Omaha Hi/Lo Poker Game

Omaha Hi Lo PokerOmaha Hi/Lo is a mixed version of Omaha Holdem, where two players can actually split the pot the High Hand winner and the Low Hand winner. Omaha Hi/Lo has become one of the most popular games among professional poker players for its highly strategic game play. Keep reading to learn how to play Omaha Hi/Lo.

Object of the Game

The object of Omaha Hi/Lo is to achieve the highest or lowest hand or both - to win. Players will have 7 cards to work with to develop a 5 card poker hand. The player(s) with the highest and lowest hands split the pot. However, a player's hand must qualify to win the Low Hand (see Omaha Hi/Lo The Low Hand below).

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The High Hand

The high hand in Omaha Hi/Lo is played exactly the same as traditional Omaha Holdem. The same standard poker hand ranks apply. The higher ranking hand wins half of the pot. If no player wins the low hand, the high hand wins the entire pot.

The Low Hand

Here's where Omaha Hi/Lo gets interesting. Players may vie for half of the pot by achieving the lowest ranking poker hand. There are specific rules in low hand development, as well as qualifications to win the low half.

In order to qualify, the player's hand must have no card higher than an 8, and valid no combinations. Omaha Hi/Lo is often referred to as 8 or better, as the player's low hand must have 8 or better (lower) to win.

The following rules apply to the low hand.

  • Straight are not considered combinations
  • Flushes are not considered combinations
  • Aces are the lowest card (but highest in the high hand)

The best possible Omaha Low Hand is: A-2-3-4-5

This is an awesome hand because it will often win the High Hand as well, as a Straight.

Limits & Betting Structure

Omaha Hi/Lo is often played in Fixed Limit or Pot Limit betting structures. No Limit is available, but much less common.

  • Fixed Limit: A Fixed Limit (FL) betting structure determines the exact amount players can bet/raise throughout a hand. The first two betting rounds require, bets/raises must equal the low bet. The last two betting rounds require bets/raises to match the high bet.
  • Pot Limit: A Pot Limit (PL) betting structure has a minimum bet/raise that matches the high-bet, while the maximum bet/raise is always equal to the current pot size.
  • No Limit: As the name implies, a No Limit (NL) betting structure does not restrict max bets/raises. The minimum bet, however, is equal to the high bet.
  • Blind Bets: there are two blind bets in Omaha Hi/Lo, the Small blind and the Big Blind. These are forced bets placed before any cards are dealt.
  • Small Blind: Placed by the player left of the dealer button, the Small Blind (SB) is equal to 50% of the low bet in FL games, or matches the low bet in PL/NL games.
  • Big Blind: Placed by the player left of the SB, the Big Blind (BB) is equal to the low bet in FL games, or equal to the high bet in PL/NL games.
  • Dealer Button: Rarely do players actually deal the cards in Omaha Hi/Lo. Instead, a Dealer Button is passed around to determine which player is in the dealer position.

How To Play Omaha Hi/Lo Playing a Hand

Omaha Hi/Lo starts with the placement of Blind bets. Then each player is dealt 4 Hole Cards. After looking at their own hole cards, the first betting round begins.

The blind bets were already placed, so the player left of the BB has the option to call, raise or fold. Continuing left, each player has the same options. The blind bettors may call or raise by adding enough chips to their current blind bet. Once all players have acted, the hand continues.

  • The Flop: The first 3 Community Cards are dealt to the center of the table, face up. Every player will use these cards, in combination with their own hole cards, to develop the best possible high and low hands. The second betting round then takes place, from now on starting with the original SB bettor.
  • The Turn: The fourth Community Card is dealt face up, followed by another round of betting. If playing FL, bets/raises must now increase to meet the high bet.
  • The River: The fifth Community Card is dealt, then another betting round.
  • High Hand Showdown: All players who remain in the hand will combine exactly 2 Hole Cards with exactly 3 Community Cards to create the best possible poker hand (normal hand ranks apply). The highest ranking 5-card poker hand win half of the pot.
  • Low Hand Showdown: All players who remain active will once more combine exactly 2 Hole Cards and exactly 3 Community Cards in an attempt to develop the lowest possible hand. Only qualifying low hands will count. The lowest ranking hand will win the other half of the pot. If not hand qualifies for a low hand, the high hand winner takes the entire pot.

Omaha Hi/Lo Standard Poker Hand Ranks

Omaha Poker Hands Highest to lowest (applies to High Hand only)

Please read our other rules pages to learn more about the different poker games and variations: Omaha, Texas Holdem, Caribbean Stud, Let it Ride, 7 Card Stud, Razz Poker, Double Flop.

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