Omaha Hi-Lo: Basic Overview

Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha/8 or better) is often times viewed as one of the most complicated but well-loved poker games. It is a variation that, even more than normal Omaha poker, invites action from all levels of players. This is the primary reason why a once invisible game, has grown in acceptance so rapidly.

Omaha hi/low starts exactly like a regular game of Omaha. Four cards are dealt to each player. A sequence of wagering follows where players can bet, check, or drop out. 3 cards are handed out, this is called the flop. Another round of betting ensues. Once all the players have either called or dropped out, an additional card is flipped on the turn. a further round of betting ensues at which point the river card is flipped. The players must attempt to make the strongest high and low five card hands using the board and hole cards.

This is where a few players can get flustered. Contrasted to Hold’em, where the board can be every player’s hand, in Omaha Hi-Lo the player must use exactly 3 cards on the board, and exactly two cards from their hand. No more, not a single card less. Unlike normal Omaha, there are 2 ways a pot may be won: the "high hand" or the "lower hand."

A high hand is just what it sounds like. It’s the best hand out of every player’s, regardless if it is a straight, flush, full house, etc. It is the same notion in nearly every poker game.

A lower hand is more difficult, but really opens up the play. When deciding on a low hand, straights and flushes do not count. the lowest hand is the weakest hand that can be made, with the worst being A-2-3-4-5. Since straights and flushes do not count, A-2-3-4-5 is the worst possible hand. The low hand is any 5 card hand (unpaired) with an eight and lower. The lower hand wins half of the pot, as just like the high hand. When there’s no lower hand presented, the high hand wins the complete pot.

Although it seems complicated at first, after a couple of rounds you will be agile enough to pick up on the fundamental subtleties of the game with ease. Since you have individuals betting for the low and betting for the high, and since such a large number of cards are being used at once, Omaha/8 provides an exciting collection of betting options and seeing that you have numerous players shooting for the high hand, along with several trying for the low. If you enjoy a game with a considerable amount of outs and actions, it’s not a waste of your time to compete in Omaha 8 or better.

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