Omaha Hi Lo Poker Rules

Omaha Hi Lo is also known as Omaha 8 or Omaha 8 or better and is very similar to Omaha Hi but instead of only having one hand, in Omaha Hi Lo each player tries to make a high hand and a low hand. At showdown, the pot is split equally between both hands. Omaha Hi Lo is also usually played as a Pot Limit game and can be found at most online poker rooms although it is not as popular as Omaha Hi and Holdem.

New Omaha Hi Lo players do not always appreciate that if you only win half the pot because you only have a low hand or a high hand (and not both), then you will usually only be slightly ahead in chips than you were before the pot. The key to playing Omaha Hi Lo is to play starting hands that allow you to win both ways.

Basic Omaha Hi Lo Poker Rules

The rules of Omaha Hi Lo are the same as Omaha Hi but as follows:

1)      The high hand must split the pot with the best qualifying low hand. This can be held by the same player so if one player holds both the high and low hands then they will win the whole pot.

2)      For a player to hold a qualifying low hand they must hold five cards, all cards cannot be higher than 8 and there cannot be two of the same card. Aces are low and so the best possible low hand is, A – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5. Flushes and straights do not count when assessing what qualifies as a low hand. A- 2 – 2 – 4 – 5, would not count as a low hand as there is a pair of twos. A – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 would be a qualifying low hand but A – 2 – 3 – 5 – 9 would not be. A player MUST use two of their hole cards and three community cards when forming a low hand. Therefore if there are not three cards on the board which are 8 or lower, it will not be possible for any player to have a qualifying low hand.

3)      Aces are played both high and low. So a pair of Aces is still the highest pair you can get in a high hand whilst an Ace is the lowest card when forming a low hand.

It can be very confusing to read exactly what your low and high card hands are but at most online poker sites this is automatically worked out for you.

Omaha Hi Lo Betting Structure

Omaha Hi Lo can be played as a limit, pot limit, no limit or mixed limit game. In mixed limit Omaha hi lo, the game alternates between rounds of pot limit and limit. The most played version nowadays is Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo and this is the most common online variant.

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