Wraps In Pot-Limit Omaha

One of the biggest adjustments players new to Pot-Limit Omaha need to make is to the size of possible straight draws, it is possible to hold a straight with no less than 20 ‘outs’ on the flop in PLO Poker – yet many players make huge errors with these holdings.

This is the first part of a 3 article series which will look at straights and wraps in PLO Poker in some detail. Here we examine the variety of straight draws available and the starting hands which give you the potential to flop the largest of these draws. We will also look at ‘trap wraps’ by covering scenarios where not all of your outs are clean.

In the second part of this series we look at wraps with help – that is to say those times when you have additional ways to win a showdown such as flushes or a pair. The 3rd part will look into Omaha flop hand match-ups which involve wraps against a variety of opponent holdings.

Wraps In Pot Limit Omaha – Hierarchy Of Common Straight Draws

1 – Gutshot Straight Draw – 4 Outs – Example: A-2-9-J on a flop of 4-5-8
2 – Open Ended Straight Draw – 8 Outs – Example: 4-5-Q-Q on flop of 6-7-K
3 – Inside Broadway Draw – 9 Outs – Example: 5-10-J-K on flop of 7-Q-A
4 – 12 Out Straight Draw – 12 Outs – Example: 7-9-J-Q on flop of 2-8-10
4 – 13 Card Wrap Draw – 13 Outs – Example: 5-6-8-9 on flop of 4-7-K
6 – 17 Card Wrap Draw – 17 Outs – Example: 10-9-6-2 on flop of 8-7-A
6 – 20 Card Wrap Draw – 20 Outs – Example: 10-9-6-5 on flop of 8-7-2

When considering the power of wrap around straight draws we need to consider several inter-relating factors. These include the following questions:

What Starting Hands Produce The Most Powerful Omaha Wrap Straight Draws?

Here is the key ‘Wraps Love Gaps ’, that is to say you need gaps in your starting hand in order to flop the best possible wraps. Within this there is a proviso – that the ‘2-gap’ hands which can produce the biggest wrap draws of all are not necessarily the most desirable pot-limit Omaha starting hands, since not all your outs are to the nuts, especially when the gaps are at the top end. High-card strength and / or suitedness (along with good table position) can really help with these hands.

How Many Of My Outs Are To The Nuts?

It is easy to find yourself counting a huge number of outs, only to find that less than half of them are to the nuts. Chasing a ‘Sucker-Wrap’ can be hugely expensive in Omaha, you will find yourself winning a small pot or losing a big one to a better draw. If you have a read (for example that your opponent has a set), or help (for example a flush draw or pairs) then non-nut wraps can be played more aggressively.

Is There A Flush Or Flush Draw Available On The Flop?

Key to the power of your wrap is whether the flop contains 2 suited cards, if you do not have a flush draw yourself then this can devalue your hand significantly. Against multiple opponents even the strongest wraps should be given up on a monotone (single suit) flop when you have no help. Position is key to playing wraps where other draws are possible, since this will often allow you to better control the size of the pot.

What Is The Likelihood That Some Of My Outs Are In Opponents Hands?

When considering a broadway (picture card) wrap draw it is important to consider that your opponents may be holding a number of your outs. Since high cards and connected cards are more likely to be in the pot pre-flop, it can be possible for several cards to be taken. For example when playing an inside broadway straight against 2 opponents it is feasible that you could end up with a split pot more than half of the time – and an opponent with the same straight draw and a set could be freerolling for the full house on later streets.

How Deep Are The Chip Stacks, And Where In The Betting Order Do We Sit?

While the depth of stacks and position are more a key strategy component with PLO poker than specific to wrap draws – the strength of your draw and position are closely related. This becomes most apparent when your flop bet is flat called and the turn does not complete your draw. Changing from a solid favorite to an underdog to win the pot means that position or the ability to threaten your opponent with a potentially large re-raise are key weapons.

Part 2 of our series looking at straight and wrap draws on pot limit Omaha poker will examine those times when you have a wrap plus some further help in the hand.