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Pot Limit Omaha High Strategy

Pot Limit Omaha is an exciting game of draws and re-draws. The nature of the betting structure means that there can be large increases in the pot from one round to the next. It is a game where it pays to be drawing only to the very best hands. Pot limit Omaha is a flop game – there are no hands which are large favorites before the flop. This should be the basis of your strategy.

With each player dealt 4 hole cards the number of possible hand combinations using exactly 2 from your hand and 3 from the 5-card board are huge. The key to Pot Limit Omaha strategy is to play hands with cards which work well together. This increases the number of ways in which you can hit the flop.

For example K-K-2-8 of 4 suits really needs to flop a King to continue with the hand. The chances of this are approximately 1 in 8. Holding 10-J-Q-K double suited is a different matter completely. There are many potential straights and flushes available and a 2-pair flop can become a full house on the turn. With cards which work together the potential to take a big pot dramatically increases.

Raising before the flop in pot limit Omaha needs to be balanced. If you only ever raise with premium hands such as A-A-K-Q double suited then observant opponents will quickly catch on. Pot limit betting means that they will often call the small initial bet with hands such as 6-7-8-9 or 5-5-J-J. If opponents with these hands improve they will be in a strong position to take your entire stack as the size of bets increases on the flop, turn and river. You must balance your play by raising a variety of holdings and be ready to fold premium starting hands which miss the flop completely if there is heavy betting action ahead.

Your table position is more important in pot limit Omaha than in many other forms of poker. Acting last after the flop enables you to take a free card or to bet after your opponents have already shown weakness by checking to you. It also allows you to control the size of the pot – keeping the betting small with hands such as a low straight on a 2-flush flop or moving to build a pot with a nut hand. Your strategy can involve playing more hands from the button position than from early position or the blinds.

The most common match up in pot limit Omaha is between a made hand such as trips and a nut straight or flush draw after the flop. While the made hand is often a favorite to win this is not always the case. A player holding a straight and flush draw is favored over trips with 2 cards to come. Trips are also very vulnerable to several opponents holding different draws. Again your table position becomes important. You may have the opportunity to make a large re-raise to drive a drawing opponent out from late position. If you are in early position those players behind you can simply call your small bet and try to improve their hands.

Bluffing is less common in pot limit Omaha than in games such as Holdem. The pot-limit betting structure gives opponents with strong draws a good price to call. The 4 card holdings also mean that the chances of an opponent hitting the flop hard enough to continue are increased. Bluffing from late position on a single suit or paired board after the flop can be profitable against the right opponents. Those who missed the flop entirely are not likely to call bets on ‘scary’ boards. If you encounter resistance with such a bluff it is advisable to shut down immediately – check and then fold on the turn if your opponent bets – unless you have a nut draw yourself.

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