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Omaha Hi/Low: Basic Outline

Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha/8 or better) is commonly viewed as one of the most complicated but favored poker games. It is a variation that, even more than regular Omaha poker, invites action from every level of players. This is the main reason why a once invisible game, has increased in popularity so rapidly.

Omaha Hi-Lo begins like a normal game of Omaha. 4 cards are dealt to every player. A sequence of wagering ensues where players can bet, check, or drop out. Three cards are dealt out, this is known as the flop. A further round of wagering ensues. Once all the players have in turn called or dropped out, a further card is flipped on the turn. Another sequence of betting ensues and then the river card is revealed. The gamblers will have to make the best high and low 5 card hands based on the board and hole cards.

This is the point where a few players often get flustered. Contrasted to Holdem, in which the board can be every player’s hand, in Omaha hi/low the player must use exactly 3 cards on the board, and precisely 2 hole cards. Not a single card more, no less. Contrary to regular Omaha, there are 2 ways a pot can be won: the "high hand" or the "low hand."

A high hand is just what it sounds like. It is the best possible hand out of everyone’s, regardless if it is a straight, flush, full house, etc. It’s the same approach in just about all poker games.

A lower hand is more difficult, but certainly opens up the action. When determining a low hand, straights and flushes don’t count. the lowest hand is the worst hand that might be put together, with the worst being made up of A-2-3-4-5. Because straights and flushes don’t count, A-2-3-4-5 is the worst possible hand. The low hand is any five card hand (unpaired) with an 8 and lower. The low hand takes half of the pot, as does the high hand. When there’s no lower hand available, the high hand takes the whole pot.

It may seem difficult at first, after a few rounds you will be agile enough to pick up on the base nuances of play with ease. Since you have individuals wagering for the low and betting for the high, and since such a large number of cards are being used at the same time, Omaha 8 or better offers an overwhelming range of wagering options and because you have several individuals battling for the high, as well as a few battling for the low. If you love a game with all kinds of outs and actions, it’s worth your time to compete in Omaha/8.

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