How To Play Omaha Hi Lo

StrategyOmaha Hi/Lo starts out just like Omaha. The player to the left of the dealer puts in the small blind, and the next leftmost player puts in the big blind. Players are each dealt a “pocket” hand of four cards, called “hole cards.” The action starts at the left of the big blind and goes clockwise, ending at the big blind. Players have a choice to act in one of the following ways: call (match the pot), raise (raise the pot), check (no action if they are already in the pot), or fold (withdraw from the hand).

Just as in Omaha and Texas Hold ‘em, betting rounds proceed in the same manner, the first rotation of betting is followed by the “flop,” which is the deal of the first three of five total community cards. The second betting round is followed by the “turn,” or the fourth card dealt face up on the table, and the third betting round follows the “river,” which deals the final community card. Both the turn and the river are preceded by a “burn” card (a card that is dealt out of the game and discarded). A final betting round follows the river, and then hands are shown or “mucked.” Players can muck their hands if they choose to retreat from the action without showing their hands. Rather than revealing their cards and possibly revealing insight into their playing styles, they fold their hands without showing them.

The only difference between Omaha Poker and Omaha Hi/Lo Poker is the way the winner is determined. Like Omaha, one player will always win the high hand, using exactly two of their pocket cards with exactly three of the community cards. If this is the only qualifying hand, this player will take the pot. However, there is also an opportunity for the lowest ranking hand to win also, which is the “Lo” in Omaha Hi/Lo. The low hand is also made with two of a player’s hole cards and exactly three of the community cards. In the event that there is a qualifying high hand and a qualifying low hand, the pot is split. Sometimes, one player will win both the high hand and the low hand, taking the entire pot.

Keep in mind that if your hand consists of cards with values over 8, it is not possible for your hand to win the low. Alternatively, cards equal to or less than 8 will qualify for a low hand. Cards with values in the mid-range will neither benefit a low or a high hand, unless your best hand combination includes pairs or a flush. Essentially, players must keep in mind the low state and the high state of their hands simultaneously throughout the game, which complicates the general thought process of regular Omaha Poker.

You should also take note that in Omaha Hi/Lo, Aces are valued as both low cards and high cards. As a result, the lowest hand is A/2/3/4/5. This hand is called the “wheel.” When two players have made the same low hand, they split the low pot. This is a “quartered” pot and is not always more profitable than folding.

With so many potentially qualifying winning hands, Omaha Hi/Lo gets pretty serious, and the pots get pretty big. Learning this game is easy… mastering the intense concentration takes practice.

History of Omaha Hi Lo Poker

Omaha Hi/Lo is a more complicated version of Omaha poker. It takes the game of Omaha and doubles the complexity, requiring a player to divide his thought process between both the high and low of his hand. It takes a bright mind to grasp all aspects of Omaha Hi/Lo at the same time. It’s a challenge for those who seek to stretch and strengthen their poker abilities.
One of the most fundamental strategies to Omaha Hi/Lo is knowing which hands to play.

Familiarizing yourself with hand evaluation techniques before you sit down at an Omaha Hi/Lo table will benefit your game significantly. Beginning players often make the mistake of playing every hand based on the theory that any combination of a player’s pocket cards has the potential to win the pot, which is not always the case. The smart Omaha Hi/Lo player will know before the flop whether or not their hand has potential.

By definition of a hi/lo game, two players are ultimately intended to split the pot, the one holding the best high hand and the one holding the best low hand. A better result would for one player to win all with both the high win and the low win, or “scoop the pot” (take it all without a split). Winning the whole pot should be your primary goal. Keeping this in mind will help you evaluate your starting hand based on the value of your cards and the number of players in the hand.

In Omaha Hi/Lo, Aces are the most valuable cards. Since the amount of hands dealt from the deck affects the chances of all Aces being in play, the number of players should be considered when evaluating your hand. If ten players are dealt into a hand, there will be 40 cards used, which means it is very likely that the winning hand will have to be the nuts. Therefore, a lot of players fold if they are not initially dealt an Ace. But this isn’t always the best option.

At fuller tables, hands that have no chance of winning the low should be played with caution and should not prompt a raise or attempt to withstand another player’s high raise. Hands full of mid-range cards (6-9) should always be folded. It is safe to play pocket cards that have potential to win only the low hand against a full table because the pot will be substantial enough to be a lucrative split. But keep in mind, low hands frequently tie with other low hands, resulting in a quarter pot, which will only get you a refund of your bet.

At a table with less than five players, a quartered pot will result in a deficit, but here you don’t necessarily need the nuts to win, and more hands can be played. For instance, you can play hands without Aces freely. You can also cautiously play hands with middle valued cards (6-9) but these hands should be folded if a decent hand doesn’t come up on the flop. One disadvantage to playing at a smaller table is that fewer players means smaller pots. Therefore, split pots are less profitable, and high hands and hi/lo hands are more substantial.

Hi/Lo games are refined variations of poker and attract many deep-thinking players, who at experienced levels are very hard to beat, and they won’t hesitate to take you down when they smell a novice at the table. Play smart and practice often, and you will be among them in no time.

Featured Room Listings

Carbon Poker
100% up to $600 Bonus
888 Poker
100% up to $400 Bonus
Party Poker
100% up to $600 Bonus
Bovada Poker
100% up to $1,000 Bonus
William Hill Poker
100% up to $1,200 Bonus
Titan Poker
100% up to $500 Bonus
Cake Poker
100% up to $600 Bonus
Aced Poker
150% up to $750 Bonus
100% up to $600 Bonus
PDC Poker
100% up to $600 Bonus
Full Tilt Poker
100% up to $600 Bonus
WPT Poker
100% up to $100 Bonus
Everest Poker
100% up to $200 Bonus
Gamebookers Poker
100% up to $100 Bonus
Euro Poker
100% up to $50 Bonus
Bodog Poker
110% up to $550 Bonus