Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha 8 or better) is often times seen as one of the most complex but well-loved poker games. It’s a variation that, even more than regular Omaha poker, aims for action from all levels of players. This is the main reason why a once obscure game, has increased in popularity so rapidly.
Omaha hi lo starts exactly like a regular game of Omaha. Four cards are handed out to every player. A sequence of wagering ensues where players can wager, check, or drop out. 3 cards are dealt out, this is referred to as the flop. Another round of wagering ensues. After all the gamblers have in turn called or dropped out, a further card is flipped on the turn. Another sequence of wagering ensues at which point the river card is revealed. The players will have to make the best high and low five card hands based on the board and hole cards.
This is where a few entrants often get flustered. Unlike Holdem, where the board can make up every player’s hand, in Omaha hi low the player has to use exactly three cards from the board, and precisely two hole cards. No more, no less. Contrary to normal Omaha, there are 2 ways a pot could be won: the "higher hand" or the "lower hand."
A high hand is exactly how it sounds. It is the strongest hand out of everyone’s, whether that is a straight, flush, full house. It is the very same approach in just about every poker game.
A low hand is more difficult, 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 could be made, with the lowest being made up of A-2-3-4-5. Seeing as straights and flushes don’t count, A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest possible hand. The low hand is any 5 card hand (unpaired) with an 8 and lower. The lower hand wins half of the pot, as just like the high hand. When there’s no low hand available, the high hand wins the entire pot.
While it seems difficult at the outset, following a couple of hands you will be agile enough to pick up on the basic subtleties of play with ease. Since you have people betting for the low and wagering for the high, and since such a large number of cards are being used at the same time, Omaha 8 or better provides an amazing array of wagering possibilities and seeing that you have several players trying for the high hand, along with many trying for the low. If you enjoy a game with a plethora of outs and actions, it’s not a waste of your time to compete in Omaha 8 or better.