Cash Game Limit Set Breakdowns and General Questions

Hairy_Crocodile

Two Pair
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
457
Reaction score
435
Location
Colorado, USA
Hey all!

I just started to look into Pot Limit Omaha, and since I started my search for how to play/etc, I noticed that limit sets are vastly different than the sets that I am used to seeing here. I am unsure of what the differences in needs are in respects to different types of limit like PL, SL, and FL. I have come across a few threads about this topic, and am getting confused, so I wanted to suck up my pride and ask for help understanding this side of poker.

I want to get into PL Omaha specifically, and a few players in my group are interested in the idea as well.

Some Questions:
  • Do different limit games require vastly different breakdowns?
    • I have seen some breakdown rules for limit games, but do not understand them at the moment, especially since I havent played limit games before.
    • What are the set breakdown differences for FL, SL and PL?
    • Some of these sets I see are 900x of one denom, and 100x of another, I assume they are for FL and SL only though?
  • Are normal NLHE set breakdowns compatible with PLO?
    • Do players require as much as a rack of workhorse chips per player or more for PLO? Or is that just FL and SL?
    • Can I use the same stacks I normally would for 5¢/10¢? 25¢/50¢? 1/2?? Etc....
    • Do I need different denoms that arent common such as $2.50, etc?
    • Do I need more $1 chips for PLO? Normal stakes for my 2 groups are buying in for $10/$20, and very rarely we play 25¢/50¢. I will be having 1/2 games with another group starting soon after I get the labels finished for my current set I'm building
  • Do buy in amounts change with PLO? I have heard that limit games in general get out of control fast, what should the buy-in be for something like 10¢/20¢ be?
    • I'd assume it would stay the same, but I do not know if people should be buying in for 200BB+ or something like that at all when sitting down to play. I wouldn't want to sit down with my group and just hear "pot" every other second until everyone is all in and we are already on bullets 2-3.
  • Also, I have seen suggestions to keep it at 8 players max, is 9-10 not doable with PLO?

My current set breakdown is
100x 5¢
200x 25¢
200x $1
400x $5
160x $25
40x $100
Also, I noticed this in another thread and wondered if this is a universally agreed upon breakdown. It seems like limit sets turn into "Just buy all the chips you can find man", but I could be wrong :unsure: :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

NL/PL - three different colors
  • 100x Blinds
  • 300x Workhorse
  • 200x High Value
  • $100 bills allowed on the table
So basically, does my normal breakdown work? Are there any quality of life things I should know about before getting into PLO? My group wants to try it this Sunday, and if I need to be warned about something before then, Id rather learn about it now so I don't look like an ass.

I am probably overthinking this, so I apologize if I have. I hope that you all are having a good day on the forums, and that you and your families are well.

Cheers!
 

BGinGA

Royal Flush
Tourney Director
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
25,391
Reaction score
38,942
Location
Atlanta
I think you are slightly confused. Games generally fall into two categories -- big bet games (played no-limit or pot-limit), and small bet games (played fixed-limit). The optimimun set breakdown for each category is different.

No-limit sets work just fine for pot-limit games, since the only difference is the size of the maximum bet allowed. Generally speaking, Pot-Limit Omaha plays much bigger than NLHE, because of the extra draws made available due to four hole cards, and people betting the maximum allowed every street to either extract maximize value or protect against draws. It is a very volatile game. If you are currently playing 1/2 hold'em, you'll win/lose about the same amount playing 25c/50c Omaha.... only faster.


In Fixed-Limit games, the betting structure -- and set configuration -- are different, and typically use only two denominations for a given stakes -- a virtual crap-ton of betting chips, and just a single larger denomination value chip (usually 20x the size of the betting chip).

A typical single-table 1/2 fixed-limit set (using 50c/$1 blinds) for Hold'em or Omaha would contain 900x 25c betting chips and 100x $20 value chips. In fixed-limit board card games, the bets (and raises) are limited to either $1 (pre-flop and flop) or $2 (turn and river bets and raises). Most fixed-limit Stud games use a smaller ante (25c) with a minimum forced bring-in amount (50c, paid by the worst showing hand), followed by $1 small bet (and raises) on 3rd and 4th street, with the $2 big bet (and raises) used on 5th-7th street. Only one bet and three raises are allowed per street, regardless of format.
 
Last edited:

Nanook

Straight
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
941
Reaction score
1,452
Location
Minnesota, USA
BGinGA is correct about everything he said.

