5 Tips To Help You Transition To Pot Limit Omaha Poker

This was published 01-07-2008

Omaha Poker has grown massively in popularity over the last few years. There is a high-low split version and several variations in betting available at most online poker sites. Pot-Limit Omaha High is the most popular of all. To those players more used to Texas Holdem the games can seem crazy, with big pots regularly contested between drawing hands. This article gives 5 invaluable tips for those players experienced in Texas Holdem who would like to transition to Pot Limit Omaha Poker.

1) Big Draws Are Often Favorite Over Made Hands

In Texas Holdem a draw is usually an underdog on the flop against a made hand. In Omaha the 4-starting cards mean that a player holding a combination draw can actually be a 2/1 favorite on the flop against an opponent who flopped a set. ‘Wrap around straights’ may have 16+ outs, add to this a flush draw and over-pair – and the drawing hand becomes a firm favorite. Remember that it is vital that you draw to the nuts in Omaha Poker.

2) Aces Are Strong Pre-Flop, But Vulnerable Post-Flop

How much you win and lose with A-A-x-x hands in Omaha can make the difference between a profitable session and a loss. Many players over-value aces after the flop in Pot Limit Omaha and end up losing large pots. The key is that any opponent who calls your bets to the river when you only have an over-pair to the board is almost certain to have you beaten!

3) Coordinated Starting Hands Are Key

With Omaha poker involving 4-hole cards there are a lot more situations in which you will appear to have a playable hand. Since the showdown can only include 2 cards from your hand it can pay to think of starting hands in terms of 2-card ‘combinations’. A single pair has just 1 combination working for it, 4 cards close in value and of 2 suits may well have all 6 potential combinations live – allowing them to hit the flop more often.

4) Position Is Critical In Omaha

Position is a key factor in winning any form of poker. In Pot Limit Omaha Poker it is critical. This is due to two interacting factors. Firstly that starting hands are close in value. Secondly the pot-limit betting means you are less likely to be ‘blown off of a hand’ early – allowing you to benefit from your good position for longer.

5) Balance Your Raises!

A common error for players new to Omaha is to raise only with premium pairs. This tips off observant opponents to your hand while giving excellent odds to play. In fact as you gain experience in this for of the game spotting and stacking an ‘aces-only-raiser’ becomes a profitable strategy in itself. Raising is critical, since allowing random hands to see the flop will make playing difficult. Balancing those raises to include connected medium cards and / or suited high cards in addition to those premium pairs is key.

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