Tips to Play a Winning Game of PL Omaha Poker
Pot Limit Omaha has been immensely popular in Europe for the past several years and is today the second most widely played variant of poker. Players are fond of Omaha because it bears a striking similarity to Hold’em and is packed with action.
However, Omaha players require a lot of skill and knowledge of strategy in order to play a winning game of Omaha. They must know the art of reading the board, understanding various hands, and calculating odds and outs.
If players do not take the pains to understand the above, Omaha will just turn out to be an adventurous, though expensive poker variant.
Here is a collection of 7 interesting tricks to help players win at Pot Limit Omaha Poker:
- Omaha vs. Hold’em – Understand the Difference Although Omaha bears a striking similarity to Texas Hold’em, there are two major differences between the two variants:
- Number of cards in the starting hand
- Way in which the winning hand is created
Omaha players are required to use only two of the cards dealt to them and three community cards to create their five-card poker hand. Most Omaha players make it till the flop and hardly have any pre-flop advantage.
Since majority of the players reach the flop and get dealt four cards, players can make really strong hands in case of Omaha. The winner usually has the nuts or something as close to the nuts as possible, whereas in Texas Hold’em, hands such as top pairs or two pairs can be quite valuable.
Another difference is that Hold’em offers players more opportunities to bluff than Omaha.
- Choose Starting Hands Carefully Pot Limit Omaha players need to choose their starting hands carefully. For instance, players must fold starting hands with danglers because such hands force them to play only three cards against their opponents’ four cards.
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Learn the basic Omaha Poker Rules
- Avoid Common Mistakes Pot Limit Omaha players must learn how to avoid common Omaha mistakes in order to improve their chances of winning the pot. Here are some of the commonly made mistakes while playing Omaha.
- Attaching too much value to weak hands
- Analysing community cards wrongly
- Choosing the wrong starting hands
- Placing bets simply for the sake of betting
- Failing to analyse opponent behaviour
- Beware of Trap Hands Trap hands is the term used for hands that appear to be good, but cannot help players create the best hand. On the contrary, trap hands can make players lose their entire chip stack. Trap hands can be classified into two categories:
- Low draw hands – Low draw hands might have suited and connected cards, but will rarely help players get the nuts.
- Small pair hands – Players should avoid playing hands with low-value pairs; in fact, any hand with a pair of cards lower than nine should be folded.
- Number of Players vs. Hand Strength Omaha players must understand the relationship between hand strength and number of players. The higher the number of Omaha players on the table, the stronger should be the player’s hand. To begin with, players should play only a very strong hand and then raise only to encourage at least some of their opponents to fold and leave the table.
If players succeed in eliminating opponents, their equity increases. On the downside, Omaha is one game where players stick on as long as possible and are never scared of a raise. A player with a strong hand, therefore, might have to raise several times before the field begins to thin.
- Gaming Style There is no specific gaming style for Omaha, and players need to adjust their gaming style as per the gaming situation. If the opponents are very aggressive, players should cautiously play only the best hands and fold the rest. If the opponents are playing a very tight hand, players can afford to become aggressive in a bid to encourage some of their opponents to fold.
- Table Position An Omaha player with a better table position always has an advantage over the other players. Poker Players who have a good starting hand coupled with a good table position stand a better chance of creating a stronger hand.
Players who do not have an advantageous table position therefore need to be extra careful while selecting their starting hands.