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Flatting with aces in PLO

Pot Limit Omaha RSS / / 20 June 2011 / Leave a Comment

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Aces are a hand it is very easy to fall in love with in any form of poker, but nowhere is it more dangerous than in PLO.

This is one of the hardest things to drill into good Hold'em players when they start playing Pot Limit Omaha - learning to flat with aces in many situations. Although there is certainly a time and a place to flat with aces in Hold'em, for the most part you are raising, re-raising and trying to get your stack in as soon as possible. In PLO this is frequently not the case, and often with aces (particularly weak ones), flatting should be your default setting.

Calling ranges in PLO are very different to Hold'em, simply because the variety of hands on offer makes pre flop strength significantly diminished. This leads to much more flatting pre flop (as nearly every hand is effectively a speculative one), as well as many more family pots as numerous individuals sit on playable hands.

Any time in poker that flat calling ranges are very wide, you have to include a large portion of the top part of your range of hands in your calling range. If you don't, every-time you raise your hand is face up, and in a game as flop dependent as PLO, your life is going to be made very hard very quickly.

Most of the time you will struggle to win a pot in PLO with just a single pair. Even a hand like aces (other than the few times you can get it in pre-flop), is actually very weak if it does not improve in PLO, and holding back pre flop can often save you a fortune when you miss the flop and can back down easily. It also disguises your hand well, making it much more likely that players will get their stacks in with low sets against you. Finally, flatting can often allow a player further along to decide to make a big raise, which can allow you to make a huge pre flop pot bet and get your stack in pre flop - something much harder to do if you are the initial raiser.

PLO is a wild game, but the variance can be reduced subtly by taking less low risk lines - particularly against weak opponents who play very badly post flop. Aces are a hand it is very easy to fall in love with in any form of poker, but nowhere is it more dangerous than in PLO, where a single pair is usually a midget amongst giants when the big money starts going in.

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