Friday, March 31, 2006

PLO Thoughts

The flop is by far the most important street in PLO, but to flop big, you generally need a solid starting hand where all 4 cards work together and contain many features. Think of these features - sets, straights and flushes – where you can hit a big hand with a strong re-draw, preferably to the nuts. Here are examples of solid starters:

9s-Th-Jh-Js, this hand is capable of hitting a set of J’s, nut straights at both ends and also 2 different flushes in spades and hearts. So on a flop of something like Jc-Qs-6s, you have middle set with straight and flush re-draws, so you should not be shy about getting as many chips in the pot as possible.

8c-9c-Th-Jh, this hand is called a 4-card, double-suited wrap. The strength of the hand is obvious. It can make the nut straight at both ends or even a straight flush. A gin flop with this hand (besides a straight flush) is something like 5s-6h-7h where you have the nut straight and re-draws to a higher straight and a flush. In many cases, you may be free-rolling. For example, your poor opponent may have something like AK89 with no flush draw. This is a wonderful situation!

Ad-Ah-Xd-Xh, double-suited aces is the grand-daddy of all PLO hands. It’s not as powerful as AA in Holdem, but powerful none-the-less, especially with complimentary features like another pair or connector; KK or TJ for example, since it gives you another opportunity to hit a set or straight.

Ac-8c-9h-Th, this is a 3-card double-suited wrap and is capable of flopping the nut straight or flush.

Are you bored yet? I am. Maybe this will help....

Okay, I'm refreshed, now more on post-flop play:

Don’t slow-play the flop. If there’s a way your hand can lose, chances are someone has a draw to it in a big multi-way pot. Charge them to play! Checking with high sets or the nut flush can be disastrous. Free cards give your opponents infinite odds to draw and are death. When you have a big hand, bet it strong and fast! Even if you have a monster, bet half of the pot.

Don’t chase draws when there’s likely a better one out. This includes drawing to flushes/straights on a paired board and calling down with flushes/straights on a paired board at the river.

Drawing hands are more powerful in Omaha than Holdem, because it’s a game with 4 cards. Thus, a “made hand” such as an over-pair, two pair or straight, could be a big underdog to a huge draw (see my previous post where my made nut straight was a dog to a set and flush draw). Think of it like this: “He likely has hand A and I have hand B, so my chance of winning at SHOWDOWN is C. Therefore, I should bet/raise for value, semi-bluff, or draw cheaply.” Don’t think in terms of made hands or autopilot moves, but in terms of maximizing EV.

Perhaps most importantly is the power of position, especially if you’re playing a marginal hand that could pose some problems post-flop. The strength of your hand will vary from flop to turn to river, but the strength of your position will always remain the same. If you’re heads up (or 3-handed) with position and your opponent(s) check(s), you will take down the pot with a bet a good majority of the time; and if you flop a huge hand, you will often be able to raise for value! :)


Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Great read. HOWEVER: How hard should you play a nut set on a coordinated board. Lets says you have that nut set but there are flush and wrap straight draw potential. Do you want to see your next card for small dollars? Do you want to bet enough to be able to punish people when one card is left to come, but not enough to make it hard for you to fold the turn? Whats the play here?

2:11 PM  
Blogger Never-Limp said...

I will typically bet the pot with top set unless I don't have any re-draws and the board is extremely coordinated like 89T or 3 suited cards. The problem with betting small is that you'll give really good drawing odds and then if the board DOES PAIR your opponents with straights and flushes will shut down. Well, good opponents anyway. But, if you stick with solid starting hands you will often have a re-draw on a coordinated board if you flop a set allowing you to play for your stack.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous trip said...

I liked the intermission. You know...the middle part ;)

1:29 PM  

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