Thursday, August 23, 2007

Learning Pot Limit Omaha

I've been getting into Pot Limit Omaha the last few days, and it's been a lot of fun (when I've been winning). I didn't know what I was doing yesterday, but today a few tips from Lyle Berman's section of "Super System 2" make me feel much more confident.

Admittedly, I don't have much experience in PLO, but all of Berman's advice seems great for helping me learn the game. I lost a tiny bit playing 1/2, .5/1 and .25/50 the last few days, but I more than made up for those after reading a bit of his chapter.

My first impression is that these games are filled with dead money. They're extremely loose -- far looser than you can find in any hold 'em game anywhere outside of play money. A big reason for that is that you can open up a bit in PLO, but seeing between 80 percent to 100 percent of flops probably isn't a good idea! Don't tell the fish.

Here are a few of Berman's early recommendations that struck me as reading his chapter. The whole book is online for free on the Doyle's Room Web site, which is a tremendous resource. Thanks to Kuro, who originally posted the link some time ago.

_ Berman points out that implied odds are much smaller in Omaha because, "For example, if you're drawing to the nut flush and you hit it on the river, there is a strong chance that nobody is going to call you. Therefore, although you must be aware of your implied odds in Omaha, you must also realize that there's a good chance that you may not get called on the river if you make the nuts."

_ On bet sizing, he suggests typically betting the size of the pot preflop and on the flop, while betting closer to half-pot on the turn and river.

_ He mentions that there's less bluffing: "Most of the bluffing in Omaha happens on uncoordinated flops, and they usually are made by a player sitting in late position."

_ On raising preflop, the book suggests never raising from early position or the blinds. "Here is the general rule: do not raise before the flop from under the gun or from the two blind positions, because you'll be over-committing yourself to your hand." There's also a great section about how to play Aces in Omaha.

_ Any starting hand with two pocket pair has about a 25 percent chance of flopping a set.

The chapter also discusses interesting ideas about playing drawing hands and recognizing the relative strength of wrap draws, backup draws and defensive flush cards. There are also a few great stories about classic hands he remembers playing with guys like David "Devilfish" Ulliot and Bobby Baldwin.

Omaha is an action game, and I can only see it increasing in popularity.


Chad C said...

Flop draws and raise, that's Omaha in a nut shell :)

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I also have really enjoyed playing PLO for cash online, Mark. You should hit me up on the IM the next time you're going to sit down and I will join you.

PLO is a fun game to get into for the first time if you're a longtime nlh player because the games really are very different. The key is to either have the nuts or a draw to it on the flop before you commit anything significant. That, and peddle the nuts!!

bayne_s said...

Cracking overplayed AA and having the 2 "other" cards in your hand win pots when you have AA is where the big money is made at PLO.

Had a sick run during lunch today where I played 18 hands and cracked AA three times.

Craig Cunningham said...

I don't know if he mentions these, but never raise on the river with the 2nd-10th nuts. Also, if you're ahead on the flop or turn, probably fold as you won't be ahead in the end.