To summarize: you are fine with what you have for PLO, but you don't have enough chips for any limit game. Most home games are rather small so people tend to get $1 chips and lots of them for a home game limit set. The main reason for all the chips is that all bets are made with the same denomination in limit and if everyone doesn't have a lot of chips players will be running out all the time. The reason for the "get as many as you can" comments is that it is not uncommon for people to have 3 -5 racks of chips in front of them. Just yesterday I bought in for 2 racks and cashed in for 5 in an 8/16 limit game.

PLO is the game that gets crazy in a hurry, not limit. I realize that the word limit is the "L" in PLO, but no one considers PLO in the same category as limit. When people refer to limit they are talking about games like 3/6 limit, 6/12 Omaha, 4/8 stud etc where the big bet is 2x the small bet.
 

CrazyEddie

Flush
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
1,689
Reaction score
2,344
Location
Georgia
A couple of things to add:

You mentioned "SL" by which I assume you mean "spread limit". Spread limit is a holdover from the old days of poker (i.e. before the poker boom in the 2000s). It's rarely played any more, and for good reason. Spread limit means bets and raises can be any amount between a stated minimum and maximum, so for example you might have a $1-$5 spread limit game where you can bet anywhere between $1 and $5. Games with spreads like this usually just become effectively a $5 fixed-limit game, because in most circumstances good players have no reason to make a smaller bet. Some casinos run a $1-$200 spread limit game as a way to simulate a no-limit game in jurisdictions where no-limit games are banned. There's no good reason for a home game to play spread limit. I mean, you can if you want to, but you probably won't want to.

Note that terminology can be a little confusing: when people just say "limit" they're usually referring to fixed-limit. No-limit is "no-limit" or NL, pot-limit is "pot-limit" or PL, fixed-limit is usually just "limit", and nobody talks about spread-limit at all.

You also talked about "requirements" but I'd stress that the recommendations you'll find on PCF are recommendations, not requirements. You can play a fixed-limit game just fine with a typical no-limit set. People recommend a 900x1 + 100x20 set for fixed-limit because it's fun having hundreds of chips piled up in front of each player, but it's by no means required.

When you start looking into playing fixed-limit games, note that the stakes for fixed-limit and no-limit / pot-limit games are quoted differently. Big bet games (NL and PL) are quoted using the small and big blinds: $1/$2 NL means the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2. Fixed-limit games are quoted using the small and big bets: $1/$2 limit means the bet size in the early streets is $1 and the bet size on the later streets is $2.

Fixed-limit games can be helpfully classified by how many chips each bet is. A $3/$6 game using dollar chips is a three-chip/six-chip game, a $1/$2 game using quarters is a four-chip/eight-chip game. Two-four and three-six chip games are popular; avoid one-two chip games.

The four primary types of poker are draw, stud, hold-em, and Omaha. HE and Omaha use community cards (the board), draw and stud don't. This affects the betting structures that each game typically uses. The board games use blinds; stud uses an ante and a bring-in. Draw used to use antes but now is commonly played with blinds. It's possible but uncommon to use blinds with stud or antes with HE/Omaha.

Pot-limit games are in theory smaller than no-limit games because you can make bigger bets in NL, but in practice PL games are bigger because they encourage players to bet the maximum ("pot") with every bet. Hold-em is usually played NL but is often played fixed-limit; the games play out very differently. Omaha is usually played PL. Stud is usually played fixed-limit.

These are all points that I had questions about when I started, so hopefully you might find this helpful as you're getting started.
 

Nanook

Straight
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
941
Reaction score
1,452
Location
Minnesota, USA
A couple of things to add: ............
Nice description of everything and well thought out.

.........Two-four and three-six chip games are popular; avoid one-two chip games.
I agree with everything you said with this one exception.

I would have said 1 & 2 chip games should be avoided if possible and 3 & 4 chip games work best and are the most popular.

Just for clarification, when I say 3 chip game that means 3 chips for the small blind in a limit game, ie 3/6 limit with $1 chips is a 3 chip game
 

upNdown

Royal Flush
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
11,492
Reaction score
13,990
Location
boston
You can play a fixed-limit game just fine with a typical no-limit set. People recommend a 900x1 + 100x20 set for fixed-limit because it's fun having hundreds of chips piled up in front of each player, but it's by no means required.
You should probably lock your doors and hide in the basement, because the PCF men in black are probably on their way to pick you up, right now.
 

