Is PLO more profitable than NLHE?

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Is PLO more profitable than NLHE?

Someone wise once said that it takes 5 minutes to learn a game of Poker and a lifetime to master it. Poker is a game based on planning, tactics, improvisation and most importantly skill! Poker is notably the only card game with so many variations. It has more than 13 variations, No-Limit Hold ’em Texas still remains the most played game. No-Limit Hold’em Texas is the simplest yet complex variation of poker. It is not like the other five cards draw poker games; the goal of this variation is to use your hole cards in combination with the community cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand. When you play online poker, another famous poker variation, similar to NHLE, that you can find is 5 card PLO, Pot Limit Omaha. To understand how to play it, one needs to understand Omaha poker rules first. Since the game is similar to Hold ’em in many aspects, many players jump straight into it without fully understanding Omaha poker rules. The game is played with four hole cards instead of two, and unlike NLHE, players must always use exactly two of their hole cards to make a hand. While NHLE gives the player liberty to go all-in, the bet in PLO is limited to the size of the pot. Even though NHLE is the most played poker game, PLO is more profitable. Here are three reasons why

More heads-up and three-way pots 

Any card room or website with Poker games, is sure to have many tables for NLHE but even at the best games where people are playing loose one can still see significantly more heads-up and three-way pots than at a standard 9-handed 1/2/5 PLO game, which uses blinds prior to cards being dealt. In the PLO game, the vast majority of pots include far more people, and many of them stack off with non-nut hands, meaning drawing regularly because they have bad hands. It makes this game still more profitable than even a good NLHE game.

Opponents’ range matters

In the early days of poker you could print money by simply continuing betting every flop, but as a strategy it soon became easy to exploit. Now you have to balance your bluffs, value bets, give ups, block bets, bluff catchers, pot control decisions and range of hands. While the others are comparatively easier to calculate, the range of opponents’ hands is a valuable and complex  strategy for a beginner. Because it allows you to think about all of the possibilities of a hand. In PLO, understanding how the range of hands interacts with an opponent’s range of hands in terms of equity is more important than in NLHE. The greatest skill in 9-handed PLO comes from knowing when to play draws aggressively against a range that consists of many draws and medium strength made hands. These scenarios allow a larger favorite than the classic hand versus a good draw. Which happens in PLO more often than in NLHE. 

Odds to enter a hand pre-flop

When it comes to possible combinations of the starting hands. There are more combinations in PLO than NHLE. Which makes the possibility that players in PLO frequently have pot odds to enter a hand pre-flop, particularly in late position. While a VPIP (Voluntary Put Money in Pot) of 10%-15% in NLHE would not be unheard of for a decent player, that same frequency would be exceedingly tight for a PLO player. Even some very good PLO players may have a VPIP of 25%-30%. These shrunken equity disadvantages are enjoyed by players in PLO, which is another reason why it is more profitable than NLHE.
For seasoned poker players, any live lineup or variation can be fun and engaging but PLO is said to have more of an impact. It is more interactive, with considerably higher chances of profitability. But at the end of the day, just sit back and pick any game that suits your interest and skills. We assure you, you will love it!

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