How to Play Omaha Hi-Lo

How to Play Omaha Hi Lo

Omaha Hi/Lo is a popular version of Omaha Poker that requires a good understanding of the basics in order to play at a competitive level. The game differs from Omaha Poker in that the player with the best high hand splits the pot with the player who has the best low hand. There is always a high hand winner but not always a low hand winner. If there's no qualified low hand, the player with the high hand wins the whole pot.

It is also possible for the same player to win the whole pot if they can use their cards to make both the best high hand and the best low hand.

So what's a "Low" hand?

For a hand to qualify as “low” in Omaha Hi/Lo all five cards must be no higher than an eight and there can be no pairs at all. Straights and flushes do not disqualify a hand from being considered as low and have the same ranking as an unsuited 5 card hand of the same denominations.

Aces can be played high or low so a hand of 5 4 3 2 Ace would be an unbeatable low hand while simultaneously serving as a 5 high straight to play for the high hand. This hand is known as "The Wheel", and is a very powerful hand in Omaha Hi/Lo games.

If two or more players have the same highest card in their low hand, then the next lowest high card wins. The lowest hand is determined by the high cards first.

Play Omaha

Starting the game

The poker game is identical to Omaha and Texas Hold'em in respect to dealer button and blinds.

Playing the cards

As in Omaha Poker, players must use precisely two cards out of their four hole cards, and three community cards out of the five to make a hand. Any two hole cards can be played for the high hand and any two for the low hand.

Betting rounds and community cards

The betting rounds and dealing the community cards are identical to Omaha Poker and Texas Hold'em.

The Showdown

At the showdown the player's hole cards (4 cards) are all considered to detemine who wins the pot. If there is no qualifying low hand, the player with the best high hand wins the whole pot. Otherwise the pot is divided equally between the best high hand and the best low hand.

If more than one person holds the same winning high or low hand, then that portion of the pot is split between the players. This is known as being "quartered" - as winning players can end up with a quarter of the pot.

 

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