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PLO theory question - bet sizing and when to bet

reedmylipsreedmylips Posts: 1,146Subscriber
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
Hi everyone,

I recently dipped my toe in a PLO game at the Aria and lost my shirt for various reasons (called too much pre-flop, played too much out of position, didn't know when to bet, raise, call, or fold with various holdings, etc.). Then, yesterday and the day before I watched Friday's LATB which was a $1/$2 PLO game $100-$400. Watching the betting got me thinking about betting and equity.....

There were many spots in the game where it was heads up on the flop, and one player had a set, when the other person had some sort of big draw (flush and straight draw, a big wrap, or whatever)...basically the equity was close between the two hands, inside of 60/40 either way.

Then one player would bet pot, the other player would raise all-in for another pot-size bet, and the first player would call, both players playing correctly given their equity in the hand.

Bart often talks about hands like, "If his hand was face up, we saw his cards, we would still do ______." In PLO, if both players with close equity had their hands face up, would it be correct for either one to bet? The person with the equity edge, let's say the top set with 55%, can't bet enough to charge the draw an incorrect price to call, and the draw always has the correct price to call with his 45% equity. So theoretically, are both players supposed to check until their hand improves since neither player has fold equity?

This gets me lost. When I played, I may have flopped middle set in a raised 5-way pot, and before it got to me it got bet (pot or close to it), then called. Am I supposed to just call and wait to improve my hand to a boat since it looks like I have no fold equity, or jam it in, since I probably have an edge, even though my edge isn't greater than 60%?

Thanks for the help.

Chris

Comments

  • shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    Love the PLO discussion -- however similar to hold'em, IMO it's hard to assess your example without knowing board texture, stack-sizes, player images etc.

    As a general principle however, on every flop, turn, and river, I am asking myself - "What is the nuts?" "Does it make sense for my opponents to have the nuts? (hand reading)", "Can I represent the nuts (or are our opponents aware enough to care / fold)?"

    The nuts is much more likely in this game, which is why you should tighten up PF and play hands that have the potential to make the nuts -- as the most money is won when you can over-straight, over-flush, over-full house people with second best hands (this happens more often in PLO than in HE) -- and you should value bet these hands, similar to Bart's philosophy on NLHE. To your example, this is why you should be folding most middle pairs. Middle set is a tough hand to play because you don't know where you are at -- as you mention it's value is often as a FH redraw, and you don't know if you are drawing dead to a higher set. Position is critical due to information edge: even more important in PLO because people play more straight-forwardly given free cards are much more dangerous. Obv stack sizes and opponent reads make a great difference too - bottom line is when middle pairs flop well you end up with hard decisions.

    Many players appropriately fear the nuts, and thus there are nice bluffing opportunities -- if you can credibly represent the nuts, you have more FE (even from strong hands depending on the player) compared to NLHE. However, this is also stack-size / leverage dependent. You mentioned on the other thread you were buying in short -- in this case, you may need to approach the game thinking like a short-stacker. Try to get AI either PF or on the flop as an equity favorite -- knowing that this is a high-variance style given the equities run closer together. Limon gave a good description how he buys in short in PLO in one of his more recent interviews with Bart.

    My two cents - would love to hear other thoughts. It may be helpful to post some hands that you remember to get some specific discussion going.
  • chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
    Just because you flopped something other than the nuts is not a reason not to bet. They don't always have the hand that is 45% vs your middle set. What you don't want to do is give free cards to hands with equity that would fold to your bet. Getting players to fold out their equity is one way to make money in plo. Along this line of thought, it is much more common (and correct) for players OOP to go ahead and bet into the pfr when they flop a lot of equity.

    I think a lot of getting into a plo groove is properly adjusting to hand strengths vs holdem. Think about what 5 card poker hand(s) you'd like to make with your 4 cards and whether you'd be comfortable betting or raising when you make it.
    ** this is for inexperienced plo players. Just like in holdem, you can expand your ranges when u become more familiar with the equities and the flow of the game.
  • reedmylips said

    Hi everyone,

    I recently dipped my toe in a PLO game at the Aria and lost my shirt for various reasons (called too much pre-flop, played too much out of position, didn't know when to bet, raise, call, or fold with various holdings, etc.). Then, yesterday and the day before I watched Friday's LATB which was a $1/$2 PLO game $100-$400. Watching the betting got me thinking about betting and equity.....

    There were many spots in the game where it was heads up on the flop, and one player had a set, when the other person had some sort of big draw (flush and straight draw, a big wrap, or whatever)...basically the equity was close between the two hands, inside of 60/40 either way.

    Then one player would bet pot, the other player would raise all-in for another pot-size bet, and the first player would call, both players playing correctly given their equity in the hand.

    Bart often talks about hands like, "If his hand was face up, we saw his cards, we would still do ______." In PLO, if both players with close equity had their hands face up, would it be correct for either one to bet? The person with the equity edge, let's say the top set with 55%, can't bet enough to charge the draw an incorrect price to call, and the draw always has the correct price to call with his 45% equity. So theoretically, are both players supposed to check until their hand improves since neither player has fold equity?

    This gets me lost. When I played, I may have flopped middle set in a raised 5-way pot, and before it got to me it got bet (pot or close to it), then called. Am I supposed to just call and wait to improve my hand to a boat since it looks like I have no fold equity, or jam it in, since I probably have an edge, even though my edge isn't greater than 60%?

    Thanks for the help.

    Chris
    One of the biggest problems with sets that aren't top set is that you are not that far ahead of the big wrap draws and flush draws and are virtually drawing dead if you are oversetted. This is why smaller pocket pairs suck in PLO and should be avoided. This is also demonstrates the power of flopping big draws as you can push a ton of better made hands out.

    Bart
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