Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha/8 or better) is often times viewed as one of the most complex but favored poker games. It’s a variation that, even more than normal Omaha poker, invites play from every level of players. This is the main reason why a once irrelevant game, has grown in popularity so quickly.
Omaha/8 starts exactly like a regular game of Omaha. 4 cards are handed out to every player. A sequence of wagering follows where gamblers can wager, check, or fold. 3 cards are given out, this is referred to as the flop. Another sequence of betting ensues. Once all the gamblers have either called or folded, a further card is flipped on the turn. Another round of betting happens and then the river card is flipped. The gamblers must attempt to put together the strongest high and low 5 card hands based on the board and hole cards.
This is the point where some entrants get confused. Unlike Texas Holdem, where the board can be everyone’s hand, in Omaha hi lo the player has to use exactly 3 cards from the board, and exactly two hole cards. No more, not a single card less. Contrary to regular Omaha, there are two ways a pot might be won: the "higher hand" or the "low hand."
A high hand is exactly how it sounds. It’s the strongest hand out of every player’s, whether that is a straight, flush, full house, etc. It is the same concept in just about every poker game.
The low hand is more difficult, but certainly opens up the play. When deciding on a low hand, straights and flushes don’t count. the lowest 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 5 card hand (unpaired) with an 8 and smaller. The lower hand takes half of the pot, as just like the high hand. When there is no lower hand available, the higher hand wins the whole pot.
It may seem complicated at first, following a few rounds you will be agile enough to get the fundamental subtleties of play simply enough. Seeing as you have players betting for the low and wagering for the high, and since such a large number of cards are in play, Omaha 8 or better provides an overwhelming assortment of wagering options and because you have many players shooting for the high, as well as many shooting for the low. If you like a game with all kinds of outs and actions, it’s worth your time to participate in Omaha 8 or better.