How to Win at Double Board PLO Bomb Pots: A Practical Strategy Guide

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Welcome to the rapidly expanding world of Double Board PLO Bomb Pots (DBBP), a thrilling new format that’s taking the live poker scene and online platforms by storm. DBBP represents a relative departure from traditional PLO strategy, and its rising popularity brings unique challenges and opportunities. 

What are Double Board Bomb Pots?

In a Double Board PLO Bomb Pot, players skip the preflop betting round. After receiving their hole cards, each player antes up, typically 3 to 10 big blinds. Immediately, two separate flop boards are revealed. The game then proceeds similarly to standard PLO rules but with a twist – two turns and two rivers follow, contributing to a singular pot. 

In multiway action with short stacks all-in, standard side pot rules are applied. At showdown, the pot is divided between the two boards, unless a single player holds the winning hand on both, in which case they scoop the entire pot.

In the following video from our upcoming course Mastering Double Board PLO Bomb Pots, coach Georg Funke explains the basic setup and features for DBBP.

In these early stages of DBBP, many players rely on instinct rather than strategic analysis, often leading to costly mistakes. Common pitfalls include playing too conservatively or, more frequently, overcommitting with suboptimal hands. Additionally, a lack of positional awareness and a tendency to think in a linear fashion (“I have a set”) are evident in these games.

This blog is designed to equip you with the necessary tools to sidestep these common errors and capitalize on the oversight of players who haven’t yet grasped the nuances of this format. Let’s start by establishing the three cardinal rules for mastering DBBP:

  • Focus on High-Value Hands
    In DBBP, prioritizing high-value hands (the nuts) is essential.

     

  • Engage with Both Boards
    Aim to play hands that are strong on both boards. If you’re weak on one, ensure you have compelling reasons to continue on the other.

     

  • Position is King
    Positional awareness is even more critical in DBBP than in other poker variants. Exercise caution, especially in early positions.

These foundational principles will help you get a better feel for the game format, for a deeper exploration into the strategies necessary for success, make sure to check out our DBBP course.

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Absence of Ranges

Unlike traditional poker formats, DBBP does not adhere to conventional range-based play. Each player starts with a random hand, equalizing the probability of encountering sets and two pairs across various board ranks. This randomness challenges players to reassess their hand evaluation strategies, keeping an open mind towards all possible hand combinations.

In this clip from our upcoming Mastering Double Board PLO Bomb Pots course, coach Georg Funke breaks down the effects of playing random hands.

The Art of Freerolling

Freerolling, a concept found in standard Hold’em or PLO, is crucial in double-board bomb pots. This occurs when you share a hand strength with an opponent but have additional draw chances. 

For instance, when you hold the nut flush on the top board, and a set on the bottom board while your opponent has the straight.  Here you can at worst chop the pot but have full house outs to scoop. 

In this clip from our upcoming Mastering Double Board PLO Bomb Pots course, Georg uses an example to go into further detail.

Push & Pull Dynamics

In DBBP, deciding whether to attract more players into the pot or push them out is key. This strategy varies depending on your hand’s strength and the game’s stage. Non-nut draws and medium-strength hands often benefit from reducing the field, while strong combo draws thrive in multiway pots. On the river, the push/pull approach should be based on your relative strength on each board, aiming either to claim the existing pot or increase your payout by drawing more players in.

Static & Dynamic Boards

The terms ‘static’ and ‘dynamic’ describe the likelihood of the nuts changing on subsequent cards. Static boards, where the current nuts are less likely to be overtaken, encourage aggressive play, while dynamic boards require a more cautious approach. For instance, holding the nuts on a static board and a strong draw on a dynamic board warrants an aggressive stance, posing difficult decisions for opponents.

Math & Odds in DBBP

DBBP introduces unique scenarios requiring modified equity calculations. On the flop or turn, you must average the equities from each board to gauge your overall hand strength. For example, if you estimate 70% equity on the top board and 10% on the bottom, your overall equity would be 40%.

In this clip from our upcoming Mastering Double Board PLO Bomb Pots course, coach Georg Funke shows examples on how to calculate double board equities.

Understanding these fundamentals is essential for any player looking to navigate the complexities of Double Board PLO Bomb Pots successfully. This game variant not only tests your poker skills but also demands a refined approach to strategy, hand evaluation, and decision-making.

Positional Play

Mastering positional play in DBBP involves a careful balance of aggression and caution, with a strong emphasis on reading the game dynamics and anticipating future developments. Position in double-board bomb pots is crucial due to the frequency of nut-changing turns and rivers. It enables you to observe and react to your opponents’ actions, often providing insights into their hand strength. 

Double Board PLO Bomb Pots tends to be a straightforward game; a check often signals weakness, offering an opportunity to take control with aggressive play or to realize equity without fear of raises due to potential turn or river changes. When contemplating bets, ask yourself these critical questions:

  • Future Hand Strength
    Assess the likelihood of your hand strengthening by the river.

  • Performance in Position
    Evaluate how your hand fares in position against a single opponent.

  • Isolation Probability
    Consider the chances of successfully moving the action to heads-up, ideally in position (IP).

Often, these considerations might lead to a more passive approach, but understanding when and how to deviate from this is key in DBBP.

GTO Insights

When incorporating insights from Game Theory Optimal (GTO) play and solvers into double-board bomb pots, it’s important to note that solvers often prioritize runouts over immediate hand protection. This focus on future board developments rather than immediate hand strength should be a key consideration in your strategy, informing your decisions across various scenarios.

Conclusion

To thrive in DBBP, it’s crucial to adopt a more refined approach: steer clear of deceptively strong hands, maintain a keen sense of positional strategy, and meticulously evaluate the significance of each card in your hand and on the board. In summary, mastering Double Board Bomb Pots (DBBP) revolves around three core strategies:

  • Focus on Runouts
    Always consider potential future cards and how they can improve your hand. Anticipate the runouts to make more informed decisions.
  • Bet Thoughtfully
    Don’t automatically bet just because your hand seems strong now. Assess how your hand might fare against possible future board developments.
  • Weigh All Options
    Evaluate the merits of betting, checking, and other actions. Understand the strategic value of each move, not just betting based on current hand strength.

Adhering to these principles will help you navigate the unique challenges of DBBP with greater skill and confidence. To take your DBBP strategy to the next level check out our Mastering Double Bomb Pots Course!

JNandez
As a PLO poker pro I've coached a lot of players, developed high-quality learning programs, and wrote a book about Mastering Small Stakes PLO. I love helping players figure out the game, transform their minds, and achieve success in life and poker.

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