What is PLO Poker and How Do You Play It?


What is PLO Poker and How Do You Play It?


Four aces above stacks of poker chips.

What is PLO Poker and How Do You Play It?


Four aces above stacks of poker chips.

There are many variants of online poker, including Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud and PLO – also known as Pot Limit Omaha. Join us as we take a look at PLO and how it works.

What is Omaha Hold’em poker?

Before we get into the details of Pot Limit Omaha, it’s important that we understand what Omaha Hold’em poker, also known as Omaha, is first. Omaha Hold’em is the second most popular poker variant. It plays similarly to Texas Hold’em, with players aiming to build the strongest hand possible from a set of community cards. 

The game begins with each player receiving their hole cards (these are the cards that are dealt face down to each player.) However, where Omaha differs from Texas Hold’em is that players each receive four hold cards instead of two. After each player has received their cards, an initial round of betting takes place. Players decide to wager or fold, and once this is done, the first community cards are revealed. Three community cards are revealed on the flop, an additional community card is revealed on the turn, with the final community card revealed on the river. Players must decide whether to continue placing bets or fold after the reveal of each community card. 

To build a winning hand, players must combine two out of the four of their hole cards with three of the community cards. These hands are (from strongest to weakest:)

  • Royal flush: An ace, king, queen, jack and 10 of the same suit.
  • Straight flush: Five sequential cards of the same suit.
  • Four of a kind: Four cards of the same value.
  • Full house: Three cards of the same value and a pair of cards of the same value.
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit.
  • Straight: Five sequential cards but of differing suits.
  • Three of a kind: Three cards of the same value.
  • Two pairs: Two pairs of two cards of the same value.
  • Pair: Two cards of the same value.
  • High card: The single highest-value card in your hand.

Whoever has the strongest combination based on these winning poker hands takes the pot for that round. 

Types of betting for Omaha

Omaha itself has three different styles of betting. These are:

  • No Limit Omaha (NLO): In NLO, there are no limits when you wager.
  • Fixed Limit Omaha (FLO): FLO only allows a maximum of four raises, while each raise must be equal to the size of the blind bet.
  • Pot Limit Omaha (PLO): The reason why you are here, PLO caps the maximum wager at the value of the pot. This means bets start off low-value but can escalate quite quickly.

No matter which version of Omaha you prefer, you’ll be able to find a game when you play poker online.

The cons and pros of PLO

An Omaha player checks their hole cards – two pairs of fives and two eights – behind several stacks of poker chips.

The inclusion of two additional hole cards changes the way Omaha plays compared to Texas Hold’em, as does the pot-limit betting style. Here are the pros and cons of playing this specific version of poker:

  • CON – Omaha has higher variance: Due to players starting the game with four cards, PLO has higher variance since the chances of every player having a respectable hand are much higher than Texas Hold’em. This means hands that have a very high chance of winning in Texas Hold’em are relatively weaker in PLO, leading to potentially more losses.
  • PRO – Omaha has higher variance: Yes, we already mentioned this point, but the flip side of higher variance is that you may also win more often.
  • CON – Pots can escalate quickly in pot-limit games: While pot-limit games may start off slow, wagers can rapidly increase as the pot size does, which can freeze you out of the action if you run out of bankroll.
  • PRO – Pots can escalate quickly in pot-limit games: Of course, if you’re someone who enjoys the stakes of large-pot games, the fact that pots in PLO can rapidly grow may be something you find appealing. Just make sure you have set a budget for your gaming and that you don’t allow yourself to exceed it.
  • CON – Not as popular as Texas Hold’em: As we’ve already mentioned, this version of poker is only the second most popular, with Texas Hold’em being by far the “top dog.” While it’s still relatively easy to find a game of PLO, Texas Hold’em is still the default variant that most people play.
  • PRO – Far more action-packed: With each player starting with four cards, the likelihood of folding pre-flop is much lower since players have more opportunities to build a stronger hand, making the post-flop rounds much more action-packed simply due to the greater number of players taking part. This could also mean larger pots as a result.

Should you pick Texas or Omaha Hold’em?

Regardless of whether you enjoy casual games or online poker tournaments, it’s important to assess which version of the game is right for you. First, it’s important to recognize that just because Texas Hold’em is the more popular game, that doesn’t mean it’s the one that you as an individual will find the most appealing. We’ve already mentioned some of the aspects of either game that you may find enjoyable or off-putting. There are other factors that you need to consider too, such as your position in Omaha (which has more importance than in Texas Hold’em,) and the fact that you need incredibly strong hands (relative to Texas Hold’em) since the potential for every player to have a decent hand in Omaha is much higher. 

Choosing pot limit versus other betting styles also comes down to preference. More aggressive players prefer the freedom of no-limit games, while more conservative players prefer having a better idea of the risks in fixed-limit games. If you’re somewhere in between, pot-limit betting may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Enjoy live poker online and more at Borgata Online

No matter which version of poker you like to play, you can find all the excitement of casual and competitive poker at Borgata Online. You can play poker games online to test your online poker tournament strategy, join in the thrills of casual cash games or pick up valuable poker tournament tips to help you become a successful poker player.

For all the best online poker action, register at Borgata Online.