Poker is one of the most popular card games, and Pot-Limit Omaha, has become increasingly popular. Pot-Limit Omaha restricts betting to the pot’s size, preventing players from overbetting the pot or going all in like you can in no-limit poker games. In this Betkiwi review, we shall look at this variant of Omaha poker, how it is played, and a few of the different strategies you can use.
If you have ever played Texas Hold’em, the next poker game you might be interested in is Pot-Limit Omaha. These two poker games have a few differences, so you must learn how to play Pot-Limit Omaha before getting started, even if you have prior knowledge of poker.
In Pot-Limit Omaha poker games, players are dealt four cards. You must use two of the cards in your hand to create the best possible hand for the showdown round.
Pot-Limit Omaha poker has several betting rounds and different phases throughout the game, which you should become familiar with before you play:
- Pre-flop: This is the initial betting round. Some players, known as the blinds, must make a bet, and others can decide whether to call, fold or raise.
- Flop: The dealer will deal the first three community cards face up, and the second round of betting begins based on these cards, or players can choose an alternative action.
- Turn: Another card is dealt into the community, and players can place further bets or choose a different action.
- River: This is the last chance for players to place bets and take action as the last of the five community cards is dealt.
- Showdown: Players still in the round reveal their cards to see the winner. The winner has the highest poker hand, using only two cards in their hand combined with cards in the community.
Actions that players can take during the round include:
- Call: Place a bet equal in size to the Big Blind.
- Raise: Increase the bet size.
- Fold: Give back the cards and leave the hand.
Did You Know? You can only use two cards from your hand and three from the community to create the best five-card hand.
Rules and Gameplay
Whilst most poker variants share some rules, Pot-Limit Omaha has some distinct features. Firstly, the betting works slightly differently, and it can be challenging to calculate the maximum pot limit. However, at online casinos, these poker rooms calculate the pot limit for you, making it easier to know the maximum pot limit when betting.
Pot-Limit Omaha starts with the blinds. The two players immediately to the dealer’s left must place bets – the small blind, which is half the minimum bet for the table and the big blind, which must be equal to the small blind or double it.
Four cards are then dealt to each player. The first betting round will then begin, but as this is Pot-Limit Omaha, the amount you can bet depends on the size of the pot.
The maximum amount you can bet can be worked out as follows:
- Amount required to call the big blind or last bet plus the amount in the pot after calling the big blind or last bet.
This calculation applies to all players at the table as the betting round continues.
The first round of betting begins, which is the pre-flop. Players at the table can call, raise, or fold. Once at least one player has equalled the biggest bet, the first round of betting ends.
The flop begins, and the dealer will deal three cards face up in the community. Every player can use these cards for their hand to create the best five-card hand. The following betting round starts, and players can choose their actions as before.
Did You Know? You can check if no bets have been placed before your turn. However, if a player makes a bet after your check, the action returns to you.
Another card is dealt into the community in the next round, and another betting round occurs as above. Once this betting round has ended, the last betting round begins, with the last card entering the community and players taking their last actions.
The showdown begins once the remaining players in the hand have made all bets. Players reveal their hands, and the pot is awarded to the player with the best five-card hand. Once the pot is awarded, a new hand begins.
Did you know? The best starting hands in Pot-Limit Omaha are those with a big pair with connectedness so they can improve post-flop?
Pot-Limit Omaha is a relatively easy poker game to learn. There is a slight learning curve with the pot limit and how the betting works, but once you are familiar with this mechanic and are already familiar with poker casino games, you will be ready to start playing. However, at Betkiwi, we noticed that Pot-Limit Omaha has some distinctive pros and cons, which we look at below.
- Big pots: If you enjoy the stakes of large pots, Pot-Limit Omaha pots can increase rapidly and quickly.
- You can win more: Even though the pot limit in Omaha poker is high variance, you can create a firm hand and could win more.
- Packed with action: The post-flop rounds are action-packed due to fewer players folding in the pre-flop phase.
- High variance: Pot-Limit Omaha has a high variance because players are dealt four cards, which means there is a higher chance of players creating a strong hand compared to games like Texas Hold’em. The effect is that hands usually have a high chance of winning in Texas Hold’em have a lower chance in Pot-Limit Omaha.
- Frozen out: If the pots increase too quickly and become too big, you can find yourself frozen out of the action. Players must resist the urge to place bigger bets out of their means due to this type of action.
Pot-Limit Omaha Variants
As with most online casino games, you can find some variations of Pot-Limit Omaha to try.
The first Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo is a split pot game where the pot is divided into two, one half for the highest hand and the other for the lowest hand. In this game, you are competing for either the best highest hand or the best lowest hand.
Another variation is Pot-Limit Omaha played with five cards. You are dealt five cards instead of four. You must still only use two hole cards to form a winning hand.
Did You Know? There is a variation of Pot-Limit Omaha that combines the five-card and Hi-Lo variations together.
Courchevel is a version of Pot-Limit Omaha played with five cards, but one community card is exposed before the first betting round. There is also a Hi-Lo variation of this game.