Beakertwang

Straight Flush
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
9,708
Reaction score
14,118
Location
Iowa
I’m curious why 1-2 chip games should be avoided. I’ve played mixed games that way several times, with a few small chips on the table to cover small blinds, and it worked just fine.
 

upNdown

Royal Flush
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
11,492
Reaction score
13,990
Location
boston
I’m curious why 1-2 chip games should be avoided. I’ve played mixed games that way several times, with a few small chips on the table to cover small blinds, and it worked just fine.
Sigh. I’ve been banging this drum for a while. It does work fine. I’ve even played that way in a pretty well-run cardroom.
People will tell you that they’ve played 50,000 hands of limit and that’s just how it’s done.
People will tell you that more chips equal more action.
People might be right, but that doesn’t change the fact that it works fine the other way too.
 

Nanook

Straight
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
941
Reaction score
1,452
Location
Minnesota, USA
I’m curious why 1-2 chip games should be avoided. I’ve played mixed games that way several times, with a few small chips on the table to cover small blinds, and it worked just fine.
It's not just because that is how it is done and yes you could play limit with 400 chips or whatever, but it doesn't work the best.

You do you, but if you want your limit game to run the best it can you need more chips. It's no different than someone coming on here and asking for a 300 max chip breakdown for an 8 handed nl game.
 

Nanook

Straight
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
941
Reaction score
1,452
Location
Minnesota, USA
Sigh. I’ve been banging this drum for a while. It does work fine. I’ve even played that way in a pretty well-run cardroom.
People will tell you that they’ve played 50,000 hands of limit and that’s just how it’s done.
People will tell you that more chips equal more action.
People might be right, but that doesn’t change the fact that it works fine the other way too.
50,000 hands of live limit....
That is nothing. I have played over 1,000,000 hands of live limit. I'm not saying I know everything, but I am pretty sure that qualifies as knowing a little about what works best and what doesn't work all that well.

I never said you couldn't do it, but the fact remains that 1 & 2 chip games don't work as well as 3 & 4 chip games for limit. The same thing goes for a 3-500 chip set not working as well as 1000+ chip sets for limit.
 

Beakertwang

Straight Flush
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
9,708
Reaction score
14,118
Location
Iowa
It's not just because that is how it is done and yes you could play limit with 400 chips or whatever, but it doesn't work the best.

You do you, but if you want your limit game to run the best it can you need more chips. It's no different than someone coming on here and asking for a 300 max chip breakdown for an 8 handed nl game.
But why? Why would a 1/2 limit game run better with 50¢ chips than with half as many $1 chips. Why would a 3/6 game run better with $1 chips than with one-third as many $3 chips?
 

inca911

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
4,278
Reaction score
14,811
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Capping a table at 7-8 players allows you to play a large variety of games. You can also mix in a max big bet format with fixed limit for even more variety. Lots of fun to be had at a limit table!

1439EEC3-6461-49D0-998A-89027F42E3EB.jpeg
3D75979F-CDDB-4D90-ADDB-CD2362A8E51B.jpeg

BF15C4AB-890D-4CF2-9307-17020ED63FD7.jpeg
 

Nanook

Straight
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
941
Reaction score
1,452
Location
Minnesota, USA
But why? Why would a 1/2 limit game run better with 50¢ chips than with half as many $1 chips. Why would a 3/6 game run better with $1 chips than with one-third as many $3 chips?
The reason is that everything about limit encourages a friendly game & encourages action. 1 & 2 chip games discourage action & 3 & 4 chip games encourage action
 

Hairy_Crocodile

Two Pair
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
457
Reaction score
435
Location
Colorado, USA
So people will win/lose faster at 0.25/0.50 PLO than 1/2 NLE? That sounds wonderful to me personally, but that may not be good for one of my groups then. I have a couple hyper aggro players that either win or lose big and I want to keep the peace with them.

I think that group wanted to lower the stakes because they were getting annoyed with buying in for 2-3 bullets every week.
 

Beakertwang

Straight Flush
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
9,708
Reaction score
14,118
Location
Iowa
The reason is that everything about limit encourages a friendly game & encourages action. 1 & 2 chip games discourage action & 3 & 4 chip games encourage action

I don’t doubt that that has been your experience, but why do you think that is?
 

detroitdad

Royal Flush
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
26,808
Reaction score
39,095
Location
Michigan
Why would a 3/6 game run better with $1 chips than with one-third as many $3 chips?

I run a 3/6 limit game with 1000 x $1.00 chips on the table and my group loves it. We do it simply because its the only time I get to put that many sexy Duke Silvers on the table at once.

Its also more fun betting 3 chips and 6 chips vs one $3.00 chip or two $3.00 chips.
 
Last edited:

Nanook

Straight
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
941
Reaction score
1,452
Location
Minnesota, USA
So people will win/lose faster at 0.25/0.50 PLO than 1/2 NLE? That sounds wonderful to me personally, but that may not be good for one of my groups then. I have a couple hyper aggro players that either win or lose big and I want to keep the peace with them.

