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Omaha Hi-Lo: General Summary

Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha 8 or better) is commonly seen as one of the most difficult but popular poker games. It is a variation that, even more than regular Omaha poker, aims for play from every level of players. This is the main reason why a once irrelevant game, has grown in acceptance so quickly.

Omaha 8 or better starts just like a normal game of Omaha. Four cards are dealt to every player. A round of betting ensues in which players can bet, check, or drop out. 3 cards are dealt out, this is known as the flop. A further round of wagering happens. Once all the gamblers have in turn called or dropped out, an additional card is revealed on the turn. Another sequence of betting follows and then the river card is revealed. The entrants will need to make the strongest high and low five card hands using the board and hole cards.

This is where a few entrants often get baffled. Unlike Holdem, in which the board can be every player’s hand, in Omaha hi-low the player must utilize exactly 3 cards on the board, and exactly 2 cards from their hand. Not a single card more, no less. Contrary to normal Omaha, there are two ways a pot might be won: the "high hand" or the "low hand."

A high hand is exactly how it sounds. It’s the strongest hand out of everyone’s, regardless if it is a straight, flush, full house, etc. It is the same approach in nearly every poker game.

The low hand is more complex, but certainly opens up the play. When deciding on a low hand, straights and flushes do not count. the lowest hand is the weakest hand that could be put together, with the lowest being A-2-3-4-5. Since straights and flushes do not count, A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest value hand possible. The lower hand is any five card hand (unpaired) with an eight and lower. The low hand wins half of the pot, as just like the high hand. When there is no low hand available, the high hand takes the whole pot.

It may seem complicated at the outset, following a few hands you will be able to pick up on the basic nuances of play with ease. Since you have people wagering for the low and betting for the high, and seeing as so many cards are in play, Omaha/8 provides an amazing collection of wagering options and seeing that you have several players trying for the high hand, along with many battling for the low hand. If you enjoy a game with a plethora of outs and actions, it is worth your time to compete in Omaha hi/low.

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