Pot limit Omaha is notoriously one of the most swingy, high variance games you will encounter. Much of this is due to the fact that you have four hole cards instead of two; preflop hand values run much closer together and you will rarely have a big equity edge against your opponents before the flop. Also, four cards means that there will always be more drawing hands out there with significantly more outs, so players often get all in as a much slighter favorite. You will see situations where two players with good hands are both mathematically correct to put all their chips in on the flop, or even where a player holding the current nuts can be the underdog to an opponent with several redraws. All of these factors combine to produce an exciting game with a huge variance.
Pot Limit Omaha is very swingy in the short term, but if you are highly skilled and practice proper bankroll management, the games are very profitable in the long run. Very good players can achieve a win rate of 10-15 BB/100 hands over a large sample. Also, if you are a tighter, less aggressive player who gets involved in fewer pots, you will experience less variance although your potential profit will also be smaller.
Omaha is quickly growing in popularity, and you should be able to find action packed tables at almost every poker site. If you play at higher stakes, or are looking for several active tables at non-peak hours, you will likely have to stick to a larger poker room or network. Take a look at some of our suggestions below.
Safe Bankroll for Pot Limit Omaha
Because of the extreme swings associated with pot limit Omaha, you’ll need a larger bankroll to be able to absorb extended losses. The general guideline is 30-35 buy-ins for low stakes games. If you wish to play $.25/$.50 for example, a game with a maximum buy-in of $50, you should have $1500-$2000 in your bankroll. Your player type should help you decide your appropriate bankroll A tighter player can get by with the lower bankroll limit, while a looser player should stick to the higher guideline. If you play medium or high stakes, where there are fewer fish, you should usually have at least 40 buy-ins.
Bankroll Required to Move Up in Pot Limit Omaha
Moving up in pot limit Omaha should be a more careful decision than most other games, due to the extremely high variance. You should not take a shot at a higher level unless you have 30 buy-ins in your bankroll. A higher number would be even better, since you will be encountering better players as you move up.
Bankroll Required to Move Down in Pot Limit Omaha
Any time your bankroll gets to be 30 buy-ins for the next lower limit, you should move down immediately. If you have had some success and moved up to $1/$2 with a bankroll of $6000, you absolutely must drop back down to $.50/$1 if your bankroll reaches $3000, and it is advisable to do it even sooner, especially if you are an aggressive player. While you have some flexibility in other games, pot limit Omaha’s high variance forces you to strictly adhere to these rules.
When to Cash Out Bankroll Earnings
You should only cash out money that will leave you with at the absolute minimum of 30 buy-ins at the level you wish to play. Pot limit Omaha has such extreme swings that you cannot afford to deviate from these bankroll requirements. Even if you have won a few sessions recently, understand that the downswings will occur, and that they can be more brutal than just about any other game. Keeping the recommended bankroll at all times is a great way to avoid headaches.
All in all, pot limit Omaha is a game with high variance, but one that a highly skilled player can consistently crush. In order to give yourself your best opportunity, you need to have a larger bankroll than any other cash game, including no limit holdem. If you are a more aggressive player, you should keep even more. Winning pot limit Omaha players must have extreme discipline and avoid tilting when things go bad. If they do, however, it can be one of the most exciting and profitable games around.