Pot Limit Omaha Vs. No Limit Holdem

Many poker players give up playing No Limit Holdem because it’s becoming too complicated and turn to Pot Limit Omaha instead. New players also find Omaha more attractive as here they have a better chance of winning. Welcome to Pot Limit Omaha Poker!

Pot Limit Omaha will impress you by its increased variance. You’ll see that inexperienced players can accumulate large bankrolls without knowing all the ins and outs of the game simply because equities between hands preflop run extremely close together. Weak players aren’t losing exorbitant amounts of money preflop as they are in Holdem and can continue surprisingly sick runs or lose their bankroll not as fast as in Holdem. This makes this game a magnet for many players because anything that gives players more assureness that they can win prevents them from giving up playing.

If you are a player with an extensive experience in No Limit Holdem and are on the edge of transitioning to Pot Limit Omaha, there are some nuances you should know before plunging into this exhilarating game:

1 – High pairs in Pot Limit Omaha differ from high pairs in No Limit Holdem.
This again has to do with a great similarity between hand equities. The odds to win with AAxx against any four cards are only 65/35. Although it is an advantageous position, it cannot be compared to No Limit Holdem where AA is an 85/15 favourite against any two cards. It means that your preflop superiority in any spot is not a guarantee of winning the pot and the final outcome will depend mostly on a number of postflop factors. Professional Omaha players know full well that different hands are strong on different boards postflop. You need to learn how to get away from big pairs postflop in Pot Limit Omaha if you want to succeed in this game.

2 – Position matters more.
In Pot Limit Omaha it is even more reasonable to play many hands in position due to similar preflop equities. In No Limit Holdem it’s usually a mistake to call early position raises from late position with speculative hands ( e.g. low pocket pairs, suited connectors) even though you have position. Why is this so? If you are against a strong hand range, you normally have a great preflop equity disadvantage, but in Pot Limit Omaha the similarity between equities can result in your postflop positional edge making a hand with 40% equity a winning one with ease. The rule of thumb is to use position as leverage on your opponent and make things worse for them!

3 – High connected cards are more significant than low connected cards
High connected cards matter more than low connected cards. Despite the similarity between equities you shouldn’t forget about hands post-flop playability. It’s true that getting two connected cards is good for your equity, but cards that make nut draws matter more. If you are making a second nuts hand and don’t know what your odds for winning are, it is far from being a pleasant situation. In addition, you should note that high cards surely matter more than top two pair hands, while low cards are more significant than bottom two pairs. Any experienced Pot Limit Omaha player will tell you that bottom two pair cannot be considered a strong hand.

4 – Hand values are different
This point is easy to explain, since you get four cards but not two, there are much more hand combinations. In No Limit Holdem such hands as two pair are usually strong hands, unlike Pot Limit Omaha, where two pair is typically a bluff catcher under the most favorable conditions, There can be different situations, but, as a rule, two pair turns out to be the second best hand in Omaha. Low flushes are also not the same. It’s not so hard to make a flush, so you obviously try to avoid putting in too much of your stack with a low flush. If your opponent makes aggressive betting actions you need to learn to fold these hands, although it might be unusual for you because a flush is in most cases the nuts in No Limit Holdem, unlike a low flush in Pot Limit Omaha.

5 Pre-flop Looseness
In No Limit Holdem it’s better to play a tight style of 15-30% of hands depending on the game situation, playing styles and behavior of your opponents etc. In Pot Limit Omaha you can play much more hands with a successful outcome for you, especially in a late position. According to observations, the most successful poker players in low stakes 6-max Pot Limit Omaha games play about 20-30% of hand and over 40% of hands in late position. No one says that this is an exact science and many good aggressive players play more than 30% of hands with success. However, if you are playing less than 20% of hands in Pot Limit Omaha, your play is too tight. On the contrary, in No Limit Holdem, you can safely play less than 20% of hands.