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Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo Strategy

Strategy for Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Poker
by Jason Green of Predictem.com

Omaha Hi-Lo strategy is much more than simply counting cards and knowing your outs. Omaha strategy will most be due to the 4 hole cards that you are dealt. In Omaha games that have a pot limit the max raise will be the size of what the pot currently is. If the pot is $5 on the flop and then you bet the max $5 bet your opponent can raise $20. The nature of betting in Omaha poker can bring about several adjustments to your strategy, which is based on your position and what your hole cards are.

An important strategy to consider when playing Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo is playing hands where you have the chance to scoop the pot. When there is a showdown the pot will be split between both the highest and lowest hand, by using 2 cards from your 4 hole cards and 3 community cards on the board. There are different cards that are used for the high and low sides of the pot.

Hands like Ace-2-3-King that are suited to the Ace give you the chance to get a flush and a straight, as well as low hands. Because of this these are strong starting hands. Hands of middle cards or hands that do not have an Ace are trouble, as they can make the 2nd best hand.

Betting strategy when playing pot limit Omaha will be dictated by the position you are at. An early position raise if the table is full, 9 or 10 seats, can be a mistake with all but the very best hands before the flop. There are a couple of reasons why this may be a mistake.

1. The size of the raise can significantly increase if your opponents re-raise. You may face many raises after your bet before the flop is even dealt, if there are many people at the table. This may force you to fold your hand even though it could have hit something on the flop.

2. If you raise and are in an early position and are called by several opponents then you will be the player to act first after the flop, as you will have to either bet or check before other players act. This is ok when you hit a hand on the flop with a nut draw or you draw to 1. But, if it is an unclear situation and your opponents re-raise you from a later position on the table it may be hard to know your standing in terms of what your opponent's hands are.

On the other side of the coin, the advantages of being the last to act are big when playing pot limit Omaha. If your opponents check to you after flop has already come out you can then see a card for free. Allowing a player to see a free card can be trouble in a hi-lo split game, as there are many draws available. Basically this means that opponent checks probably show a weakness and a strong late position can immediately take the pot.

There are some trouble hands when playing Omaha hi-lo, which are hands that probably make the 2nd lowest hand and hands that have a few middle cards, for example 7-10. In an Omaha game where holding the nuts or getting a strong draw to the nuts is the dominant hand and getting the 2nd best hand may be quite expensive for you.

In terms of trouble hands an example, which is common, is sharing the low pot while another player will take the high side, which is called being "quartered", as you will win a quarter of the pot. When the bets and raises are larger and begin to go into the pot, being quartered can be an error in strategy. Try to read your opponents, use the best starting hands, and your table position to make sure that you are not caught raising and re-raising other players, as the reward potential will only be a quarter of the pot.

Basically the strategy for pot limit Omaha hi-lo is this:

- Only play hands where you have scoop potential
- Know your position at the table and adjust your strategy on what that position is.
- Try to avoid playing to a draw to the 2nd best hand or a hand where you will only have the chance to win a quarter of the pot.

If you liked this article you may also enjoy Chad Holloway's article on Raising Pre-Flop in Omaha High-Low.

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