I think that group wanted to lower the stakes because they were getting annoyed with buying in for 2-3 bullets every week.
If you want your game to continue without having to be constantly recruiting new players you should stay away from PLO or at the very least make the stakes so small that no one is getting hurt enough that they would stop coming.
 

Nanook

Straight
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
941
Reaction score
1,452
Location
Minnesota, USA
I don’t doubt that that has been your experience, but why do you think that is?
Clearly it is an illusion, but people like big pots and big pots encourage action & the more action the more fun the more fun the more people want to keep coming back
 

Hairy_Crocodile

Two Pair
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
457
Reaction score
435
Location
Colorado, USA
If they insist on trying it, I'll be doing 0.05/0.10 with them then to be sure it doesn't sting too hard if a night goes bad.

Well, I mean, that's what I'll be dropping that groups stakes to play more more poker longer anyway. We usually play 0.25/0.25.

The tournaments we are doing are only $5-$20 at most for entry usually. Trying to find the sweet spot for different groups is difficult so far. I dont mind being fluid and changing stakes and such when we need to.

For the experience level of most of the group, I'm surprised it's so full of action at our table. So if PLO gets out of control quickly, I'll be sure to warn them, or try to avoid it with that group.
 

CrazyEddie

Flush
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
1,689
Reaction score
2,344
Location
Georgia
It's great that you're thinking ahead and looking out for your players.

Have a frank discussion with them about how much money everyone is okay with losing every night, and frame it in terms of buy-in sizes and number of rebuys. Technically cash games don't need to have any constraints about how much or how often to buy in for, but it'll help your game if your players are thinking that way. If the group is interested in Omaha (and they should be! encourage them! diversity in games is awesome!) let them know that they'll burn through buy-ins faster than they're used to and so they might want to make their buy-ins smaller and more frequent over the course of a night. Get a consensus on the buy-ins, then adjust the stakes to match.
 

Hairy_Crocodile

Two Pair
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
457
Reaction score
435
Location
Colorado, USA
It's great that you're thinking ahead and looking out for your players.

Have a frank discussion with them about how much money everyone is okay with losing every night, and frame it in terms of buy-in sizes and number of rebuys. Technically cash games don't need to have any constraints about how much or how often to buy in for, but it'll help your game if your players are thinking that way. If the group is interested in Omaha (and they should be! encourage them! diversity in games is awesome!) let them know that they'll burn through buy-ins faster than they're used to and so they might want to make their buy-ins smaller and more frequent over the course of a night. Get a consensus on the buy-ins, then adjust the stakes to match.
I'm going to try and introduce it tomorrow after the tournament, I hope that they like it because it seems really fun to me. I get most of my enjoyment from running the games and making the game go smoothly for everyone, so I will have to have a long discussion about stakes tomorrow.

Also:
The quick way to calculate a pot bet is something like 3 x amount to call + previous bets before the last bet, right?
 

Kid_Eastwood

Full House
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
3,371
Reaction score
4,631
Location
BE
In your opinion, how does it play? Anything about it in particular that you like or don’t like?

For me it's very playable. The only thing compared with a proper limit set is that there is not only one chip bet.

From the moment everyone keeps his current bet in front of him (just like PL/NL) there is no problem.

Sometimes change is required but not very often.

The drawback is that the game is not as fast as it'd be with a proper limit set I think.
 

warma

Straight
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
973
Reaction score
867
Location
DC
For me it's very playable. The only thing compared with a proper limit set is that there is not only one chip bet.

From the moment everyone keeps his current bet in front of him (just like PL/NL) there is no problem.

Sometimes change is required but not very often.

The drawback is that the game is not as fast as it'd be with a proper limit set I think.
I played that way for years, before discovering the limit set concept. A lot of change-making, but it never bothered our group.
 

joepro

Straight
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
911
Reaction score
1,066
Location
Philadelphia, PA
I run a 3/6 limit game with 1000 x $1.00 chips on the table and my group loves it. We do it simply because its the only time I get to put that many sexy Duke Silvers on the table at once.

Its also more fun betting 3 chips and 6 chips vs one $3.00 chip or two $3.00 chips.
It is also impossible to use only $3 chips in a standard 3/6 limit game because the small blind is either $1 or (preferably) $2. In which case, you're making change and slowing the game down. The speed of the game is why I love limit so much, it plays MUCH faster than no limit :

Minimal rebuys
Minimal making change
No bet sizing
No counting down stacks

And my favorite part,

No "Hollywooding!!!"
 
Top Bottom