[This post originally appeared in the OmahaPokerTraining.com blog, which is being combined with the AdvancedPokerTraining.com blog]

This is an instructive hand from the ladies’ live stream at Texas card house, shared by our friend PokerfaceAsh. Let’s watch the hand play out (an over $2000 pot!).

If you like that video, please visit PokerfaceAsh on Youtube and Subscribe – it really helps out her channel, and she’s been a supporter of us here at Omaha Poker Training and Advanced Poker Training (our Hold’em site).

The pot size is actually only $70, the display was off. This is a $2/$5 cash game with a $10 straddle. Seven players went to the flop.

This is a great hand to talk about how you always want to have a backup draw when you’re playing PLO. I’ve made this comment before about pre-flop play. When playing PLO, hold’em players can get enamored with a hand that contains, for example, A-K and nothing else. And A-K is a fine hand to play in PLO as long as you have something else to go with it. So you want to have A-K AND 5-5♣ to go with it. Or A-K AND T-8, or something like that. Always have an AND in your HAND.

The same applies often to situations on the flop as well. Take a hand like the one you just watched where PokerfaceAsh flopped the nuts. Should we get all our money in any time we flop the nuts? In Hold’em, yes. In PLO, not so fast. As most of you know already, when you flop the nuts in PLO, you’re not necessarily a favorite. Especially in a seven-way pot. Someone else might have flopped the nuts with a redraw. Another player could have a monster draw of some kind that is actually favored.

So when we’re deep stacked, in PLO we want to flop the nuts AND something to go with it, before we are feeling great about getting all our chips in. Especially when we flop a straight, like in this particular hand. In this hand, Ashley has flopped the nuts AND a flush draw to go with it. So she shouldn’t be worried if all the chips go in.

But what (I hear you saying) if someone else also flopped the nuts and has a better flush draw? That can happen, but more often than not, when the money goes in, you’ll be a favorite in situations like this. There are plenty of recreational players who will put all their money in with just the nuts (and no re-draw). Recreational players will go all in with A-A♠-8♣-7 here. Do the aces help their equity much? Not really, they just look pretty. And you’ll definitely get players going all-in here with a rundown like 8-7-6♣-5♣. That has four outs to a full house, which will beat our flush if we both get there, but we’re still a favorite because our flush re-draw has so many more outs.

As a rule of thumb, it’s much safer to get your money in on the turn if you have just the nuts and no redraw. That’s because you aren’t afraid of players with massive 20-out wrap draws anymore. At that point, you’re a favorite over them because they only have one card to come. Often when you flop the nut straight with no redraw, you’ll want to make sure you can dodge the turn card first before getting all your money in. You still might be an underdog on the turn to someone with the nuts AND a redraw. But your odds won’t be as bad due to the fact that there’s only one more card to come. Assuming you also get called by some non-nutted hands on the turn, you should be in good shape in the long run. 

So that’s takeaway number one. Pre-flop, and on the flop, if you were to verbalize what you like about your hand, be sure there’s an AND in your statement. Otherwise proceed with caution.

The second important takeaway from this hand has to do with the winning percentages shown in the graphic. You can see here it states that Becca is a favorite over PokerfaceAsh. However, that information is misleading. It’s important you understand why, or you may get misled about the relative strengths of PLO hands in multiway pots.

Becca is a favorite here only if all seven players were to go to the showdown, which of course is unlikely. As players fold on the flop, most of their equity will be transferred to PokerfaceAsh, because they are all drawing to beat her. In all likelihood, only Becca and Ashley are going to the turn here (and maybe Dusti). The graphic below shows you what the real odds look like if only two or three players go to the turn. Below you can see that Ashley is actually a big favorite.

You want to make sure that your instincts don’t get thrown off from watching live streams in situations like this. The nuts will always be a favorite over non-nutted hands, unless they have a tremendous combo or wrap draw. Becca has the nut flush draw and a gut-shot to a better nutted straight. However, that is not enough to actually be a favorite over Ashley’s hand. You probably noticed that some of Becca’s supposed outs are already taken as well — several spades and the two 8s held by PokerfaceAsh.

There’s no great secret to PLO. You just need to make some basic adjustments from Hold’em. Then you need a lot of practice to fine-tune your instincts. Get your account here at OmahaPokerTraining.com and you’ll rake in some big pots in no time!