Strategy

Understanding deceptive strength in Pot-Limit Omaha

A hand in PLO can change much more rapidly and drastically than it can in Texas Hold’em

When playing Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO), one of the most difficult things to deal with is the deceptive strength of hands.
Getting a good hand like a full house can bring some exciting and euphoric feelings, which can lead you to make the wrong decision during early stages of the hand. Landing a good hand on the flop doesn’t guarantee you are going to win at the river, so shoving in a lot of money before analyzing the hand further is a common mistake among many PLO players out there.

PLO comes with a lot of different situations and possibilities, which can alter the course of the hand in a matter of seconds, so you should never assume that the pot is already yours. There are hands that, of course, are hard to beat when playing any form of poker, such as quads or a straight flush, but straights, sets, flushes, and even full houses are not a sure win and they can be easily crushed in PLO.

To compensate for the chance of an opponent having a better hand, make sure you are aware of what the opponents actions are – this is something that you should never leave unattended. Now, it is important to understand the difference between false strength and deceptive strength, so you can learn to control your actions. Higher hands like straights or trips are more considered moderately strong hands, so you have more options and odds to have a winning hand.

If you get, however, a 3-3-5-5 pre-flop and the flop comes 5-7-7, you might think you are the king of the hand with a full house, but the hand can be easily beaten by other combinations like a 7-5. This is where you need to pay the most attention to your opponents, especially those who are raising and re-raising as they most likely have a better hand than yours.

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