Straight Draws

Straight Draws in Pot Limit Omaha

The important thing to remember about Pot Limit Omaha poker strategy is that, in an online poker ring game or tournament with six or more players, hands that arent the stone-cold mortal nuts, the very best winning hand, are usually beaten. There are so many hand-possibilities in Omaha that if you arent holding the nuts, chances are someone else is!

With this in mind, straight draws need to be played very cautiously in PLO. A straight, while very powerful in Texas Hold em, even with three-to-a-flush on board, is very rarely a winning hand in Pot Limit Omaha where, if there is three-to-a-flush on the board, someone will almost always have a flush. And then if the board is paired, straights are almost always useless because someone invariably has a full house.

So here are some key rules for chasing a straight-draw in a PLO poker game. Most importantly, any straight that youre chasing must be the nut-straight! In Holdem, dummy straights usually hold up, but in Omaha, on a board of 5s 6s 8c Ac Qd, there is little chance that a 4-5-6-7-8 straight will be good. If faced with heavy raises, a 4-7 of any kind must be mucked immediately, as someone will almost surely be holding the 7-9 for the nut 5-6-7-8-9 straight. Secondly, straight draws must be chased for as cheaply as possible. Since straights will rarely hold up in PLO, and then only the nut-straight has any reasonable chance of winning, the bet must be really cheap in any ring game or poker tournament in order to call it in an attempt to hit that hand.

The value of straights in PLO increases as the number of players in the game decreases. While straights are rarely winners in a full nine-player ring game, they are much more powerful hands in a two player heads-up format. Good hands are so rarely made in any heads-up game that a straight, mediocre as it is in Omaha, has formidable showdown value against only one other opponent. Beware, though, that if the board has been paired or if there is three-to-a-flush on board and you are faced with some heavy betting, then the straight, even the nut straight, should probably head into the muck.