Pot Limit Omaha Poker Strategy
Omaha Poker vs. Texas Hold'em
As in Texas Hold'em, the nut hand in Omaha poker is very simple to read. If he board is showing 458J2 off-suit, the nut hand is 67. With typically 9 players at an Omaha table, most of the cards in the deck are in play so you have to be careful when not playing out the best possible hand. Omaha is not like Holdem as far as good hands go. In Holdem the board may be 458J2; if you are holding J8 for 2 pair you feel comfortable betting a lot on this hand. However, in Omaha the possibility of someone having the nut straight is MUCH greater since everyone is starting with 4 hole cards compared to 2 hole cards in Hold'em. When I am playing PL (pot limit) Omaha I love when a Hold'em player sits at my game and starts betting his pairs when the board is showing a straight or a flush - it's like easy money coming my way if I am holding the top hand.
Omaha Poker Starting Hands
My favorite kinds of Omaha poker starting hands are hands like 6789 (suited really doesn't matter here, if a flush flops you have the low end of it and will probably get beaten unless you hit a straight flush). Hands like this give you a lot of straight possibilities, 34567, 45678, 56789, 678910, and 8910JQ. Also hands like AAKK, or QQKK, double pairs on the start are ok, even better if they are suited.
Most players max raise pre-flop when they are dealt AA in their hand, no matter what they have with it. I am against this play... maybe a little raise to push the garbage hands out of the pot, but max raise- no. Max raising aces is another example of "Hold em play in Omaha" and doesn't do much good unless you flop an ace to go with it. It is ok to max raise the AA if you are holding something like AAk10 and one of your aces is suited with one of your other cards, or even double suited. This way you are going into the flop with a lot of different hand making possibilities.
Omaha Poker Strategies for the Max Raise Button
When is it okay to let loose with the max raise button when you are playing Omaha poker online? As always, max betting is ok when you have the best hand. Another useful strategy for max raising is that it can also be used to push people out of a pot when you think you have the best hand and don't want someone to out-draw you. Putting a chunk of someone's stack on the line may make them rethink chasing to make a hand.
When you flop a nut hand in Pot Limit Omaha and want to slow-play in order to trap your opponents into betting into you, be careful, especially if the nut hand is a straight or a flush. You don't want to let 2 pair turn into a full house because you checked the flop. If you want to try to trap someone, you can light bet on the flop. If the turn shows nothing scary, this is where I would max it. If they are holding the lesser straight or flush, this may trick them into calling you since you didn't bet very much on the flop. This also might scare the full house chasers out of the pot.
Betting with the Nuts in Your Hand
In Pot Limit Omaha, what you bet and when is how players put you on a hand. If you mix it up by betting different amounts in same situations, one time you may have the nuts and bet max, where at another time you may have the nuts and bet only a little in order to extract as much money as you can from your opponent. This will confuse your opponents and help you make the most money on your winning hands.
Learning to Play Pot Limit Omaha Poker
If you are new to this game and want to learn to play Pot Limit Omaha poker, I suggest sitting at a low limit table to get the feel of it and to try out some of your strategies. PokerStars offers $0.01/0.02 PL Omaha, with a minimum buy-in of $1.00. These games are a really fun, cheap way to learn the game and maybe win a few bucks. One time I sat with my very last dollar, and after playing for 2 hours I left the table with $38.00 - not bad for a buck!
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