Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha/8 or better) is frequently viewed as one of the most difficult but favored poker games. It’s a variation that, even more than regular Omaha poker, invites play from every level of players. This is the primary reason why a once obscure game, has expanded in popularity so rapidly.
Omaha 8 or better begins like a regular game of Omaha. 4 cards are given out to every player. A sequence of betting follows where players can bet, check, or fold. 3 cards are given out, this is called the flop. One more round of betting happens. Once all the gamblers have either called or folded, an additional card is revealed on the turn. Another sequence of wagering follows at which point the river card is revealed. The gamblers must attempt to put together the best high and low 5 card hands using the board and hole cards.
This is where some players often get flustered. Unlike Holdem, in which the board can make up every player’s hand, in Omaha hi low the player has to use precisely three cards from the board, and precisely 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 "high hand" or the "lower hand."
A high hand is exactly how it sounds. It’s the best hand out of everyone’s, whether that is a straight, flush, full house, etc. It is the very same concept in almost all poker games.
The low hand is more complicated, but certainly opens up the play. When deciding on a low hand, straights and flushes do not count. A low hand is the weakest hand that can be put together, with the worst being made up of A-2-3-4-5. Because straights and flushes do not count, A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest possible hand. The low hand is any five card hand (unpaired) with an 8 and below. The low hand takes half of the pot, as just like the high hand. When there’s no lower hand presented, the high hand takes the whole pot.
While it seems complex at first, following a few rounds you will be agile enough to pick up on the basic subtleties of play with ease. Since you have people wagering for the low and wagering for the high, and since so many cards are being used at once, Omaha hi/low provides an exciting assortment of wagering possibilities and seeing that you have several players battling for the high hand, as well as a few battling for the low. If you enjoy a game with a considerable amount of outs and actions, it’s not a waste of your time to play Omaha Hi-Lo.