Pot-Limit poker is a unique community card game played mainly with the high cards. It is a more popular poker game in Europe and online than it is in American casinos and card rooms. When looking for a pot-limit poker game online or offline, you will most often find them when you play in Omaha High poker games.
Pot-Limit Omaha poker tends to be played for higher stakes in most offline casino poker rooms and professional card rooms than when it is played in online poker rooms.
When playing in any pot-limit poker game, you will always find that your position is paramount to building your nut hand. This is mainly because if you are on a drawing hand and “pot” has been called, it will be very expensive for you to see any additional cards. However, if by chance you are holding a strong hand, you will be in a position to re-raise if, and only if, you are one of the last players to act.
Calling “pot” when playing online is very much like going “all in”: It seems anti-climactic without all the grandeur and drama that are seen in live action casino or card room pot-limit poker games.
That's because the online site's software does this for you after you've clicked your action. It's visually versus verbally dramatic. However, you should see
Online Internet poker sites offer their members low- and mid-level stakes Pot-Limit Omaha games. Practice in the play-money games before investing your life savings in a cash Pot-Limit Omaha game and until you feel you've perfected your game.
As in any game of poker, the objective in pot-limit poker is to win most of the hands you play by using the best five cards out of seven to form the best high hand. Showdowns are rare when playing Pot-Limit Omaha poker, but when they happen you can be certain that the two hands are most probably the nut hand and the second nut hand.
The Mechanics of a Pot-Limit Omaha High Poker Hand
To ensure that you don't make any pre-flop mistakes, remember to ask yourself if your four cards have more than three ways to make a possible nut hand. For example, if you are playing Qs-Qd-3h-8c, you are basically calling to see the flop for a Queen, as your Three and Eight are useless. This is not a good starting hand, although almost everyone will play a high pair with danglers to see the flop.
Tighten up your game by counting the options your hand has to offer before you get involved in any pot, because pot-limit games can get very expensive if you don't have any other outs, like backing into a straight or a flush. These Queens would be a much stronger hand if they looked like this: Qs-Qd-Jd-9s.
You have a potential four of a kind, full house, two straight flushes, a flush, and two straights. This is a very strong hand to see a flop with. But if you don't hit any part of your hand on the flop, and there's any action, then it has suddenly become a folding hand.
When playing Pot-Limit Omaha poker, knowing how to play your seat position and how to build your nut hands, or when to fold them, are the key factors if you plan on winning more hands than you lose.
The Betting Structure
Using a $5/$10 pot-limit betting structure, it will cost the big blind $10 and the small blind $5. Then the other eight players around the table act in turn, and at any time a player can raise, or call/click, pot. For example, if there have been five callers, including the blinds, before it's your turn to act, there would be $50 in the pot. If you called pot, you would first call the $10 and then add an additional $50 (the amount already in the pot), making your total bet $60. The pot now contains $110 and the next player to act will have to either call the $60 raise, raise it to $120, or call pot. After the flop, on the turn, and on Fifth Street and the river the betting could open at $10 and can be raised anywhere from $10 to any amount up to the pot limit.
Most bluffing in Pot-Limit Omaha poker games comes from an opponent in a later position, and she will usually try bluffing before, and right after, the flop. However, you don't see this too often on Fourth or Fifth Streets. The size of the pots, when still trying to make your drawing hand, can be healthy; the last thing a bluffer wants at that point is to be called, be raised, or hear someone call pot.
For example, on the turn we know the pot has $110 in it. So let's say your hand is Qs-Qc-10c-9s and the flop is 10s-Jc-8c. You have top pair, the Queens, four to a Queen-high flush, and an open-ended straight. Betting opens at $10 but can be raised to $120. Let's assume you are in early position, so you check the flop. The next player calls pot, and now it costs you $120 to call if everyone else calls the bet. Based on four remaining players, there is now $600 in the pot — the original $120 and the four $120 bets.
On Fourth Street, the turn, the board now looks like this: 10s-Jc-8c-Qh. You have the straight, but not the nut straight; you have a set of Queens, but you still need to fill up; and you still have four to a flush. Again someone calls pot. There is $600 in the pot; you call and the two other opponents fold. Now you are looking at an $1,800 pot.
What kind of hands should I look to play when I play Pot-Limit Omaha High poker?
You want to look for hands that contain cards that coordinate well with each other. You want to see hands that can give you the nut straights, flushes, and full houses, should the flop cooperate. Always look for hands that have at least a three-way potential for flopping the nuts.
On the river the board is now 10s-Jc-8c-Qh-10c. Try to remain calm and continue to slow play your hand with a check. With any luck your opponent has also filled up … just hopefully not with Tens, because four Tens is the only hand that can beat you.
Your opponent calls pot; you also call, and win a $5,400 pot. Not bad for five minutes' work. But as you can see, playing in a pot-limit game calls for a much larger bankroll than when playing in limit games, and even when playing in some no-limit poker games. It is also not a game for the weak of heart, because as you saw, this game could have killed you had you not won the pot.
Remember that straight and flush drawing hands can be extremely dangerous hands to pursue when you play in any pot-limit poker games. This is because they are the ultimate trap hands, and when playing pot-limit, the last thing you want to do is find yourself financially trapped.