Omaha high low (or Omaha hi-lo, split, eight or better) is an exciting and increasingly popular game! Nowadays, you can easily find numerous Omaha high low cash games and tournaments at several stakes in the big recommended online poker sites.
The game resembles Omaha in the way it unfolds, until the showdown when the pot is split between the best high and low hand! Let’s take a look at Omaha high low poker rules.
Similarly to Omaha, the cards are dealt in four stages, and each step is accompanied by a betting round. First, pre-flop, players get distributed four hole cards face down. Then follows the flop, and three community cards are revealed. The fourth card comes on the turn, and lastly, the fifth community card is revealed on the river. When all cards are out, each player has four cards of his own, and there are five community cards (facing-up).
To win, each player must use precisely two of his hole cards in conjunction with three of the community cards and form the best high and low five-card hand. Players can use different card combinations to create the best high and low hand possible.
The pot is divided evenly between the best high hand and the best low hand. If more than one players make the same high or low hand, they split between them the corresponding half part of the pot. So, for example, if only one player has the best high while two players share the best low, the first player gets half the pot and the other players a quarter of the pot each.
The eight or better qualifier
Not all hands can qualify as “low.” If no player delivers a low hand, the high hand gets the whole pot. To form a low hand, players must create a hand consisting of five different cards, so without a pair, ranked eight or lower. The ace counts as the lowest rank card. When forming low hands, straights and flushes are ignored, so the following hands qualify as a low.
Hands containing a pair or any card from nine to king do not qualify as low hands. So the following hands do not make the cut.
Note that, if less than three different cards appear on the board, it becomes impossible for any player to form a low hand. The high hand gets the entire pot!
The winning high hand in Omaha Hi-Lo is identical to that of Holdem and Omaha High. If you are uncertain, check out the winning hand rankings.
The best possible low hand is the weel or A2345. Note that A2345 also counts as a straight for the high, so it is a mighty hand! The worst possible hand that attains the eight or better qualifier is 45678.
If no one produces a low hand, the high hand wins the entire pot! Let’s have a look at some examples.
The board is K♣Q♥Q♣7♥2♠
- Player A holds A♥Q♠4♥3♠
- Player B holds A♠K♠J♥10♦
No qualifying low hand is possible.
Player A wins the high hand with a set of queens. Note that, because players have to use precisely two of their hole cards, player B, cannot form a straight.
The board is 8♥6♥4♦4♠3♣
- Player A holds A♥K♠7♥5♠
- Player B holds A♠K♥Q♥3♦
Player A wins the low hand with A♥3♣4♠5♠6♥. Note that even if player B has the lowest two hole cards, as there is a 3 on the board, player A makes a better low hand.
Player A wins the high hand with 8♥7♥6♥5♠4♦, a straight.
In the example above, player A “scoops” the pot, winning both the low and the high!
Betting rules and limits
The betting order and regulations are the same as in Texas Holdem and Omaha. If you are not familiar with them, you can check them out in “rules for texas Holdem poker.”
Omaha hi-lo, like other poker variations, can be played with different betting limits; no limit, pot limit, and limit. Pot limit signifies that bets are limited each time to the amount of the pot, and is a prevalent Omaha high low variation.
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