Pot Limit Omaha Poker Cash Games Guide - Part 1

Pot Limit Guide - Key Skills, Top Advice, Flops

Pot Limit Omaha is one of the most popular cash poker variations played in casinos across Europe today. It has become quite popular for tournament play as well and there are really big tournaments hosted several times each year.

Omaha is quickly growing in popularity today but is played more in Europe than in the U.S.

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Pot-Limit Omaha requires a great deal of strategy, skill and discipline, and requires that players balance differing concepts simultaneously. You can win by learning to play a solid, tight aggressive style, balancing bluffs and semi-bluffs with good, solid play, and focusing on pre-flop and flop play where the important betting occurs. The game increases in complexity and gets more difficult to analyse at the turn and river. If you play your cards correctly pre-flop and on the flop, you will find yourself in less difficult situations on the turn and river.

As in all forms of poker are b, but there are exceptions to the rules and this must be understood if you want to become a great, winning player. You have to use good judgement when choosing the best action and not every situation will fit any guidelines.

Key Player Skills For Pot-Limit Omaha

• Have patience and discipline and select starting hands carefully
• Selection of the right talbes
• Discipline and the ability to wait for good hands and fold second-best hands
• Ability to read other players
• Courage to bet/raise and play aggressively with draws or perceived best hands
• Ability to avoid going on tilt

Pot-Limit Omaha vs. Texas Hold'em

1. More players see the flop in Omaha and the good starting hands do not have as large an advantage over poor ones. People see more flops and this creates larger pots, making your Omaha decision especially important.

2. A ber hand is required to win at Omaha. The hands that win the pot in Hold'em, such as top pair with top kicker and overpairs, just will not win often in Pot-Limit Omaha.The best Omaha hands are those that are made and have additional value, for example, a top set with a big draw. Someone is always holding the nuts Pot-Limit Omaha.

3. Omaha is a more hand driven game. You can't bluff often in Omaha because there are more players seeing the flopand more combinations of hands that can be built. A pair on the board might indicate a full hours, a flush or straight possibility is probably already made.

4. Giving free cards is bad in Omaha. Pots are normally larger at the flop and it makes sense to go for the pot right there. Also, your hands are more likely to get action because there are many more drawing possibilities. It is also very probable that a free card could just beat you.

5. Position is not very important in Omaha. Although position is important in any poker game, it is less so in Omaha. More players see the flop; it is hard to grab a pot by betting when checked to in last position and the player with the best cards is usually the winner.

6. Tight players are difficult to "bully" in Omaha. In Hold'em, tight players can be bullied out of pots when the flop is all low cards. In Omaha, a tight player can play hands such as 8-7-6-5, J-J-5-4 or 8-8-7-7 with no problem, and that makes it much more difficult to lean on them. You can never be certain they don't have those nuts on a flop while in Hold'em you can frequently be pretty sure the other player doesn't have the nuts.


In Pot-Limit Omaha, you must protect hands with pot-sized bets and raises until you are the overall big favourite. Then, put all your money in the middle. Of course, you have to have the best possible hand and/or draw when all the money goes in. In Pot-Limit, the pots increase rapidly and you must determine the amount you can bet on the turn, if you want to be called on the flop.

There is no reason, in most cases, to bet or raise less than the size of the pot when playing Pot-Limit Omaha. You might in a few situations such as when betting into another player with second-nut flush on the river and a huge pot, or if you want a call on the river and you bet the amount you think your opponent will call. It depends on the player, the scenario, but the vast majority of the time, it is best to bet the amount in the pot..

Pot-Limit Omaha Top Advice

1. Be very selective with your starting hands: nothing is more important than choosing the correct starting hand for a certain situation.

2. Table selection: only play in games where you have an edge. You want at least a couple of weak players at the table when you sit down.

3. Play the players: Assess the other players to learn who plays poor hands, who folds when someone else shows aggression, who bets on draws, who calls bit bets with weak cards, who bets big with poor cards and darws, who bluffs, who can be bluffed.

4. Pump it or dump it: fold or bet/raise when the odds are in your favor. Avoid calling with a good reason such as trapping another player or building better pot odds on a big draw.

5. Respect most big bets and raises: Especially true in Pot-Limit Omaha, most players simply do not bluff.

6. Do not get "hooked on" the nut flush draw: The big difference between drawing to the nut flush in Omana and Hold'em is that in Hold'em you can often win by pairing the Ace or with a flush even if the board shows pairs. This is completely untrue in Omaha.

7. Do not get "hooked on" an eight way straight draw: When playing Omaha, it is possible to flop 13-way, 17-way and 20-way straight draws, so wait until you have one of these before you invest in the pot in a big way.

8. Do not overplay unsuited Aces: When you only have a pair of Aces and two unsuited, unconnected rags, there is not much the flop can provide to improve your hand. If you do not flop an Ace, you will end up losing the hand.

9. Bet your best drawing hands: Put some deception in the game by betting b draws; you'll win some pots with no effort at all.

10. Always draw to the nuts in multi-way pots: When involved in multi-way pots, draw to the nuts. Do not commit your cash with draws that have no added value or you'll get trapped frequently between a set and the nut flush draw, leaving you with nothing but a nut straight draw that, at best, might split the pot.

