How to Study Pot Limit Omaha?

Jakub Szczotka
27 maj 2024
7 mins read

Learning any poker format takes time and dedication - there are many pitfalls to avoid and temptations to resist, but the more thoroughly and solidly you approach this topic, the more likely it will reflect in your results.

Since your poker results are affected by luck and variance (especially in the short term), many spots will make you feel hopeless and treated unfairly. While harsh, it is an integral part of the game, and you can do two things to fight that feeling: train your mindset and improve your poker skills.

A good mindset is helpful in every aspect of life, and nurturing good mental health is a broad topic - we’ll look closely at it in another article.

In this article, we’ll examine how you should approach learning Pot Limit Omaha (but if you’re into some other poker format, like MTTs, we bet you'll find something useful as well).

Allocate the time for playing and learning

Learning a new game or poker format is thrilling when you start your poker adventure. After a while, however, the thrill weakens and studying often gets tedious. Poker is an ever-evolving game, and your skill will most likely deteriorate if you're not constantly improving.

Many players reach a certain level of understanding of the game and stop to progress. And, as one famous Greek philosopher once said: "I know that I know nothing". Translating it to studying poker, the more theory you understand, the more aware you are of your flaws.

Even ancient quotes sometimes apply to modern situations

Poker players often perceive studying as boring and a waste of time; after all, you can’t win any money while studying. In reality, during your study time, you learn concepts that earn you money, and when you play, you “cash them in”. Ultimately, if you are not better than your opponents, there's no amount of time spent playing. which will result in winning any money.

That’s why designating a certain number of hours every week/month to study Pot Limit Omaha is essential for your growth. It will be tempting to omit that time, but there’s no way around it - neglecting studying will be costly - sooner or later.

How much should you study? It depends on your life situation; the more you rely on income from poker, the more you should study. A reasonable minimum and, simultaneously, a starting point should be an 80/20% split, meaning you should study for at least two hours of every ten hours you spend on poker. Of course, the more you study, the better.

After allocating time for learning, the next thing you should do is set goals for your studies. Every poker format (including PLO) is an extensive matter, and some people devote their lives to mastering it. Naturally, you do not have to be the best to make substantial money from poker, but having solid fundamentals and realizing your weakest and strongest points is essential.

Choose reasonable goals for your study time

It’s crucial to practice various aspects of the poker format you play. In the case of Pot Limit Omaha, the most prominent topics to practice are preflop opens and defends, 3bet pots in and out of position, and playing multiway or straddled pots, to name a few.

Taking a lot of time to practice preflop plays will sound like a waste of time for many players, but they are likely unaware of how complex the preflop is in PLO compared to No Limit Hold’em. If you’re a six-max NLHE cash game player, learning what hands to open/3bet/4bet on certain positions will take some time but is not that big of an achievement, as you can memorize most ranges quite quickly.

At the same time, knowing what’s the worst combination of a particular hand class that you should open in a specific position in PLO requires a much more extensive understanding of the game mechanics since there are so many potential versions of the same, it would seem, hand.

That’s where the preflop functionality of PLO Genius comes in extremely handy. Whenever you’re unsure what you should do with a specific hand in a preflop scenario, you can save the hand history for your study session and then analyze your decisions.

Not only can you check whether your particular hand should be an open/a raise or a call, but you can toy around with similar combos to search for patterns of qualities that hands require to choose a particular action.

For example, assume you’re playing a low-stakes cash game on 100 Big Blinds. Your opponent pots UTG, and you’re sitting on the Button with AKK8 double-suited. It’s a relatively easy-to-find 3bet. But what about other combinations of Kings?

Are you aware of the worst combo of KK to 3bet and the best combo to flat? Moreover, do you know which combinations should be a fold (the number of KKxx to fold here will definitely shock some people with an NLH background and not much PLO experience)? With the help of PLO Genius, you will find answers to these questions in a matter of seconds, and you’ll be able to learn much more, like what to do when you face a 4bet.

