Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha/8 or better) is often times seen as one of the most complicated but favored poker games. It’s a variation that, even more than regular Omaha poker, aims for play from all levels of players. This is the main reason why a once obscure variation, has increased in popularity so rapidly.
Omaha/8 begins exactly like a normal game of Omaha. 4 cards are handed out to every player. A sequence of betting ensues in which players can bet, check, or fold. 3 cards are handed out, this is called the flop. A further round of betting ensues. After all the players have in turn called or dropped out, another card is revealed on the turn. Another sequence of wagering ensues at which point the river card is flipped. The gamblers must attempt to make the best high and low 5 card hands using the board and hole cards.
This is where a few entrants can get baffled. Contrasted to Texas Hold ‘Em, where the board can be everyone’s hand, in Omaha hi/lo the player has to use precisely 3 cards from the board, and exactly 2 hole cards. Not a single card more, no less. Contrary to regular Omaha, there are two ways a pot can be won: the "high hand" or the "lower hand."
A high hand is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the strongest possible hand out of every player’s, it doesn’t matter if it is a straight, flush, full house. It’s the very same concept in almost all poker games.
The low hand is more complicated, but really 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 can be made, with the lowest value being A-2-3-4-5. Considering that straights and flushes don’t count, A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest value hand possible. The lower hand is any five card hand (unpaired) with an eight and below. The low hand wins half of the pot, as just like the higher hand. When there is no low hand available, the higher hand wins the whole pot.
It may seem complex at first, following a couple of hands you will be able to get the base subtleties of play with ease. Seeing as you have players wagering for the low and betting for the high, and seeing as so many cards are being used at once, Omaha hi/lo provides an overwhelming assortment of betting options and because you have several individuals battling for the high hand, as well as many battling for the low. If you prefer a game with a lot of outs and actions, it is not a waste of your time to compete in Omaha 8 or better.