In Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or better (Omaha Hi/Lo) the game is played the same as Omaha High, except that the pot is split equally between the best high hand and the best qualifying low hand. Omaha Hi/Lo requires more skill from players as they must consider making a high hand total as well as possibly qualifying for a low hand.
8 or Better to qualify for low hand
A low hand must be five un-paired cards (with the highest card no greater than an 8).
A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is the best low hand (as straights and flushes do not apply to low hands).
The winning Low Hand (8 or better) is first decided by the player with the lowest High card. Upon a tie with the High card, the hand goes to the player with the next lowest High card. If the two highest cards are tied, then you move on to the third highest card etc. Any hand of 5 cards that contains card values of 9 or higher can NOT qualify as a low hand.
Omaha Hi/Lo is a very exciting game as players try to get a lock (sure-winner) on one side of the pot and gamble on drawing to the other side of the pot. An example would be if you have As, 2s, 3d, kd and the flop is 7s, 5s, Kd. The designation As,2s means Ace(spades) and Deuce(spades). Here you have the very best hand for low and a nut ace high flush draw plus pair of kings for high. This is the very type of pot that players get excited and jam (place many bets) in the pot, along with many other combinations that are possible in this game.
If there is no qualifying low hand, then the high hand wins the entire pot (100%).
- Each player receives four face-down cards (private cards) to start.
- At the showdown each player must use exactly two of their four private cards and combine them with exactly three of the five boardcards.
- At the showdown each player can use any two of their private cards for their high hand and any two of their private cards for their low.
- The best low hand is A, 2, 3, 4, 5. This will also count as a straight for high (straight has no bearing on low hands). Aces can be used for both high and low.
- Straights and flushes do not alter the value of a low hand.
- A player can “scoop” (win the entire pot) with both the high and low by showing the highest and lowest hands.
RULES AND ORDER OF BETTING FOR OMAHA HI/LO
- The dealer deals each player their own four private cards face-down.
- First betting round
- The dealer spreads three community boardcards face-up on the table. This is commonly called “the flop”.
- Second betting round
- The dealer turns over a fourth boardcard face-up commonly called “the turn card”.
- Third betting round
- The dealer turns over one final community boardcard commonly called “the river card”.
- Final betting round
- Players show their hands. This is commonly called “the showdown”.
When players show their hands, they MUST use exactly:
- Two of their private cards
- Three of the five boardcards
Players can use any two of their private cards with any three board cards for their high hand, and players can also use any two of their private cards with any three board cards for their low hand. It is possible to win both high hand and low hand!
As you can see from the order of action above, there are four betting rounds in a complete game of Omaha, which are exactly the same as in Hold’em.
Each bet on the first two rounds of betting is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $5/$10 game, all bets and raises are $5 for the first two rounds (after private cards are dealt and once the flop is spread in center of table).
The last two rounds of betting (turn card and river) are set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $5/$10 game, all bets and raises are $10 for the last two rounds.
One bet plus three raises (four total bets) are the maximum amount of bets allowed per betting round. This would consist of (1) a bet, (2) a raise, (3) a re-raise, and (4) a cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can not be raised anymore. Once any player has made the third raise (capped the pot), then players will have only the option of calling or folding.
Check-raising is allowed in all games.
In order to designate which player is the theoretical dealer in Omaha games, a round disk is used. This disk is called the dealer button or simply “the button”.
The player to the left of the button is first to receive a card and is required to post a small blind. The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded down to the nearest dollar. The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the big blind. The big blind is equal to the lower limit bet. These bets are referred to as blinds because players must post them before the dealer deals any cards to the players. These blinds are similar to the ante that is required in other games such as 7-Card Stud.
Both the small and the big blinds are considered live bets. They have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting action comes back around to their position. After the flop and after each subsequent betting round, the first active player left of the button is first to act.
When players first sit down to play, they will be required to post the equivalent of the big blind only once or they have the option to “sit out” until it is their natural turn to post the big blind. This rule is in place to ensure game fairness to all players. The rule prevents the possiblility of players entering games in late position and then leaving before they are required to post the big blind.