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Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low Myths

Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo sometimes called Pot Limit Omaha 8-or better is an increasingly popular poker variation. At showdown the pot is split between the best high hand and best low hand. High hands follow the standard poker hand rankings while the low is made of the lowers 5 different cards 8 or lower. It is thus possible for several players with 4 hole cards to be chasing different high and low combinations after the flop.

There are many myths associated with pot Limit Omaha hi-low this article looks at 4 common ones and explains them.
Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low Myth #1 PLO8 is a very complicated game.

Sure the different hand combinations from 2 or your 4 hole cards and 3 cards from the board make the game feel complex for the beginner. However the heart of the game is in fact very simple. The basis is that your objective in every hand is to scoop’ the entire pot. That is to win both the high and the low sides. This is done in 2 ways, either you use different combinations of cards from your hand and the board to make separate high and low hands, or you take the high side of the pot where no low hand is made.

While the game does have some complexities the rules are actually very simple. The 2 from your hand and 3 from the board for each of the high and low combinations can use the either the same cards or different ones. You do not have to know the odds and outs for every possible combination simply look for the nuts for each of the high and low hands and compare this to your current holding.
Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low Myth #2 Play Only Hands Containing An Ace

While this is a good rule of thumb for beginners you will find yourself losing much value from low hands such as 2-3-5-K by following this rule. The problem with only playing hands with aces is that an ace will hit the board fairly often this may give an opponent with the other low cards the winning low. At the same time your pair of aces will not often win the high side of the pot without some kind of improvement.

The starting hand requirements in Pot Limit Omaha hi-low are important, but folding every hand not containing an ace will often leave you wishing you had entered that pot!
Pot Limit Omaha hi-Low Myth #3 High-Only Hands are Junk

The myth here is that high only hands, for example K-K-J-10 will lose you money and should be folded pre-flop. The fact is that 30% of the time there will be no low hand possible on the board and the winning high hand will scoop the entire pot. While you need to be careful to avoid boards with possible straights and flushes, high-only hands do have some value in Pot Limit Omaha hi-low. The relatively small bet sizes pre-flop mean that for a small investment you can possibly scoop a large pot later. The best time to play high-only hands is from late position at the table where there is less chance of a big raise from a player behind you.
Pot Limit Omaha hi-Low Myth #4 Impossible to Avoid Being Quartered

Being quartered in pot Limit Omaha hi-low usually happens when you share the low half of the pot with another opponent while someone else takes the high side. This means that you are getting back half of all the bets you invest in that pot a negative return. The myth here is that it is difficult to spot such situations in advance and that this is a hazard of the game’.

Your opponents are likely to favor low cards pre-flop. This means that on any low-flop you need to have some backup to avoid being counterfeited. For example you hold A-2-9-K and the flop comes 3-6-8, you hold the nut low at this point but the likelihood is that one of your opponents holds the same. Here you need to control the size of the pot and even consider folding if the action bets too heavy in front of you. In addition to only having a quarter-pot stake in this hand you have no way of making a high hand and an ace or 2 on the turn or river could actually give you the 2 nd best low.

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