How To Play Omaha Hi-Lo

Introducing Omaha Hi-Lo

Omaha hi-lo will be learned quickly by players who have already tried Omaha high. Since it's played out exactly the same with the difference being at the showdown. The game is also known by the names of Omaha High-Low, O8 and Omaha 8-or-better. It's considered as one of the most popular and entertaining forms of poker in the world. This game is played with all three betting variations. It's mostly played as fixed limit or pot limit but can be played as no limit as well.

This article will only explain the difference between Omaha High and Omaha Hi-Lo so if you're not familiar with the basic rules of Omaha you can learn more about the game here.

Omaha Hi-Lo showdown Rules

When playing Omaha high the player with the best hand will win the whole pot. Omaha Hi-Lo is a split pot game which means that the pot will be divided in two halves with one half going to the player with the best hand and the other half going to the player with the best qualifying low hand.

How to play Omaha Hi-Lo split pot

In this hand two players have the best low hand. They are splitting the low hand for $3 each, while "Tony42824" will scoop the high hand and $6 with a straight.

The High

The winning hand is simply the best five card poker hand, exactly the same as Omaha high. There are no qualification requirement for the high, which means there will always be a winning high hand.

The Low

The low hand is composed by any two cards from your hand, plus three cards from the community board. The cards the player uses for the high hand has no effect on which the player can use to the low hand, any two cards can be used. To get a qualifying low hand the player must have five unpaired cards, all with ranks at or below 8 where the ace is counted as 1 in the low hand.

Flushes and straights are ignored in the low hand, the best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5 regardless of suits. The low hand is counted from the top, this means that the hand is only as good as it's highest card. For example hand A: 76543 beats Hand B: 85432 since hand A's highest card 7 beats the highest card of hand B which is an 8.

If two players has the same low hand they will split the low pot regardless of the cards suit. In a pot of $20 they would win $5 each from the low pot.

Hand Examples

Board: 37J8Q

Player A: 3347

Player B: 910QK

High winner: Player B with a straight: QJ1098

Low winner: No qualifying low hand.

Since there is no low hand, player B will scoop the whole pot. Player A have no five card low hand since his low cards is paired.

Board: 843J2

Player A: A2JQ

Player B: 678Q

High winner: Player B with a Q high flush: Q8643

Low winner: Player B with 7 low 76432 since Player A only have an 8 low 8432A.

In this hand player B scoops the pot with the best high and low hand. Even though player A have the A-2, it's no good since the highest card in the low hand is an 8 which is beaten by the highest card of player B which is a 7.

General Rules

-If there is no qualifying hand, the entire pot will be awarded to the player with the best high hand.
-Players can use any two cards they want in both the high and low hand. The two cards you pick for your high hand has nothing to do with your low hand picks, you can choose any two cards for this hand as well.
-A player must use two cards from their own hand in both the low and high pot. No more no less then two cards.
-If there's an extra odd chip in the pot which cannot be split. The chip goes to the player with the winning high hand.

Good luck at the tables!


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