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7 Best Pot Limit Omaha books to make you a better PLO player – Hwang, Okolowitz, Vail and others

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Poker is more popular than ever, with more and more skilled players at every level, so many players are discovering Omaha Hold’em, the pot-limit version specifically, in a quest to find less challenging opposition and a more exciting game. PLO offers a lot of post-flop action and is all about guts, so it’s never boring.

Pot Limit Omaha is a challenging game to master, so if you’re looking for best books on the subject why not check out our eight-part PLO strategy series that covers the topic in detail and is a fast way to learn from the pros?

It covers all aspects of the game, from starting hand selection to post-flop play, so if you want to gain an advantage over less skilled PLO opponents, you shouldn’t miss it.

If you’re also looking for an online site where you can play PLO, check out our list of the best USA poker sites.

And here are the best PLO books for when you have the time to read them in peace. Each book is specific to a certain variant of PLO or a certain type of game, so this article will help you pick the one that’s just right for your needs. Here they are in no particular order:

BEST FOR NOVICE PLAYERS

Big Play Strategy Book Cover

Pot-limit Omaha Poker: The Big Play Strategy – Jeff Hwang, 2008

This book by the legendary Jeff Hwang remains the most complete and thorough discussion about Pot Limit Omaha. 332 expertly written pages cover all aspects of the game in detail, so there’s little doubt that you will become a better PLO player after reading it.

Many PLO players consider this particular book to be a quintessential guide to this variant of poker, and if your opponent has read this book and you haven’t, he will have a serious edge over you. The book advocates tight aggressive play and isn’t dated at all; it’s just that it will help you the most when you’re playing against loose opponents inferior to yourself.

Full ring cash games are the basis for this book, and this applies to both offline and online play. For tournaments, however, other resources will be needed as Mr. Hwang doesn’t cover this in his extremely well-written masterpiece about a beautiful game. It’s a must-read for any aspiring PLO player.

BEST FOR TRANSITIONING FROM TEXAS HOLD’EM

The Pot-Limit Omaha Book Cover

The Pot-Limit Omaha Book: Transitioning from NLHE to PLO – Tri Nguyen, 2012

Among the rare volumes that felt a need to explicitly state that they are, in fact, a book, The Pot-Limit Omaha Book can be considered a very basic guide for a player who’s transitioning from No Limit Texas Hold’em. Players who already know PLO will find some concepts that are simply wrong or aren’t covered in enough detail, so beware: This is to be considered as a simple starting point for an NLHE player who’s looking to get into PLO.

The reason why this 244-page book is on the list is that it deals specifically with the differences between NLHE and PLO. For all practical purposes (as in actually winning in PLO games), Hwang’s “Big Play Strategy” is superior.

You might also want to check out Part I of our Pot Limit Omaha Strategy wherein we explain the fundamentals of the game and the differences from Texas Hold’em.

BEST FOR SHORT STACKING

Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha Book Cover

Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha: How to Win Big, Both Live and Online – Rolf Slotboom, 2006

It would be more appropriate if this book by Rolf Slotboom had something about short stacking in the title since it actually is a guide for short stacking in PLO – and it’s coming from one of the best players who utilizes this strategy.

Whether you want to become a short stacker yourself or want to learn how to recognize one and adjust your strategy accordingly, this is an excellent book that doesn’t show signs of its age at all. It will be most beneficial to intermediate players who already have a sound foundation in PLO concepts.

This book is a very interesting read, and the author claims to have held nothing back. If that’s true, this is 240 pages of everything he knows about short stacking, and you should definitely read it.

BEST FOR INTERMEDIATE PLAYERS

Mastering Pot-Limit Omaha Book Cover

Mastering Pot-Limit Omaha: The Modern Aggressive Approach – Herbert Okolowitz, 2014

Professional poker players, PLO experts, and coaches Herbert Okolowitz and Wladimir Taschner released this 288-page book in 2014 to teach players how to play PLO with an aggressive style. Not only in theory either – the book covers all topics in detail. There are clear guidelines on how to adapt to your opponents and how to read the board texture, so this is an actionable guide for playing PLO with success.

This math-based book is for intermediate to advanced players, so novice players should read the Jeff Hwang book and get some experience before reading this one. “Mastering Pot-Limit Omaha” uses game theory and math to explain the game, so it can be a challenging read, but that’s only a testament to how advanced this book really is. It will definitely help intermediate players who have hit the wall to become advanced players, maybe even more than that.

BEST FOR HI-LO

Scoop! Big O and PLO8 Book Cover

Scoop! Big O and PLO8: Winning High Low Concepts for the Hold’em Mind – Greg Vail, 2018

This book is specific to Big O (Pot Limit Five Card Omaha Hi-Lo) and PLO8 (Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better) variants of Omaha, and it is an excellent choice for improving your Hi-Lo play. Author Greg Vail details the intricacies of the Hi-Lo game on 222 pages and gives plenty of examples to learn from.

This book is a full guide on how to play Omaha Hi-Lo as the author establishes some concepts first and then uses them throughout the book, and as he gradually adds new stuff, the book gets more advanced and starts explaining difficult concepts in an easy-to-read way.

The book will be great for anyone transitioning from No Limit Hold’em or from Omaha games that don’t split the pot. Some readers have complained that the book contains many grammatical errors, but it is nevertheless a can’t-miss title for anyone who wants to improve their Hi-Lo game.

BEST FOR ADVANCED PLAYERS

Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha Volume I Book Cover

Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha Volume I: Small Ball and Short-Handed Play – Jeff Hwang, 2010

Jeff Hwang has outdone himself with his 544-page masterpiece that explains difficult PLO concepts in simple English and helps you bring your strategy to the next level. The author explains the winning concepts of the modern game, and it’s inevitable that a player who reads this book will have a serious edge over players who have not.

The central part of this book is small ball play, and it can be considered a practical guide for actually playing with the big players in important games. After reading this, you’ll have a whole new arsenal of moves that will be useful in any level of play. The book was first released in 2010, and there’s also a 2016 edition.

BEST FOR SHORT-HANDED PLAY

Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha Volume III Book Cover

Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha Volume III: The Short-Handed Workbook – Jeff Hwang, 2010

This book completes the Jeff Hwang four-book series and is the thickest of them all with a whopping 656 pages of PLO strategy, including over 160 full practice hand quizzes. “The Short-Handed Workbook” is obviously all about short-handed play and is designed to help you plug leaks and master this part of the game.

There is also a Volume II about LAG play, which we didn’t mention here as it seems to be the weakest of the four titles. You might be interested to know that Hwang can also teach you about health and happiness through energy manipulation and about becoming a modern baseball card investor. Although – he’s at his best when writing books about Pot Limit Omaha.

Conclusion About PLO Books

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The complex game of Pot Limit Omaha can’t possibly be played without some serious education, and the books listed here are an invaluable resource along with our own Pot Limit Omaha From Square One strategy that will give you answers much faster.

Books by Jeff Hwang are considered to be the best PLO books ever written, so it would be a wise choice to read all four of them at some point in your career. It's also good to read the other books too, just to see how other pro players approach PLO and perhaps come up with some ideas of your own.

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