I have been getting into poker lately and I've read some beginner strategy articles online and I have seen some youtube videos. PLO seems like an interesting version of poker and I want to become more proficient in it. Should I first get better at NLHE then transfer over or should I just dive right into PLO without any real holdem knowledge.


  • You have a good answer to the stated question. Play free on line and start winning before you play for real money. Money will play different than free but you still learn the basics. – paparazzo Jul 31 '17 at 14:08
  • I agree with Grinch91 and Dr.Drfbaglll – Raymond Timmermans Jul 31 '17 at 16:38

I play both PLO and NLHE, PLO would be my main game if it was more of a regular spread here.

So what I'll start with it the amount of NLHE players who jump to PLO, with the attitude of I play NLHE well and it's basically the same with two extra cards so it should be easy to do well, who then go broke extremely quick. The point of this is to highlight that NLHE and PLO are extremely different games in how they play. You cannot play PLO well with a NLHE mindset. You might get lucky and think that NLHE mindset works, but PLO has a much higher variance so it'll catch up to you quickly.

My advice to you would be to learn NLHE first and transfer over, because, even though I said they're different, the core game is the same, as in what hands beat what. NLHE is also more common than PLO, the only time of the year you might have more PLO tables than NLHE is during the PLO events during the WSOP, and even then maybe only for a few hours. To get good at poker it's about volume of hands, learning from your mistakes and using your hand history to make better, more informed decisions in the future. Because NLHE is played more you'll get more experience at this playing NLHE than playing PLO.

Now how to transition over to PLO from NLHE, some of my advice would be:

  1. Don't fall in love with a two card hand, you have 4 cards. For example J,J,6,9 plays worse than a hand like 6,7,8,9. PLO is at it's core a game about really solid poker fundamentals, you might see crazy PLO hands from a WSOP event, but don't forget those guys and gals on the TV have millions of hands and know when to bend those fundamentals.
  2. It's all about the odds and making ONLY +EV decisions. It might seem PLO is more forgiving than NLHE on making bad EV decisions, but it's not. Play 10,000 hands making -EV decisions and see just how 'forgiving' PLO is.
  3. Tight is right, especially for NLHE players coming into PLO. A PLO player loves NLHE players coming into their game, NLHE players fall in love with aces and then are shocked when they're beaten by a hand like 9♥T♥J♠Q♠. Don't open up your game and put yourself in bad situations. Stick to solid 4 card hands, double suited connectors.
  • 3
    Along with the point that NLHE is played more widely and thus easier to gain experience with: for someone who is new to poker in general, there's a ton of learning material out there that's geared toward NLHE--not as much for PLO. – Dr.DrfbagIII Jul 31 '17 at 13:34
  • That too is also a very good point. Aw far as written material for PLO goes, if you do want to check some out, look up 'Mastering Pot-Limit Omaha the modern aggressive approach' by Herbert Okolowitz & Wladimir Taschner. It was published in 2014, but it's good and for most local live games it's more than modern enough to run rings around most players. – Grinch91 Jul 31 '17 at 16:42

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