Pot Limit Omaha poker games offer opportunities for smart players to develop skills which give them a strategic advantage over the average online grinder. You yourself may be an experienced Pot Limit Omaha player or perhaps you’re making the switch to Omaha poker from No Limit Holdem. In this article I’m going to tell you the key skills that you need to play strong Omaha poker and show you that you can best develop those skills within a conceptual framework that describes the fundamental structure of the game.

Hardly a week goes by without some journalist or influencer somewhere announcing that (this time) poker really has been solved. As ever with the shallow, sensationalist world of media there is an awful lot of smoke for very little fire and so rumours of poker’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Fortunately, the vast majority of computational research into ‘solving poker’ has been directed into variations of Holdem games. The complexity of Omaha poker games, with 4 or more hole cards makes them less vulnerable to brute force computation and, as a consequence, profitable for intelligent players who can develop skills which cannot be reduced to computation.

This article will explain why it is essential to have a deep conceptual understanding in order to play strong strategies in large, complex games. I will demonstrate that a structural study of a complex game enables us to identify meaningful patterns that permeate the game, and that accurate recognition of those patterns in-game is a fundamental skill.

Pot Limit Omaha Strategy PLO Poker

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So-called ‘Artificial Intelligence’ approaches to poker do not play by using an intelligent understanding of the game. Instead they largely rely on using a self-play algorithm, iterated over vast numbers of hands, to build lookup tables that store near-equilibrium action frequency data for game trees that the algorithm has explored. They then use those lookup tables to generate an output action corresponding to the current state of the game as recognized by an algorithm designed for that purpose.

The problem is that you are not a machine, and so you have no chance of learning lookup tables for games which are not trivially small (Tic-tac-toe you can handle). So, in order for you- a human- to play strong poker, you’re going to need to rely on your understanding of the game and a different set of skills.

So what are the skills required to thrive in large, complex games?