5 Differences Between PLO and NLHE 

Are PLO and NLHE just two variants of poker with the same set of rules to play? 

Unlike Hold’em, Omaha is a poker variant in which a player is dealt 4 hole cards to make a 5 cards hand combination. He/she has to use two of his own cards and 3 community cards to create the best combination on the table. But that’s not the only difference that sets PLO apart from NLHE. In contrast, in PLO a player has over 27000 opportunities of making a winning hand combination. Many players even call it a game of increased variance. 

But, these are not the only grounds that differentiate PLO from NLHE. There’s much more to it. Today, in the article we’ll discuss how is PLO different from NLHE. 

Difference in PLO and NLHE

1, A high pair in NLHE might not be a high pair in PLO

A high pair like AA in NLHE has an 85% chance of winning in Hold’em. However, getting the same high pair in Pot Limit does not produce the same outcomes. Having been dealt AAxx as hole cards reduce the winning possibility to 65%, in the case of PLO.

In Omaha, the post-flop conditions highly determine your winning opportunities. A hand that might look strong pre-flop might lose its value as new cards come in way post-flop. On the other hand, a weak hand pre-flop can actually be capable of winning post-flop. 

2,  Beating your opponent’s hand is tougher in PLO 


In NLHE, each player is dealt 2 cards. While in PLO, 4 cards are being dealt with every player. This makes it tougher to make better hands in the case of PLO. A player has to use 2 of his/her hole cards with 3 community cards to make the best 5 cards hand combination. Since they have 4 hole cards they have 6 different 2 cards hand combinations which increases the difficulty level. While in an NLHE  game, a straight or two pair is often seen as strong hands. In PLO these types of hands are usually vulnerable to be easily defeated by the opponents. 

3, PLO demands more of post-flop skills than NLHE 

In PLO, PL describes the betting rules in the game which gives rise to another difference between the two formats. Unlike what happens in NLHE, in PLO players cannot directly go all-in. There is a lot of raising and reraising happening in Omaha. 

A good number of players stick around the flop by raising the bets in order to see what develops i.e. if they have a winning opportunity or not. Nevertheless, in NLHE, players are accustomed to short-stack playing. Hence, this is often challenging for the players who have been playing NLHE for a long time. Playing PLO requires better post-flop skills. 

4, Bluffing can be arduous in PLO


Unlike NLHE, in PLO the players are dealt 4 cards instead of 2. This changes the outcomes of the game. In PLO, people have more outs than in NLHE. This is the reason why players do not fold their medium or low strength hands very easily. They stick to their cards and wait for their outs to show up.

However, in the case of NLHE, as players are dealt with only 2 cards facing downwards, their outs are lesser in comparison to that of 4 cards. Hence, the action of folding is much more frequent in Texas. This makes bluffing tougher while playing PLO than in Hold’em. 

5, PLO is tougher to play and to learn

No-Limit Hold’em is one of the simplest forms of poker to learn. Nevertheless, it can take a lifetime to master. On the other hand, PLO in comparison is needs more efforts to learn as well as to master the game. This is one reason why people prefer NLHE over PLO. 

Despite the many differences that we’ve looked upon, both types have their own advantages and disadvantages. Both are equally fun and challenging to play and require finesse to ace them. Which one do you like playing? Do let us know in the comments below. 

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