An Ace is a component to have for KK hands to choose to 3bet

Due to the preflop complexity of PLO, there’s an abundance of areas to study and to generate an edge over your competition, as you’ll soon find out how far from the game theory optimal your opposition plays. And all that applies to the very first part of every hand - when no community cards are dealt. The more you know and experience you get, the easier it will be to determine how your opponents approach the game on each street and how they will react to your actions and play a certain category of hands themselves.

Private poker coachings

PLO Genius is one of the best Pot Limit Omaha poker tools on the market, if not the best. However potent it is, it is still a tool as good as your skills, and it is not easy to accurately assess how good you are at poker by yourself.

Sometimes, you will need help to correctly evaluate which aspect of the game is your strongest and the weakest. Our tool can also help you with that due to its „Train” functionality, which allows you to test your PLO knowledge by asking what you would do in certain situations and evaluating the answers.

Additionally, many online learning materials help you learn efficiently and introduce you to modern study methods. However, navigating all the data you encounter takes a lot of time. So, if you prefer to learn with another human being and have little free time, consider taking private poker coaching.

Poker coaches offer various ways to examine and improve one's game, from database and session reviews to explaining theory concepts.

Usually, different coaches specialize in various areas of the game; some excel in heads-up play, others in PLO shorthanded cash games or live games. If you are considering hiring a coach, it’s essential to look for someone proficient in the aspect of the game you are interested in, and at the same time, you can get along with them pretty well.

Whether you use coaching or not, harness the power of community

Communities are strong collectives in many aspects of life, and poker is no different. From detecting cheaters to discovering software malfunctions, the poker community has repeatedly shown its strength.

It's no different when it comes to learning or dissecting new poker concepts. While you can do perfectly well without help from a poker coach, ignoring the input you can get from other fellow poker players will most likely hurt your growth.

A group of “poker buddies” is a perfect way to find information about a place to play, ideas about approaching certain spots or different views on strategic concepts. Additionally, a poker player on a similar level will more likely understand your concerns when something goes wrong than someone outside of poker. So, if you know people to talk to about PLO-related ideas, do so; if a hand bothers you, show it to others and ask them for an opinion; it will benefit everyone.

Leveraging the experience of others will very rarely go wrong, so the sooner you start to do so, the better.

Of course, finding a group of people with the same poker interests is not always easy, but it’s rarely impossible. If you do not know people interested in playing, learning and improving in the Pot Limit Omaha, it’s time to look for them.

Nowadays, Discord is the place to go if you're looking for other poker players

There are many places to look for fellow players: forums, Facebook groups, and Discord servers. The PLO Genius Discord server is a great place to start socializing with other PLO players. It’s also a place where you can contact our staff, who will be more than happy to assist you with PLO Genius-related issues.

It's worth highlighting that you'll learn a lot from the experience of others when it comes to yet unexplored areas of Pot Limit Omaha games: multiple straddles, bombed pots, and different home rules are often present in modern PLO games. Some of them are easier to solve than others, and while we make PLO Genius more and more potent with every update, addressing some of the various adjustments to the game, it’ll take time to confront some of the crazy ideas you can encounter in live games. Until then, you can discuss their approach to these live settings with others and try to figure out the best strategy.

Do not neglect your mental game

Becoming a successful poker player is virtually impossible without caring for a few crucial areas outside the game. Knowledge of GTO strategy is important, but mental well-being allows you to use your knowledge in practice.

Taking care of your psyche starts with a healthy lifestyle. Good nutrition, regular exercise, taking care of your sleep, and avoiding toxic relationships all contribute to your ability to play your A-game. Of course, countless books cover each of these topics, and we’ll take a closer look at them on different occasions, but it’s essential to stress that not caring about your well-being will also hurt your poker career.

There are a lot of factors that help you study PLO

It may look intimidating, but everyone has to start somewhere. Taking a look at PLO Genius functionalities is a great way to start improving your understanding of PLO, and even if you’re a more experienced player, you’ll take advantage of our poker software.