Exploring deceptive strength in Pot-Limit Omaha
By Bob Garcia
Deceptive strength in PLO can ruin an otherwise good hand
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 blind your judgment, causing you to make the wrong play early in the hand. A great hand on the flop does not mean you will win the river; players of PLO often get excited at this point, shoving in a lot of money and finding themselves at a disadvantage.
Pot-Limit Omaha has so many variables that can change the play fast that you could get ahead of yourself, believing the pot is already yours. Hands like four of a kind or straight flush are one thing, but if you have a straight, a flush, or a full house you are not looking at a guaranteed win in PLO.
To hedge against your opponents’ possibly having a better hand, you need to observe all of your opponent’s moves and analyze their strategies. You must recognize the difference between false strength and deceptive strength, in order to make the best player in PLO. In Pot-Limit Omaha, hands like straights or trips are fairly strong hands. This gives you options to follow your strategy and improves your odds of taking the pot.
On the other hand, if you are dealt a 3-3-5-5 pre-flop and the flop comes 5-7-7, you would rightfully like your odds with a full house, but you need to take time to observe that you could be crushed by a simple combination like a 7-5. Carefully watch and analyze your opponents’ play, and if anyone is raising and re-raising it’s a good bet, they are holding a better hand than yours.