How to Play
|Cards dealt to each player||4 concealed|
|Community cards dealt||5|
|Number of betting rounds||4|
|Blinds or antes||Blinds|
Omaha Hi/Lo is played exactly the same way as Omaha, with one exception: In the showdown, the highest hand wins only half the pot, while the other half is won by the best low hand.
However, this is true only if a player shows down a qualifying low hand. If there is no qualifying low hand, the best high hand wins the whole pot.
Low hand requirements
To qualify as a low hand, a hand must not contain any card higher than 8, and no pair or better.
However, straights and flushes do not disqualify a low hand. So, for example, 8s-7s-6s-5s-4s qualifies as a low hand. (At the same time, it is a very strong high hand, a straight flush.)
Forming a high and a low hand
As in Omaha, you must use two of your hole cards to form a poker hand with three cards from the table. But you are free to use any combination of two cards for the low and the high hand. One or two of your hole cards may be used for both the high and the low hand, or you may use two cards for the high hand and the other two cards for the low hand, as you wish.
For example, if you hold AKT2 and the board is AA764, your best high hand is AK+AA7 (three of a kind), and your best low is A2+764. You use the ace in both hands.
Split pots in Omaha Hi/Lo
Each of the two halves of an Omaha Hi/Lo pot can be split further if two or more players have an equal low or high hand. For instance, if two players have an equal high hand and only one player has a qualifying low hand, the players with the best high hand will each win 25% of the pot while the sole low hand winner will win 50% of the pot. In the case that a pot can not be split perfectly, the odd extra amount will be awarded to the player nearest to the Small Blind position from a clockwise view.
Aces up and down
In Omaha Hi/Lo, the ace is the highest card, but it is also the lowest. This is what makes the classic hand A2345 (“the wheel”) so strong. It is the best possible low hand, but at the same time, being a straight, it is a strong high hand.
Game Advice For Omaha Hi/Lo
You should always be on the look-out for a chance to win the whole pot – an activity called scoping. There are two ways to scope. Either, you have the best high hand and the best low hand. Or you have the best high hand and there is no low hand. If you aim at winning only the high or only the low part, the reward is only half as big.
Even if you have the best possible low hand, you can never be sure of winning even half the pot. It is always possible that another player has the same low hand, so that you will split the low part of the pot, that is, you will get only a quarter of the pot. This means that you get very bad odds for playing your hand. In fact, you may even lose money on the hand if you win only a quareter of the pot.
Of course, high hands sometimes also split the high half of the pot. But it is possible to hold a high hand of which you know that no other player can match it.