be good.
3. Learn the Best Omaha Starting Hands by Heart
Figuring out what are the best starting hands in Omaha is an essential step on your path to becoming a good player.
Learning the top 20 or 30 starting hands by heart is the best way to go about it, as it will make your first few sessions much easier.
Check out our article on the best Omaha starting hands for more information. Inside, you won't just find the list of hands but also tips and advice on how to distinguish between good, mediocre, and straight-up bad starting hands in PLO.
4. Avoid Getting Involved With Weak Hands
When you first start playing PLO, it’s easy to fall into the trap of playing too many hands, especially if you’re transitioning from Hold’em.
With four cards to start instead of just two, it may seem like almost every hand is good enough to see the flop with.
However, this couldn't be further from the truth. You should avoid weak hands like the plague and steer clear from them as much as possible.
Hands containing low, disconnected cards belong to the trash category in PLO. These hands have very little potential to flop big, and even when you make a rare nuts on the flop, your hand will be very susceptible to all sorts of turns and rivers.
5. Go for the Nuts
Making a very strong but non-nut hand in PLO is one of the easiest ways to lose a lot of money. This may seem odd if you're used to Hold’em, where hands like the second or third-best flush on a non-paired board will quite frequently win the pot.
In PLO, unless you have the nuts or at least a very good draw to the nuts, you should be very cautious about putting a lot of money in the middle.
For example, if you have a King-high flush and your opponent is forcing the issue, more often than not, they’ll show up with the Ace-high flush to take you to the value town.
6. Never Chase Weak Draws
This tip ties into the previous one. You should never chase weak draws in PLO, especially if you're not even drawing to the nuts.
When you do hit your miracle card and make your hand, you'll still have a hard time extracting enough value from it, as you'll still have to be careful about running into the nuts.
Even when you do have a draw to the best possible hand, but there are only a few outs to make your hand, you shouldn't be risking too much money.
In PLO, you'll often flop huge draws with 12, 13, or even more outs, so there is absolutely no reason to get married to weak draws with just five or six outs.
7. Don't Give Any Free Cards
If you have a strong but vulnerable hand in PLO, you should always protect it by c-betting and raising. For example, if you hold a nut flush, you have the best possible hand, but that can easily change if the board pairs on the turn or the river, especially if you’re up against two or more opponents.
While it’s fine to get tricky in Hold’em every now and again, this isn’t advisable in PLO.
When you know you have the nuts and your opponents are most likely drawing, you have to charge them the maximum and protect your equity.
8. Understand the Strength of Combo Draws
You'll play many big pots in PLO, and often, you'll get your chips in the middle without actually having a made hand.
This is because combo draws are extremely powerful in this game and can often have more equity than fairly strong made hands.
You should understand just how powerful these combo draws are, as they give you chances to hit a straight several different ways, a flush, and sometimes even a full house.
When you have such a powerful draw, you should be willing to put money in the middle and take your chances even if you don’t technically have a made hand.
9. Avoid Bluff Catching
Trying to pick off someone’s bluff in Hold’em is a fairly standard play that you can make every now and again, especially if you have a good read on your opponent.
In PLO, especially on the lower stakes, you should stay away from bluff catching and play your hands in a more straightforward way.
When people bet big into you on the river, they'll usually have the nuts or very close to it. Trying to pick them off with weak hands will not be a winning strategy in the long run, and there are much better spots in which you can make money in this game.
10. Understand That PLO is a High-variance Game
No matter how good you get with time, Pot Limit Omaha will always be a higher variance game than Texas Hold’em.
This is caused mostly by the fact that people see more flops and there is more play, so short-term swings are bigger.
There isn't much you can do to counter this fact other than coming up with a more conservative bankroll management plan. This will ensure you get through any short-term variance unscathed and keep the grind going.