How to Play Omaha Hi Lo – Rules to Omaha 8

The online casino industry has created a lot of opportunities for poker players. Accessibility, comfort, tournaments and multi-tabling abilities are at an unprecedented level. Omaha has become one of the most exciting formats of poker and is offered in just about every casino there is. You may not always see both formats, but you can bet that just about every casino offers players either Omaha Hi or Omaha Hi Lo.

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Omaha Hi Lo – Rules

The rules of Omaha Hi Lo are fairly simple to understand but the strategy may take a little time, practice and definitely patience. Poker rarely gives leeway for the consistently impatient player. The betting structure and the community card deals in Omaha are the same as they are in Texas Holdem.

If you’re unfamiliar with Texas Holdem, the community cards come out in three phases. The first phase is the flop, then the turn and finally the river. The flop is three community cards. The turn and the river are each one community card. There are five community cards altogether.

Unlike Texas Holdem, you are dealt four hole cards. A hole card is just a card that is only to be seen by you. It is face down and is not exposed to the other players at the table.

In each hand of Omaha Hi Lo there are blinds. There is a small and a big blind and they sit to the left of the dealer. A betting round is when the action moves around the table and each player has the option to check, call, raise or fold depending on the player’s decisions before them. If you are in the blind and no one has raised, you can check.

If you have nothing in the pot and would like to call the blinds or a raise, you call. If you would like to raise the previous bet or the blinds, you raise. Folding is choosing to turn in your cards face down and leaving the hand.

The object of Omaha Hi Lo Poker is to take down the entire pot. In Omaha Hi Lo, there can be two equal winners each hand. There is a high hand winner and a low hand winner. Each are entitled to exactly half the pot. However, a low hand must qualify and if there is not a qualifying hand, the high hand takes the entire pot. It is very possible to have the highest hand and the lowest hand and take the entire pot that way as well.

Straights and flushes do not count against you in Omaha Hi Lo for the low hand side. For example, the best low hand is A,2,3,4,5 in Omaha Hi Lo. This is a 5-high low and also a 5-high straight. This hand usually has a good chance at taking down the entire pot. However, you know you are taking at least half the pot or quartering.

The low hand must qualify and in order to do so, it has to meet the following requirement: the player must have a five-card hand that contains no card higher than an eight. The player can also not have any pairs. Remember, straights and flushes don’t count against the low.

Quartering is when you tie with somebody on a certain half of the pot and then you quarter. In other words, two players tie the low and there’s one high winner. The high hand gets half and the other two split the other half, essentially getting a quarter of the pot each.

Formulating your hand in Omaha Hi Lo is the trickiest part for some people. It’s not that tricky, it’s just that they look at their hand and the board and forget that they can’t use all of the cards they are seeing.

You have to use two of your four hole cards and three of the community cards. Again, you have to use this configuration to formulate your best five-card poker hand. So, if you get A-A-A-A, you have a pair of Aces drawing dead on the set and your boat could very well be smashed by quads.

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Omaha Hi Lo requires and demands some sort of strategy to be successful. The strategy in Omaha varies from Texas Holdem. The amount of hole cards combined with the community cards gives each player 9 cards to work with. Granted, you can only choose two from the four and three from the five to make your hand.

However, the exposure of this many cards changes the focus of the game to where the average winning hand is significantly higher in Omaha on the high end than in Texas Holdem. Straights and higher are the average high hands. The objective in Omaha Hi/Lo is to take down the entire pot and only stay in the pot if you have a shot at doing that with a certainty of collecting half of the pot.

Be prepared for a lot of split-pots in Omaha Hi/Lo. This happens quite often. The strategy with Omaha Hi/Lo also throws players off because they may be used to other poker formats that do not use a low hand. Aces are very valuable in Omaha Hi/Lo because they can be used as high, low or both. You may even hear a professional say they only play hands with an Ace.

In Omaha Hi/Lo, you generally want to play tight. Omaha Hi/Lo seems to work to the advantage of the tight, patient player. Playing tight means calling and playing only hands that have the best odds and draws. Keep position in consideration, make smart plays and observe the other players at the table. Is the person to the left loose or tight? How’s your right side? These are questions you should be answering while you’re playing.


Position is generally important in all poker games. The last person to act has the best position on the table. Players should get in the habit of paying attention to their position as they look at their hand. They should evaluate whether their initial decision is warranted based on their position.

If you have a weak starting hand that is questionable, you want to fold early on because you will likely throw away chips to the raise that very well may have come behind you. You may have him beat or draw the nuts but the position and your mediocre hand beats and you’re forced to fold. Now you’ve given up chips and if you get caught in this chase cycle of bad calls, you may find yourself watching your stack quickly depleting. Don’t be afraid to fold.

Omaha Hi/Lo is an interesting game that keeps players on their toes. The high and low hand structure throws in a twist that makes it a challenge to take the entire pot. The patient player wins in this format by striking when the entire pot is theirs to take. If you’re drawing to the nuts and don’t have four of your cards on the flop, you should seriously reconsider staying in the hand if there’s any action.

Play position and observe your opponents. To keep yourself from going bust, watch the stakes you’re playing in comparison to your bankroll. Even pros lose from time to time (actually they lose quite a bit). However, having the proper bankroll can withstand the variance in poker and keep you around for that big win to send you high in the profit margin.