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10 Basic Pot-Limit Omaha Tips for Beginners: Key Advice
When you first start out in Pot-Limit Omaha, a few simple tips can go a very long way toward keeping your bankroll in the black while you learn the game.
Without them you'll find out very quickly that Pot-Limit Omaha is a very different game than No-Limit Hold'em - and a very quick way to lose your money.
Stick to the 10 basic Pot-Limit Omaha tips below, though, and you'll be well ahead of the masses.
- Be very selective with your starting hands. Nothing is more important than choosing the correct starting hand for a certain situation.
- Select your table carefully. 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.
- Play the players. Be sure to quickly assess the opposition: who plays inferior hands, who folds at aggression, who bets with draws, who calls big bets with weak hands and draws, who can be bluffed, who bluffs, etc.
- "Pump it or dump it."Fold or bet/raise (if the odds are with you). You should avoid calling unless you have a good reason (such as trapping an opponent or increasing your pot odds when you are on a big draw).
- Respect most big bets and raises. This is particularly true in Pot-Limit Omaha since most players do not bluff.
- Do not get "married" to the nut flush draw. The difference between drawing to the nut flush in Omaha as compared to Hold'em is that in Hold'em you can usually win the pot by pairing your ace, or win the pot with a flush even though the board pairs. The same is not true in Omaha.
- Do not get "married" to an eight-way straight draw. In Omaha, it is possible to flop 13-way, 17-way and 20-way straight draws. It is best to wait until you hold one of these draws before you heavily involve yourself in the pot.
- Do not overplay unsuited aces.When all you hold are a pair of aces and two unsuited, unconnected rags, there is little you can flop to improve your hand. If you do not flop an ace, you will usually end up with a weak holding.
- Bet your best drawing hands. Enhance the deception in your game by betting your strong draws, as you will also win more pots without a fight.
- Always draw to the nuts in multi-way pots.When all the money goes into the middle in multi-way pots, be sure to draw to the nuts. Avoid committing all your money with draws without additional value as you can find yourself trapped between a set and the nut flush draw, maybe leaving you with only a nut straight draw that might end up in a split pot if you hit.
Raising or Limping Pre-Flop
One of the peculiarities of Pot-Limit Omaha is that, no matter what you hold, your opponent's hand will almost always have a decent chance of beating your hand.
For example, being dealt an A-A-K-K double suited is 50,000-1 (against) and that hand is just a 3-2 favorite to win against 8-7-6-5 double suited. So the question arises as to whether or not you should raise when you hold a good starting hand.
What about only raising when you hold aces?, you may ask. The problem with this strategy is that you become too predictable, as people will know exactly where you are and will not likely make mistakes against you.
How about always limping in? This is better than just raising with aces, though it is still not an optimal strategy. Whenever you bet, raise or call on the flop, your opponents will also have a good idea of what type of hand you hold.
If you never raise pre-flop, you do not make other limping players pay enough to see the flop for those times when you hold a strong starting hand. Also, you will not be picking up as many pots as when you play with a raising strategy.
By raising with a variety of hands pre-flop, you will gain numerous advantages: you become unpredictable, you pick up more pots, you make opponents pay when you are likely to have the best hand, and you obtain more bluffing opportunities.
Another advantage is that it is more fun to play according to this strategy.
In light of all this, it becomes clear that a strategy combining both raising and limping with a variety of hands is the best.
What Hands Should You Raise With?
A good pre-flop raising strategy is to raise with any of the top 30 hands mentioned above, all of which hold at least one suit and most that don't, though this is not entirely sufficient and you will need to raise with more hands.
Add any four cards in a row that are double suited with cards, six or higher, and all single and double-suited A-K-x-x with at least one x-card, ten or higher. Hands like Q-J-9-8 or J-T-9-7 double suited are also good to raise with.
- All top 30 hands with at least one suit and most of the time when off-suit.
- All suited A-K-x-x with at least one x-card, ten or higher.
- All double-suited four in a row of hands, five or higher.
- All double-suited connected hands, five or higher, with a maximum of one gap between the top two and the two low cards or between the low card and the three high cards. An example is K-Q-T-9 double suited and J-9-8-6 double suited.
- All K-K-x-x double suited.
Which Hands to Limp With
- All A-Q-x-x with at least one x-card, ten or higher, and the ace being suited.
- All four in a row combinations, four or higher.
- All A-x-x-x anything with at least two x-cards that are connected and the ace being suited.
- All four in a row combinations, five or higher, with a maximum of one gap that is not between the top and bottom three cards in the hand.
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