Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha 8 or better) is often times seen as one of the most difficult but favored poker variations. It’s a game that, even more than normal Omaha poker, invites play from all levels of players. This is the main reason why a once obscure variation, has increased in acceptance so amazingly.
Omaha hi lo begins exactly like a regular game of Omaha. 4 cards are handed out to every player. A sequence of wagering follows in which players can bet, check, or drop out. 3 cards are handed out, this is referred to as the flop. Another sequence of wagering ensues. Once all the players have either called or dropped out, an additional card is flipped on the turn. Another sequence of wagering follows and then the river card is revealed. The gamblers will have to make the strongest high and low five card hands based on the board and hole cards.
This is the point where some players often get flustered. Unlike Texas Hold ‘Em, in which the board can be every player’s hand, in Omaha hi/low the player has to use precisely 3 cards on the board, and exactly two cards from their hand. Not a single card more, no less. Unlike normal Omaha, there are two ways a pot might be won: the "higher hand" or the "lower hand."
A high hand is just what it sounds like. It’s the best possible hand out of every player’s, regardless if it is a straight, flush, full house. It is the same concept in just about all poker games.
A low hand is more complex, but certainly free’s up the action. When figuring out a low hand, straights and flushes don’t count. A low hand is the weakest hand that could be put together, with the lowest being A-2-3-4-5. Considering that straights and flushes don’t count, A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest possible hand. The lower hand is any five card hand (unpaired) with an eight and below. The lower hand wins half of the pot, as does the higher hand. When there is no low hand available, the higher hand takes the whole pot.
Although it seems difficult initially, after a couple of rounds you will be able to pick up on the base nuances of the game with ease. Seeing as you have players betting for the low and wagering for the high, and since so many cards are in play, Omaha 8 or better offers an overwhelming assortment of betting choices and because you have numerous individuals shooting for the high hand, along with several battling for the low. If you prefer a game with a plethora of outs and actions, it’s not a waste of your time to compete in Omaha/8.