Pot-Limit Omaha Common Mistakes

1. Never release a decent hand when beat, losing your stack on one hand.
2. Overvaluing the hand, seen often in people changing over from Hold'em.
3. Calling with weak holdings when faced with a bet.
4. Starting too many hands.
5. Failing to raise pre-flop with b hands and failing to pressure players with drawing hands and going too far after the flop.
6. Giving free cards or under-betting the pot, risking a lot to win a little or failing to protect your hand.

General Pre-Flop Advice

It is very important in Pot Limit Omaha to grasp the good starting hands and play those for profit. Not every situation will fit into any guidelines, but the basics are listed here to help you determine whether to play the hand or fold:

1. Is the table tight or loose?
2. How many players are sitting at the table?
3. How many players are in the pot when it is your turn to act?
4. Has the pot been raised? If so, from what player and position?
5. What is your position?

1. At a tight table, consider changing to a different table, however, you can find ways to win at tight games. Generally, you have to play with aggression to do this. That means more pre-flop raising and bluffing. The advantage you hold at this type of table is that you know how other players will act but you will not be using your normal table image, making it harder for them to read you.

2. Play tighter at a full table and looser at a short handed table.

3. If several players are in the pot when you act, you have more information, and can play more hands. Your drawings hands get a better price this way and there is less chance you will be scare players away with a raise.

4. In a raised pot, play hands that are not dominated by the raiser. Here, be extra selective about which hands to play.

5. Your position will affect the hands you play. Play tighter from an early position and add hands as your position improves.

Starting Hands

Starting hand are crucial in Omaha, just as with all poker. Look for is four cards that work together, although many beginners who are moving over from Texas Hold'em fail to realize this. They will play cards that contain only one or two good Hold'em hands. They often overrate hands such as #Js-#Jd-#2c-#7h, believing it is as good as a pair of Jacks in Hold'em - it isn't in Omaha! They misinterpret hands, such as #Ac-#Qd-#8h-#8s, confused because they include two decent Hold'em hands. In this type of hand there are actually badly coordinated combinations, like A-8 and Q-8. As-#Ks-#Ah-#Kh is the best starting hand in Omaha. In this hand, you hold AA, KK and two different combinations of AKs.

Other hands that have four cards working together are hands like #Qs-#Jc-#Ts-#9c, #Ks-#Kc-#Qs-#Jc, #Qs-#Qc-#Js-#Tc, #Js-#Jc-#Ts-#Tc, As-#Ac-#3s-#4c, As-#Ac-#Ks-#Qc, As-#Ac-#Js-#Tc (the second best starting hand), #8s-#7c-#6s-#5c, etc.

You play starting hands that hold both straight, flush and set possibilities. Think of the power of holding the As-#Ac-#Jc-#Ts on a flop of #Ah-#Ks-#Qs, giving you top set, the nut straight, and the nut flush draw. Note that the #Js will also give you a royal flush.

Hand Ranking

Below you will find listed the top 30 starting hands in Pot-Limit Omaha.

All Cards Are Double Suited:

1    A-A-K-K   
2    A-A-J-T   
3    A-A-Q-Q   
4    A-A-J-J    
5    A-A-T-T   
6    A-A-9-9   
7    A-A-x-x   
8    J-T-9-8   
9    K-K-Q-Q  
10  K-K-J-J    
11  K-Q-J-T   
12  K-K-T-T   
13  K-K-A-Q  
14  K-K-A-J   
15  K-K-A-T
16  K-K-Q-J
17  K-K-Q-T
18  K-K-J-T
19  Q-Q-J-J
20  Q-Q-T-T
21  Q-Q-A-K
22  Q-Q-A-J
23  Q-Q-A-T
24  Q-Q-K-J
25  Q-Q-K-T
26  Q-Q-J-T
27  Q-Q-J-9
28  Q-Q-9-9
29  J-J-T-T
30  J-J-T-9

Whether double suited, suited or non-suited, these are VERY b starting hands in Pot-Limit Omaha.

Trap Hands

Trap hands are those which seem very good but can actually give you a second-best hand. These are the types of hands than can cause you to lose your whole stack. There are three types of trap hands in Pot-Limit Omaha:

1. The Small Pair Hands: Hands with pairs below Nines are dangerous in Omaha. If you flop a set it is very hard to get out of the hand and, if a bigger set shows up, you are drawing to only one out. When holding a hand like #6s-#6h-#5s-#4h and the flop comes #Qc-#Jc-#6d, you can get big trouble. Play small pairs is when you are short-stacked; it is not as bad to commit your whole stack if you flop a small set. Or you might play this when you have something like A-A-2-2 or K-K-3-3, in the hopes of flopping the big set. Just remember to think twice before investing with any bottom pair on a flop.

2. Low Wrap Hands: The types of hands that are very deceptive and dangerous to play are the lower four connected hands, like #5s-#4c-#3s-#2c. These are dangerous because it is easy to flop or draw to the low-end of the straight. When the flop comes 8-7-6, you may end up drawing dead or lose to a larger straight.

3. Small Flush Hands: Hands that can only make small flushes are very risky. For example,#5s-#4c-#3s-#2c on a flop of #Ks-#Js-#8s gives you a small flush, but you shouldn't commit an investment with this hand because, if you do get any action, you are sure to lose.

Omaha Poker Strategy Guide:

Strategy Article 1. Omaha Hi / Lo Starting Hands

Strategy Article 2. Pot Limit Omaha Cash Guide, Pot Odds, Bluffing, Pairs Part 2

Strategy Article 3. Omaha Hi Lo - Playing Aces

Strategy Article 4. Omaha Pot Limit Advice and Tips

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