Omaha Hi Lo Rules and How To Play

PokerStars.comOmaha Hi Lo is a split pot poker game in which players can win the full pot, known as scooping the pot, half the pot or a quarter of the pot. It is also referred to as Omaha8 or Omaha Eight or Better. Omaha Hi Lo rules are historically thought to be quite complicated so we will do our best in this article to state all of the Omaha Hi Lo rules as well as show you how to play Omaha Hi Lo. If you have a background in No Limit Holdem or any lowball poker game then you shouldn’t have a problem getting to grips with the ins and outs of Omaha Hi Lo poker rules.

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How To Play Omaha Hi Lo Poker

Omaha Hi Lo is played with a small and big blind which is always posted by the players who sit directly to the left of the dealer button. Players are dealt four cards after the blinds are posted and play starts with the player to the left of the big blind assuming the pot hasn’t been straddled which is very common when playing live Omaha Hi Lo. A round of betting takes place which is limited by the type of Omaha Hi Lo you are playing; limit, pot limit or no limit.

Any players who remain in the hand after the first round of betting will then see a flop. The dealer will place one card, a burn card, face down on the table and three community cards face up in the middle of the table. Another round of betting takes place starting again with the player to the left of the big blind.

The turn card is then dealt which is a fourth community card again followed by another round of betting which starts with the player closest to the left of the big blind.

Finally a river card is dealt, the fifth and final community card. A final round of betting takes place which is followed by a showdown. To see what beats what when playing Omaha Hi Lo check out the Omaha Hi Lo rules sections below.

Omaha Hi Lo Rules

The first thing you need to know about the rules of Omaha Hi Lo is that when a showdown takes place the best high hand wins 50% of the pot and the best low hand wins 50% of the pot. It is possible to have both the best high and best low hand which will win your 100% of the pot. You can also win 75% or the pot or 25% of the pot. This will occur when you tie one of the pots and win or lose the other pot.

At showdown Hi Lo Omaha rules dictate that the hand which wins the high pot is ranked according to the most common hand rankings system, the same hand system that is used by Holdem.

– High Card
– One Pair
– Two Pairs
– Three of a Kind
– Straight
– Flush
– Full House
– Four of a Kind
– Straight Flush
– Royal Flush

The winner of the low half of the pot is determined using the ace to five hand rankings system. This method dictates that the best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5. Straights and flushes count for nothing when using the ace to five hand rankings. This system always determines the winner by the lowest card a player is holding so A-2-3-4-8 would be beaten by 3-4-5-6-7.

For a detailed look at ace to five rankings check out this article: Ace to Five Hand Rankings

In conclusion Omaha Hi Lo rules dictate that the high pot is won using conventional hand rankings and the low pot is won using the ace to five hand rankings system.

Note: When playing Omaha Hi Lo to qualify to win the low half of the pot you must make an 8 low or better. This is where the names Omaha8 and Omaha Eight or Better come from. This is probably the most overlooked of the Hi Lo Omaha rules so make sure you remember it when playing, a mistake could be very costly! If there is no qualifying low hand then the high hand will take 100% of the pot.

When playing Omaha Hi Lo you must always use two cards from your hand and three from the community cards to make up your five card hand.

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