Poker is a game of strategy, and it does require skill. You must learn when to take an action and what the best action will be. Before you start playing, we at Betkiwi advise you to read up on some of these strategies to know how best to play your hand.
Starting Hands Strategy
When playing Pot-Limit Omaha, your starting cards will play a crucial role. There is an abundance of starting card combinations, and it can be challenging to know which are playable and which should be avoided.
You are looking for high cards that make a nut flush or straight.
Another factor is connectedness; it is preferable to play hands where all four cards can interact with one another.
Players should also consider playing double-suited hands over single-suited ones, as these will create more opportunities for flushes, and you will see more rounds.
The pre-flop is the first betting round; your starting hand will influence your action. Once you have received your cards, you must look for their nuttiness, connectedness and, lastly, suitedness in that order.
You should focus on hands with coordinating suits and connected cards for a chance at strong post-flop hands. Hands with double-suited connected cards have a significant value in Pot-Limit Omaha as they have more than one way to create strong hands with community cards. Raising or folding is usually a good idea during the pre-flop phase, as calling can lead to unfavourable outcomes.
Flop Play Strategy
More players will see the flop in Pot-Limit Omaha due to more options from the starting hand available. The position is everything in Pot-Limit Omaha, and during the flop, you can start to determine your hand and where it may rank.
Before placing a bet, consider how well your hand fits with the community cards. Also, judge your opponents based on how they bet, as this usually indicates how strong their hands might be. Continue to look for the nuttiness, connectedness, and suitedness.
Turn Play Strategy
If you make it to the turn, another card is dealt to the community, ready for another betting round. Again, position is everything here and how well the cards suit your hand. Regarding position, players who act before you who raise may be showing their hand’s potential.
River Play Strategy
The river is the last phase with the last community card dealt, which will determine your final hand. Here, you will have either made your hand or not. This is where observing your position and your opponents really comes into play. The way small blinds bet will influence whether you call, raise or fold. You can try to bluff, but saving a bet is sometimes the best action.
Some of the most common mistakes in Pot-Limit Omaha can be prevented in the pre-flop. The pre-flop can be considered as the foundation of the game. Here are some common mistakes players make that you can avoid.
Playing too Many Hands with Unconnected or Low Cards
There is plenty of selection as you receive four-hole cards in Pot-Limit Omaha. Keep in mind that you must use two of these cards. Your starting cards should ideally be connected and or be drawing the nuts. If your cards are unconnected or low, instead fold than play. Not every hand will be playable.
Over-Valuing Small Pairs
While a pair in Texas Hold ’em can be good, even if it is low, in pot-limit Omaha, it isn’t always the case. Higher sets often dominate low sets, plus as you receive more cards, there is a higher potential for flushes and straights. Continuing to play with small sets isn’t wise.
Playing Out of Position
In Pot-Limit Omaha, position is king. Entering with a mediocre hand from an early position is not ideal, and neither is calling three bets from out of position. Your position should be used to your advantage. You can severely disadvantage yourself when playing out of position, and your opponents have a chance to adapt accordingly.
Playing Short Stacked
Playing Pot-Limit Omaha short-stacked is not a good idea. With a lack of chips, you can find yourself forced to fold, limiting your ability to bluff. The pot in this poker game can grow quickly, and you could find yourself committed to a hand that can be easily dominated. If you are learning to play, try a micro-table until you are confident enough to head to a larger stake table.
Of course, at Betkiwi, we have played Pot-Limit Omaha, and we found the gameplay fast-paced and action-packed. We noticed that in this poker game, more players make it to the flop due to there being more variance in the starter hands. However, with so many options, we did find it a learning curve knowing what hands to play and which ones to fold, but luckily you can find plenty of great resources out there to help you with your starting hand.
Pot-Limit Omaha has increasingly larger pots on offer, and we must advise you to watch your bankroll because the betting can get big very quickly, so keep this in mind when playing.
However, if you are looking for some thrills and something slightly different from the normal no-limit poker games, you should definitely try a few hands in Pot-Limit Omaha.
Below we have provided the answers to most commonly asked questions about Pot-Limit Omaha:
Where can I play Pot-Limit Omaha?
You can play Pot-Limit Omaha at a variety of our recommended online casinos. We have found the best online casinos that offer this poker game, so take a seat at the table and start playing.
Is Pot-Limit Omaha the same as Texas Hold’em?
They are played similarly, but the main difference is that in Pot-Limit Omaha, you are dealt four cards instead of two.
What is a good starting hand?
A good starting hand is one with connected cards and high potential. Hands with pairs and coordinated suits are usually good to start with.
Can I play Pot-Limit Omaha online for real money?
Yes, you can. Many online poker rooms offer Pot-Limit Omaha, where you can play for real money. Ensure you choose a reputable and trusted online poker room.
Dudley Nader is our casino game expert at Betkiwi. A University of Otago graduate in Statistics, he's leveraged his skills in a decade-long gambling industry career, earning recognition as a top casino specialist in New Zealand. In his free time, Dudley enjoys developing new game strategies and playing poker.More Articles From The Author