The Omaha Pot Limit Rules

What is the Pot Limit Omaha?

To this day, Texas Hold'em is still the most popular poker variant on the planet, but the Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) follows close behind. Several high-stakes players took up this variation as Hold'em games were becoming more and more difficult

The popularity of the PLO has grown steadily over the past decade or so. Among the reasons for its popularity is that the PLO is a variation in which there is more action than in Hold'em games. One explanation for this phenomenon is that equity in the hands of PLOs is closer together. Indeed, at the PLO, you will very rarely be 80%-20% favorite as it can be the case at Hold'em. Most of the time you will be on flips (50%-50%) or in situations of 45%-55%. For this reason in particular, PLO games are very popular. It's a variant with a lot of action

If you've never played PLO, but you know Hold'em, the good news is that the flow of a Hold'em game is very similar to the flow of a PLO game. First, we'll give you the basics of the game, then we'll explain the flow of a PLO hand and for a better understanding of the game, we'll highlight the similarities and differences between Hold'em and PLO. This article will conclude with some notions to remember about the best and worst hands to play

The basics and the unfolding of a Pot Limit Omaha hand

In order to lighten this text, let's just say, without going into all the micro-details, that a part of Pot Limit Omaha is played in much the same way as a part of Hold’em (tables have between 2 and 10 players, there is a dealer, 1 big blind, 1 small blind, the action runs clockwise, there are different betting periods, etc.)


The blinds are determined by the dealer's position. The player immediately to the left of the dealer will be the small blind and the player immediately to the left of the small blind will be the big blind. The big blind will always be (with some exceptions) twice the size of the small blind

Distribution of cards

Each player is dealt 4 cards. The distribution is clockwise starting with the small armour. Cards are dealt one by one until all players have received 4 cards. The private cards of each player must of course remain hidden

Turn of speech

After the cards are dealt, the floor is given to the Under The Gun player (the player to the left of the big blind). The turn to speak is clockwise. The last player to speak after the cards are dealt is the big blind (this is the preflop action)

Flop and post-flop

The action takes place exactly as in Hold'em games. The dealer is always the last player to speak on all streets (flop, turn, river). After the river, there will be the felling to determine the winning hand. The rank of the hands is the same as in Hold'em

How to determine the best hand?

A player must absolutely make the best possible hand using no more and no less than two of his face-down cards and no more and no less than three of his community cards. A player with A-A-A-A in hand would not have a square since he can only use 2 of his hidden cards. Moreover, unlike Hold'em, a monochrome common board will not give it a flush because it can only use a maximum of 3 of the common cards

Similarities with Hold'em

  • There are the same streets (preflop, flop, turn, river, slaughter)
  • There is a dealer and 2 blinds, small and big
  • The big blind is almost always twice the size of the small blind
  • The action always runs clockwise
  • The rank of the hands is the same as Hold'em

Differences with Hold'em

  • Each player receives 4 preflop cards instead of 2
  • At the PLO, one must absolutely use 2 of his hidden cards (no more and no less) and 3 of the common cards. Unlike Hold'em, you can't take the 5 common cards

How do Pot Limit Reminders work?

As the name implies, PLO raises are limited to the size of the pot. As this detail is not always well understood by players, we will give an example

Here is a hand between Heroes and Villain that is played on the flop. You are Hero, in position on Vilain. The total pot on the flop is $20 and Naughty bet $10 in $20. The floor is yours and you want to make a maximum raise (pot). What will be the total size of your reminder?

The answer: $50

Even though the pot is currently $30, the maximum raise is calculated after a hypothetical call. To better understand, even if the relaunch is done in one step, let's imagine that it is done in 2 steps

Step 1, call the $10. The result? The pot is now $40. We then raise $40. This 40$ is added to our "call" for a total of 50$. Naughty will therefore have to pay 40$ if he wants to continue in the hand

The best and worst starting hands in Pot Limit Omaha

The best hand of Pot Limit Omaha is A-A-K-K double matching (heart-heart-stick for example). Generally, matching double pairs, when high, are very strong. Rundowns are also very strong when they are double matched. A hand like J-T-Q-K double matching will also have good equity against just about any hand

The worst hands are the squares you get in your hand. For example, if you receive a hand like 2-2-2, it is a very weak hand. Remember that you cannot use your four private cards to make a hand. Therefore, 2 of your four cards will be lost. Even a hand like A-A-A-A loses value. Obviously, you have a pair of aces and that is something to consider, but A-A-A will have about 12% less equity in general than a hand like A-A-K-Q