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How to Play Omaha Hi/Lo Poker

Omaha Hi Lo Poker

Omaha Hi/Lo Poker follows the same rules as Omaha Poker, but in this variety of the game there is an additional way to win a share of the pot. Each player makes a separate 5-card high hand and another 5-card low hand. The pot is split between the best high and low hands (which may be the same player).

There are two additional rules for a hand to qualify as the best low hand in Omaha Hi/Lo Poker:

  • The 5-card hand must be unpaired.
  • Every card must be an 8 or lower.

 

In Omaha Hi/Lo, the lowest possible hand is 5 4 3 2 A (of any suit, as flushes and straights are not deterrents for ranking the lowest hand). This combination of cards is also called the Wheel. In Omaha Hi/Lo Poker, the Ace can be used for both the high and low winning hands. A player may use different pocket cards to make his high hand and his low hand.

If there is a low hand winner, the pot is split 50/50 between the high and low winner. In case of multiple low hands, the low winner is determined by comparing the highest of the low cards, then the second highest, etc. If the two or more low hands are equal, the low pot is split between them. If there is no qualified low hand in Omaha Hi/Lo, the high hand wins the entire pot.

 

Omaha High-Low Poker Game Round

Provided below is an outline of a typical game round for limit poker.

Blinds: The game begins with blinds being posted by the two players positioned to the left of the dealer's button. This is done before the players receive their cards in order to make sure that the player with the winning hand wins money. On each of the game's rounds, the dealer button rotates its position so that players take turns posting blinds. The small blind is posted by the first player to the left, in the amount of half the minimum stake (e.g. $1 on a $2/$4 game). The big blind is posted by the second player to the left, in the amount equal to the full minimum stake (for example, $2 on a $2/$4 game).

Pocket Cards: The four cards that are dealt face down once the blinds have been posted.

Bet Round 1: The game begins in a clockwise direction. The first bet is placed by the player sitting to the left of the big blind. At this stage, players can opt to either raise, call or fold. The minimum raise amount is equivalent to the table's lower stake (for example, $2 on a $2/$4 game).

The Flop Cards: The three flop cards are placed in the center of the table, face up. The flop cards are also known as community cards because each of the players can choose to use them in their hand.

Bet Round 2: Bets are placed again according to the same rules as the first round.

The Turn Card: At this stage of the game, another community card (the turn card) is placed in the center of the table, face up.

Bet Round 3: The third round bet differs from the first two rounds, in that players choosing to raise can only do so according to the higher stake (for example, $4 on a $2/$4 game).

The River Card: The river card is the last community card to be placed face up in the center of the table.

Bet Round 4: The fourth betting round is the last one of the game and follows the same rules as the third betting round.

Showdown: This is the final stage of the game where the winning hand is exposed. The pot is given to the player holding the best hand, made up of 5 cards that include various combinations of the two pocket cards and the community cards. If two players have hands of equal value (the best high hand, the best low hand), the pot is divided between them. If the same player has a combination of cards that qualify as both the best high hand and the best low hand, the entire pot is awarded to the holder of that hand. As part of their playing strategy, players have the option to either show their hand or to Muck which is to fold without showing one's cards.

Start Again: The next game starts with the dealer button moving over one spot to the player on the left.

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