How Should You Approach Multiway Pots in Pot Limit Omaha?

Jakub Szczotka
29 sty 2024
4 mins read

If we had to summarize a typical to low- or mid-stakes poker game, we would say that people hate folding. It is especially apparent when you think about live cash games, filled with recreational players who quickly get attached to their hole cards.

Since four-card hands allow you to connect with community cards often, multiway pots are even more common in PLO than NL Hold'em. Everyone who has ever played a casual $2/2 or $5/5 game will likely agree that almost none folds preflop in these games, and everybody wants to see the flop.

Such an environment gives you an excellent opportunity to profit; when people play too splashy, they will eventually lose money. However, profitably navigating pots against multiple players is a skill in itself.

How should you approach such pots? In this article, we share a few tips about playing the pots against multiple players.

A GTO range of hands you should defend BB vs UTG contains only ~18% of combinations

Do not get carried away with mediocre holdings

Some say that PLO is a game of nuts. While it's not necessarily true, it's undeniable that you require a higher equity hand to continue in the multiway pot than you usually do in the heads-up situation. It is crucial to remember about it with mediocre hands like draws to second-nut straights or flush draws or middle sets.

Such hands are usually good enough to put more money into the pot against one opponent - since your outs will be live quite often. The circumstances change when you're against two, three or more opponents, and it's very likely that when you're drawing to non-nut flush or lower straight, you are drawing dead.

Be careful with hands without a nut potential against multiple opponents; usually, it'll be best to ditch the weaker combos as they won't have enough equity to continue.

Since equity is defined as a share of the pot belonging to the player (assuming there would be no more actions until the showdown), try to evaluate the equity of your hand on the flop when multiway. If you assume it is higher than your average share of the pot, meaning it's higher than 33% in the three-way pot, 25% in a four-way and 20% in a five-way, that's likely a hand that you should put more money into the pot with.

Bonus tip: Be careful with AA combos when playing a multiway pot with a hit stack-to-pot ratio. While Aces always have a lot of equity preflop, it often changes after the community cards are dealt. Usually, if you've flopped only an overpair without any backup, you must be cautious against multiple opponents. You'll often be better off folding the flop with your worst combos of AA when other players put more money in.

Estimating your equity multiway is not easy, but you'll help yourself tremendously if you incorporate proper hand selection.

Do not complete trash hand while on the Big Blind

It's tempting in NLH and even more alluring in PLO, but you must be careful. You can easily find yourself in a situation where a bad preflop decision will lead to misplays on the flop, turn or river. Calling opens while holding hole cards with no postflop playability is a costly leak, which even experienced players are often unaware of.

The correct preflop Pot Limit Omaha strategy is necessary to avoid finding yourself in tough spots costing you a lot of money. Too loose preflop plays in PLO will punish you even more severely than in Texas Hold'em since you often find yourself with deceptively strong hands, which won't be good enough to continue versus multiple opponents.

For example, there are very few occasions when stacking a bottom or middle set in No Limit Hold'em will be a mistake; using the same logic in PLO would hurt your win rate severely.

Using PLO Genius, you'll easily find the correct frequencies against a UTG open followed by overcalls

The position is the key

Being out of position in poker is not where you want to be. It is an even more undesirable state in PLO, where position matters more than in other games. If you are out of position against multiple opponents, that's an even harder condition to combat; therefore, you should be very selective not only on the Big Blind but also on early-to-middle positions.

Even if  players on your table won't punish you with 3-bets, you shouldn't play significantly looser on early positions. You won't be able to profit from playing the multiway pots with mediocre holdings, even if the price for seeing the flop is low.

Consider playing your draws aggressively

With a proper hand selection, your draws will often dominate your opponents' draws. Since many of your opponents will be happy to put more money into the pot with inferior draws or weak showdown value, you should charge them to do so.

By playing your draws aggressively, you are more likely to realize the equity of your unmade hands. We've already underlined that being in a multiway pot with a mediocre draw or weak made hand is the wrong place to be in.

Whenever you play aggressively with many outs to the nuts, you punish your opponents for being too loose - they either put more money in with inferior draws, risking "being coolered", or fold, allowing you to win without a showdown.

PLO Genius will improve your understanding of playing multiway

Most poker solvers shine whenever you study heads-up situations. PLO Genius will help you with one-on-one pots and hint at what you should do when multiple players are already in the pot.

That's an enormous edge to gain; you can train your preflop skills with different stack sizes, game formats, and rake structures - all conveniently stored in one app.