Preflop betting in Omaha poker: how much to bet in PLO

Pot Limit Omaha, commonly known as PLO, is a modality of traditional Omaha poker in which the maximum raises are conditioned by the size of the pot.

As its name indicates, the limit of the bets and raises is fixed by the size of the pot, which takes into account the sum of the active pot at the moment of making the bet, plus all the bets on the table, as well as the amount that the player must call before making the raise.

Preflop in Pot Limit Omaha: everything you need to know

Pot Limit Omaha preflop bets must meet some unique characteristics in order to be valid. The minimum bet must be at least equal to the big blind bet, and the maximum bet, as we have just explained, is in the pot.

Minimum raises must always be equal to the immediately preceding raise made in the round, with the pot also being the maximum cap for any raise.

A crucial aspect of Pot Limit Omaha is that it is not advisable to have half-rounds when raising or betting. If the bet is raised, it must be raised up to the maximum limit of the amount allowed, which is the amount of the pot at that moment.

As we have just explained, when we talk about the pot limit, we are not only talking about the active pot, but also about the rest of the active bets and our call. The concept of "pot limit" must be handled thoroughly to make our calculations properly. Otherwise, we will end up handling numbers that do not correspond to the table.

Raise preflop: yes or no?

No, with nuances. Raising preflop is not at all advisable, and to understand this we have to talk about the strength of the hands. Two normal hands usually have an equal or approximately equal balance of strength. We can be talking about a 60-40 or 55-45 balance, as you can see, values that are quite close. Making a preflop raise is absurd because the amount you are betting for your hand does not really correspond to the real strength of your hand.

A preflop raise, besides inhibiting the potential of your play because the pot is still too small for a re-raise to make any sense, leaves you exposed because you will be giving away your cards, but wait, because you also risk not being able to connect anything with the flop and being forced to go on the flop.

If you have raised preflop, you are not going to fold on the flop, that would be even more absurd. So what do you do? Go ahead, but by the time you realize the mistake, you've already messed up and you'll be in a lot of trouble.

Suppose you raise preflop, the flop doesn't favor you, you are forced to go to the flop, you bet the pot and they go and re-raise. It's anything but good, right? Moral: forget about preflop raises.

When can a preflop raise work? When you play from late positions. Then it makes sense, but you will also expose your cards because only someone with a good starting hand would raise preflop. The difference is that it is in your favor to increase the pot from Cutoff or Button.

Another aspect you should keep in mind about preflop bets and raises: you will never be able to bluff enough to kick an opponent out of the hand, you can only do that on the last streets, with a bigger pot and with a more translucent game.

The ideal scenario is that you make a standard preflop bet and get a double pair on the flop with premium cards. You will have a strong hand and keep your game opaque, but be careful with the high cards connected and what the flop gives you.

It is also advisable to pay attention to the type of table you are playing at. If the game is more loose-passive, the speculative hands have more weight; on the other hand, if it is more tight-aggressive, it is better to be selective with the hands and get involved only in the OOP hands, increasing our involvement as we approach the last streets.

Maximum bets in PLO

In Pot Limit poker modalities, the limits of maximum bets and raises are fixed by the size of the pot, understanding the concept of pot limit as the sum of the active pot, your call and the rest of the bets on the table.

As we said at the beginning, in Pot Limit games, every time you raise the bet you have to push it to the limit of what is allowed. You also have to be consistent with every preflop bet you make; for example, a preflop re-raise forces you to play the flop; a call on the turn is not consistent with a fold on the last street.

If you don't know how to take a bet to the end, you will give away your game and get into trouble. The key in Pot Limit games is to know when to call and when not to call, always keeping in mind that you can never make a bet or a preflop raise big enough to knock an opponent out of your hand.

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