You are here

Pot Limit Omaha Strategy: Advanced PLO Strategy & Actionable Winning Tips

PLO Icon

Welcome to our master article on Pot Limit Omaha strategy! We will uncover the important traits of any Omaha strategy, give general guidelines, and provide links to in-depth resources for further learning.

To start using a winning PLO strategy right away, check out our Pot Limit Omaha From Square One eight-part series that will teach you all you need to know and will give you actionable tips. We definitely recommend reading this from start to finish:

The above links will give you professional advice while in the remainder of this article, we'll cover the basics and the key components of any Omaha strategy. But first things first – where do you go to actually play Omaha poker?

Where to Play Pot Limit Omaha

Here are our top three poker sites that have Omaha. You can visit them and start playing right away:

  1. Ignition Poker – Most players, fastest deposit bonus clearance
  2. Bovada – Pot Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
  3. BetOnline – PLO, PLO8, and NLO8 tournaments every hour

We also have articles about the best poker rooms in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Pot Limit Omaha Game Variations

Black Checkmark

Pot Limit Omaha is, first and foremost, a game in which a player can only bet or raise up to the current size of the pot. This is the betting structure that works best with Omaha poker, so it has become the standard while No Limit games are rare.

Omaha is played with four hole cards and five community cards. There is also a variation of the game in which each player can make an additional “low” hand if he can make one with cards that have face values of eight or lower. That game is called Pot Limit Omaha High-Low Split 8-or-better, or PLO8 for short.

Omaha Isn't Texas Hold'em

Red X

These two poker variants are played very differently even though the only major difference between them is that you have four hole cards in Omaha instead of two in Hold'em. This makes Omaha a game of the nuts as, very often, you'll need to make not just a full house but a good or best full house in order to win the pot. Because of those extra two cards, Omaha has 16,432 starting hand combinations, compared to 169 in Hold'em. That's a ten-fold increase.

Read more in our Omaha vs Hold'em article especially if you're transitioning from Texas Hold'em into Omaha.

Double-Suited Hands are Best

Double-Suited PLO Hand

In Omaha, the best combination of suits for your four hole cards is to have two cards that belong to one suit and two cards that belong to another suit. Having a double-suited hand is the best possible scenario since you have two sets of cards that can potentially make a flush. Any combination of cards is always better if they're double-suited, and any combination is worse than you think if it's not double-suited.

Having a third card of the same suit isn't an improvement as you can only use two cards out of four, and that extra card is actually one less out for your flush. Read more about this in our Omaha starting hands guide and in Part II of our eight-part series.

Importance of Position

Dealer Button

Omaha is meant to be played tight and in position. Bluffs are less common in Omaha than in Texas Hold'em, so it's vital to play in position to gain as much information as possible on your opponents' hands.

This is, of course, just a general rule of thumb and you'll need a more refined skill set to actually make things go your way. Part II of our eight-part strategy guide talks about position and about starting hands.

Game of the Nuts

Four of a KindFull House
FlushStraight

It may take some getting used to if you're a Texas Hold'em player, but the key part of playing Omaha is always having your sights set on the best possible combination in the game. A large part of this is not being married to pairs – even if they're Aces – and focusing on the most powerful hands in poker: straight, flush, full house, four of a kind.

But even then, it's not enough to simply make those hands as one of your opponents is likely to make that hand too. In Omaha, if you don't have the nut flush, someone else does. You're only certain if you have the nuts. Be aware though – what the nuts is changes on every street!

For that reason, a hand should not be considered made until the river card is revealed.

Suited Connectors are Not Enough

Premium PLO Hand

In Texas Hold'em, you can sometimes get by with suited connectors (e.g. QJ suited) and steal the pot. In Omaha this strategy doesn't work – at least not with two suited connectors. If you've got four cards connected in some way, and if your four-card hand is double-suited, then you have the equivalent of suited connectors in Hold'em. For example, J T 9 8 double-suited is ranked as the 8th-best Omaha starting hand. The hand on the picture, K A T J double-suited, isn't too bad either!

Omaha Hi-Lo Strategy

Arrows Pointing Up and Down

Omaha Hi-Lo Split is a variation of Omaha that can have a “low” hand as well as the usual “high” hand. The player must be able to make a five-card “low” hand to qualify. Since a player can only use two of his four hole cards, there must be three “low” community cards on the table for anyone to be able to qualify. The standard is to have the “low” hand consist of cards with face value eight or lower.

This variation of the game further increases the complexity of Omaha, so it should only be played by an already experienced Omaha Hi player.

Omaha Tournament Strategy

Gold

Tournaments are an exciting way to play poker, Omaha included. Tournaments can bring huge paydays for a minimal buy-in if you're good enough or/and lucky enough especially as they attract a lot of casual players who find cash games too scary. Pot Limit Omaha tournaments can be very exciting and very profitable.

This is where you show off all your skills and the strategies you've learned. There isn't a single strategy that works; it must be a combination of the elements we mention and link to in this article.

Omaha Cash Game Strategy

Money Bills

Cash games in poker are a grind since you have to win consistently to make a profit. A lot of regular players play cash games because they hope to find some fish, especially at micro-stakes tables, and exploit them. Cash games get increasingly more difficult as the stakes increase, so in order to make it to the top level, you have to truly be a top player who can beat strong opposition consistently.

This is why it's probably the best choice to avoid cash games at first. In tournaments, you can get by with a streak of somewhat lucky wins and feel the pleasure of advancing far in a tournament. In cash games it's a tug of war between you and other people who are stuck at the same table.

If you are playing a cash game, tighten up, and don't let anyone provoke you to play differently. The usual problem is: Everyone else will be playing like a nit too.

Conclusion

Checklist

Pot Limit Omaha is a game that is supposed to be played tight and in position as you can only be certain to win the pot when you have the nuts. These traits largely dictate the proper strategy to play the game – and that strategy can become really complex.

For an easy guide through Pot Limit Omaha, check out our eight-part series that focuses mostly on postflop betting, which is exactly what you need to be successful in PLO. For advanced strategies that will take more time to implement, check out the best PLO books ever written. These volumes have the potential to make you a masterful player.