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Omaha Hi-Lo: General Overview

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Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha/8 or better) is often times viewed as one of the most complicated but popular poker variations. It’s a variation that, even more than normal Omaha poker, invites action from every level of players. This is the main reason why a once invisible game, has grown in popularity so amazingly.

Omaha 8 or better begins like a normal game of Omaha. Four cards are handed out to each player. A round of wagering ensues where gamblers can wager, check, or fold. 3 cards are handed out, this is called the flop. Another sequence of wagering ensues. Once all the gamblers have in turn called or dropped out, an additional card is revealed on the turn. an additional round of wagering ensues and then the river card is revealed. The players must attempt to make the best high and low 5 card hands using the board and hole cards.

This is where many entrants can get confused. Unlike Texas Holdem, where the board can make up everyone’s hand, in Omaha Hi-Lo the player has to use exactly 3 cards from the board, and exactly two hole cards. Not a single card more, not a single card less. Contrary to normal Omaha, there are 2 ways a pot may be won: the "high hand" or the "lower hand."

A high hand is exactly what it sounds like. It is the best possible hand out of every player’s, whether that is a straight, flush, full house. It’s the very same approach in nearly all poker games.

The low hand is more complex, but really free’s up the action. When determining a low hand, straights and flushes don’t count. A low hand is the weakest hand that can be made, with the lowest value being A-2-3-4-5. Seeing as straights and flushes do not count, A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest possible hand. The low hand is any 5 card hand (unpaired) with an 8 and smaller. The lower hand wins half of the pot, as just like the high hand. When there’s no lower hand available, the higher hand wins the whole pot.

It may seem complex initially, after a couple of hands you will be agile enough to get the base nuances of play easily enough. Since you have individuals wagering for the low and wagering for the high, and seeing as so many cards are being used at once, Omaha Hi-Lo offers an overwhelming collection of betting possibilities and owing to the fact that you have several players trying for the high, along with several trying for the low. If you like a game with a lot of outs and actions, it is not a waste of your time to participate in Omaha/8.

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