Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha/8 or better) is commonly seen as one of the most difficult but favored poker variations. It’s a game that, even more than regular Omaha poker, invites action from all levels of players. This is the chief reason why a once obscure game, has grown in acceptance so amazingly.
Omaha 8 or better begins exactly like a regular game of Omaha. Four cards are given out to every player. A sequence of wagering follows where players can bet, check, or drop out. Three cards are handed out, this is referred to as the flop. Another sequence of wagering ensues. After all the players have in turn called or dropped out, an additional card is flipped on the turn. Another round of wagering follows and then the river card is flipped. The gamblers must attempt to put together the strongest high and low 5 card hands using the board and hole cards.
This is the point where many entrants often get baffled. Contrasted to Holdem, where the board can make up everyone’s hand, in Omaha hi low the player must use precisely three cards on the board, and exactly two cards from their hand. Not a single card more, not a single card less. Unlike regular Omaha, there are 2 ways a pot could be won: the "high hand" or the "low hand."
A high hand is just what it sounds like. It is the strongest hand out of everyone’s, regardless if it is a straight, flush, full house, etc. It’s the very same concept in just about every poker game.
The lower hand is more difficult, but certainly free’s up the play. When determining a low hand, straights and flushes do not count. A low hand is the weakest hand that can be put together, with the lowest value being made up of A-2-3-4-5. Because straights and flushes do not count, A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest possible hand. The lower hand is any five card hand (unpaired) with an 8 and below. The lower hand wins half of the pot, as just like the high hand. When there is no low hand available, the higher hand wins the whole pot.
While it seems complex at first, following a couple of rounds you will be able to pick up on the basic nuances of the game simply enough. Since you have individuals wagering for the low and wagering for the high, and since so many cards are in play, Omaha High-Low offers an exciting assortment of betting possibilities and seeing that you have numerous players battling for the high, and several trying for the low. If you like a game with a considerable amount of outs and actions, it’s not a waste of your time to compete in Omaha/8.