Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) - Hi

Introduction to Pot-Limit Omaha and explanation of the Pot Limit Omaha betting structure

The biggest games, the biggest pots. One would think that no limit Hold’em would be the home of the big pots, and it certainly can be, but this comes into play primarily when two monster hands clash. Pot-Limit Omaha is your game for big games.

In Pot Limit Omaha (PLO), however, big pots and big all in confrontations are quite common, and often it is correct for the players involved to have made the bets and calls they did. The real advantage for accomplished PLO players is the ability to take advantage of weak players who chase unprofitable draws, or aggressively bet made hands that are subject to big draws against them. High stakes PLO cash games are thrilling contests, often with many hundreds of thousands of dollars or Euros on the table.

Pot Limit Omaha Hi 101 (PLO 101)

Pot Limit Omaha for beginners

This series of articles is intended as a primer for a player who has some Texas hold’em experience, but little to no exposure to Omaha. A Pot-Limit Omaha 101 guide for beginners. Fortunately for new Pot Limit Omaha players, low-stakes games tend to be somewhat more passive, so the swings are not unmanageable. Although Omaha is technically a “hold’em” game too, all further references to “hold’em” imply Texas Hold’em.

Pot Limit Omaha can be played in high-only (where the highest poker hand wins the pot) or high-low split, where two (or more) players can split the pot. In those cases, the player(s) with the best high hand gets half the pot, and the player(s) with the best low hand gets the other half. These articles focus on Pot Limit Omaha high only version.

How Pot Limit Omaha is played

Pot Limit Omaha can be played in fixed limit, pot limit, or no limit formats, but the pot limit version is by far the most common. Fixed limit is more popular for high-low split. No limit is virtually unheard of, and can primarily be found only at online poker sites.

The pot limit format causes a bit of confusion for new players. Although “pot limit” is intuitive for the size of the initial bets, the sizing of raises can be confusing. The way to calculate the proper size of a raise: consider that the raising player first calls the bet before them. The amount now in the pot after the call is what they may raise.

In a live game, the player must actually announce “raise pot” before taking any other action, or the raise will be considered invalid. If the player “calls” first, then says “raise the pot,” the second action is a string bet and is disallowed.

Example of the PLO Betting Structure

Here’s an example: In a game with 5/10 blinds, nobody raises, and five players see the flop (including the blinds). The pot is 50. After the flop, the minimum bet is 10 units (the big blind), and the maximum bet is 50 units (the size of the pot). The player may bet an amount in between if desired (although casinos would usually insist that the betting be done in increments of 5 units in a red chip game). If the first player bets pot and gets a call, and the third player elects to raise pot, the amount they commit is 50 (to call the flop bet), plus 200 (the size of the pot after their call) for the raise. The minimum raise at any point is the size of the previous bet or raise. In our example, the third player to act on the flop can call the bet, or raise to any amount between 100 and 250.

Additional Reading on Pot Limit Omaha (PLO)