888poker Ambassador Vivian Saliba Shares Top Tips for Pot-Limit Omaha Starting Hand Selection
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For those uninitiated, here's a brief explanation of "the great game":
In PLO, each player receives four hole cards, and they must combine exactly two of them with three of the five community cards to make the best five-card hand. The key distinction is the pot-limit betting structure, where players can bet or raise any amount up to the current pot size.
Now if you're new to PLO, you'll want to know which hands to play when you're at the table. Thankfully, 888poker Ambassador Vivian Saliba has shared these five top tips on PLO starting hand selection.
Focus on Nut Hand Possibilities
When you're selecting which starting hands to play in PLO, remember that holding high cards is extremely important as being dominated and out-kicked could cause you to lose a lot of chips.
With four cards, you will connect with the board more frequently but so will your important. What that means is that weak flushes, full houses and straights won't have much value, especially when playing in multi-way pots. Focus on hands that beat the nuts on the board. Remember that a good hand in No Limit Hold'em may not be good in PLO.
Choose Starting Hands that are Connected
Connectivity is another important factor when deciding which hands to play in PLO. The cards you hold should relate to one another.
If you flop two pair, for example, you may have an open-ended or gutshot straight draw to accompany it. Having more outs and the possibility of improving your made hand increases the value of your hand and protects it.
It's Important to be Suited
Having suited cards is important. They are much more valuable than holding rainbow hands (each suit is different). The goldmine is double-suited hands, and you will want to play these. Being able to hit two flushes elevates the strength of your hand.
Be aware that holding three or four of the same suit will reduce your flush outs, so it's probably best not to play those types of hands.
Don't Overvalue High Pairs
Pairs like aces and kings aren't as strong in PLO as you might imagine. The other two cards are actually really important in determining the true strength of your starting hand.
A♥A♣J♥10♣ is a much superior hand to A♠A♦9♣2♥, for example.
If you have K♣K♥7♣5♥ in late position and action has folded to you, its perfectly okay to raise this hand. However, if there was a raise and three-bet ahead of you, you probably want to fold your hand as you could be dominated.
Position is Important
Not every hand you play from the button is a hand that you would want to play from under the gun, and so on. Opening the action from early positions will often see you play post-flop out of position. This puts you at a disadvantage.
Also, you're less likely to run into super strong starting hands by raising in late positions when action has folded to you.
You need to play tight from early position while taking in all the tips discussed above.
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Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum's proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.