Omaha Hi-Lo Poker
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Omaha Hi-Lo Poker

Overview

Number of Players: 2 to 10

Omaha Hi-Lo Poker (also known as Omaha 8 or Better) is a variation of Omaha/Texas Hold'em Poker. In Omaha Hi-Lo Poker, Players are less inclined to fold on a bad hand as the highest and lowest hands split the pot equally.

The Players with the best high card hand and low card hand split the pot.

If your hand and another Player's hand tie on either a high or low hand, you both win a quarter of the pot. This is known as the pot being quartered.

Note:
To play Omaha Hi-Lo Poker you must have enough chips to place a blind bet and a bet.

Omaha Hi-Lo plays as follows:

  1. The Players to the left of the Dealer begin the game by posting blind bets. The Player on the Dealer's left posts a small blind bet, and the Player on the Small Blind's left posts a big blind bet.

    Note:
    The Dealer's position at the table changes after every game. The dealer-button shows the Dealer's position at the table.

  2. Four pocket cards are dealt to each Player.

  3. In the first round, the Player to the Big Blind's left plays first and can either:

    • Fold
    • Bet
    • Raise

    Note:
    In the first round, betting is capped at one bet and three raises per Player.

  4. In the second round, three community cards are dealt. This is called the Flop. A round of betting follows and Players can either:

    • Check
    • Fold
    • Call
    • Raise


  5. In the third round, a fourth community card is dealt. This card is called the Turn. Another round of betting follows.

  6. In the fourth round a fifth and final community card is dealt. This is called the River Card. The final round of betting follows. The remaining Players then use two of their pocket cards and three of the community cards to create the best five-card low and five-card high hand possible. The two Players, with the best high and low hands, split the pot.

    Important:

    • Winning hands must consist of two pocket cards and three community cards.

Note:

  • It is not always possible to create both a low hand and a high hand. Sometimes you can only play for either the high hand or the low hand.
  • It is possible to win the entire pot by having both the highest and lowest hands.
  • If you and another Player tie on a hand, you both win a quarter of the pot. This is known as being quartered.

    Example:
    Player A wins the high hand and Players B and C tie for the low hand. The pot is $100. Player A receives $50 and Players B and C receive $25 each.

Low Hand Rules

The following applies to low hands:

  • Low hands can only win if all the cards in the hand have a value of eight or less.

  • A low hand cannot contain the following:
    - Pairs
    - Flushes
    - Straights

Note:
A hand consisting of an Ace, Two, Three, Four, Five is an exception. It is the best possible low hand. It also counts as a high hand and can win both pots.

  • If the five community cards do not include at least three cards with a value of eight or less, there is no possibility of making a low hand. In this event the high hand wins the whole pot.

  • The lowest hand is initially determined by the value of the high cards first.

  • If two or more Players have the same high card, the next lowest high card wins.

Examples:

  1. Player A has a hand consisting of an Eight, Six, Four, Two, Ace. Player B has a hand consisting of a Seven, Six, Four, Three, Two.
    Player B wins, as Seven is lowest high card.

  2. Player A has a hand consisting of an Eight, Six, Four, Two, Ace. Player B has a hand consisting of an Eight, Seven, Four, Three, Ace.
    Player A wins, as Six is next lowest high card.

  3. Player A has a hand consisting of an Eight, Six, Five, Four, Two. Player B has a hand consisting of an Eight, Six, Five, Four, Ace.
    Player B wins, as Ace is next lowest high card.
Important:
  • Winning low hands must consist of two pocket cards and three community cards.
  • Low hands can only win if each card in the hand has a value of eight or less.

Strategies

To improve your chances of winning, use the following strategies:

  • A pair is more of a restriction than a help if one of the pair is a community card of the same value as one of your private, low cards. This means that your hidden card does not give you a low hand advantage.

  • When there are less than four Players at the table, you still lose money if the pot is quartered.

  • You must decide quickly if you are eligible to play for the low hand, and adjust your betting accordingly.

  • If you have a strong high hand after the flop, it is advisable to play aggressively through to the end. This ensures you have a good chance of winning half the pot.

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