Some PLO post flop plays
Here are a few interesting plays that work wonderfully in
mid-stakes pot-limit Omaha games.
But first a quick cautionary note. In PLO, and especially in the short buy-in games available on most online sites, it's solid, ABC play that brings home the bacon. The in all but the biggest online games is made by the players who make the fewest mistakes, not the most clever plays.
Keep it tight and solid, push when you have an edge, and you should make good money playing PLO. However, in amongst all that, there's nothing to say that you shouldn't occasionally mix in an out-of-character move, or try something a little out of the ordinary, especially if you play the same players day-in, day-out.
The following pot-limit Omaha post-flop plays are fairly routine and can be effective additional weapons in your Omaha armory. Why not try some of them out next time you're playing?
The bare ace bluff
A pretty routine play to use in a relatively short-handed pot against solid players, or at the very least, opponents who would not fall into the calling station category.
When the flop (or later streets) bring three cards of the same suit (example:
and one of your opponents leads out for a bet (especially if it is a ), consider raising the maximum if you hold the dry ace of the same suit and no other cards of that suit. Because you hold the ace, you can surmise that your opponent does not hold the nut flush, and thus is liable to lay down to a huge raise.
A caveat of caution should be "beware the middle caller". If someone leads a flop like this, and there's a caller in the middle, there is a good chance that one or other player holds a set and will call your raise. The same element of caution should prevail if there are more than two players to act behind you (unless they are tight enough or smart enough to know to fold their set once you raise, in the knowledge you won't pay off a boat so they don't have odds).
If the hand goes to the river without losing your obstinate opponent, you should try a ½ pot or even quarter pot bet on the end if the board doesn't pair. On the off-chance he's been calling along with a set, he will fold to any action on the river if he hasn't connected (again, providing he's solid). However, if he has the second nut flush and has called along thus far, the chances are good he'll call down a full-pot bet on the river so there's no need to waste the extra money.
According to Phil Ivey, you need the pot to be and preferably with only one opponent "interested" in the hand for the bare ace bluff move to work best. He knows, as Full Tilt Poker has the most active pot-limit omaha games on the Internet.
Set on a flush board
Consider a similar play when you hold the top set on a board with 3 to a flush. Bet aggressively when no one else takes the lead in the hand (or even when someone weak-leads, suggesting a non-nut flush, with noone to act behind you).
Consider making that small bet on the river if they follow you all the way, in order to fold a lower flush with low set or perhaps some sort of straight if there's a chance they might have back-doored it.
The beauty of this play is that if your opponent does hold a lower set and the board pairs on a later street (unless you've got very unlucky and lost to a one-outer), you may well capture his stack.
Middle set against a better
Middle sets in PLO can be tough. It's very easy to lose a lot of money with them in an action hand because the player betting/raising is liable either to have a decent draw (with some chance of beating you) or top set (totally crushing you). Thus, you should always be when you hold middle set.
When someone takes the lead in a hand when you have middle set, try to find out as soon and as cheaply as possible if he has the top set or not. If he is a sensible player, this means that he will be trying to get all in on the flop. Thus, with middle set on a board which features no straight or flush, it is smart to make a decent-sized raise of a lead bet to get that information.
This is more important online, when the stacks are small. Sometimes a full pot raise can almost pot commit you on the flop, so sometimes you can achieve the same effect with a smaller raise.
When the stacks are deep and the pot is small, you can afford a full pot raise. However, if the pot is raised preflop, you should consider raising, say, half the size of the pot with middle set against a player who has lead for the whole pot.
If he moves back over the top of you instantly then you can lay down in the knowledge that a) you're not pot-committed, and b) he either has top set (killing you) or a colossal draw that will be close to 50:50 with your hand.
You should beware that betting patterns like this will be picked up on by very observant players who are good at opponent reading, so when in strong company or playing a "regular" opponent, you may wish instead to mix up full-pot and half-pot raises against a full-pot lead better when you hold middle set.
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