Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha 8 or better) is often times seen as one of the most complex but popular poker variations. It’s a game that, even more than regular Omaha poker, invites action from every level of players. This is the chief reason why a once obscure game, has expanded in popularity so rapidly.
Omaha hi low starts just like a normal game of Omaha. Four cards are dealt to each player. A sequence of betting follows where gamblers can bet, check, or drop out. 3 cards are dealt out, this is known as the flop. Another round of betting happens. After all the gamblers have either called or folded, a further card is revealed on the turn. Another sequence of betting happens and then the river card is flipped. The players will need to make the best 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/lo the player must utilize precisely three cards from the board, and exactly 2 cards from their hand. No more, not a single card less. Unlike regular Omaha, there are two ways a pot can be won: the "higher hand" or the "low hand."
A high hand is exactly how it sounds. It’s the strongest possible hand out of every player’s, it doesn’t matter if it is a straight, flush, full house. It is the same concept in just about all poker games.
A lower hand is more difficult, but really opens up the action. When determining a low hand, straights and flushes don’t count. A low hand is the weakest hand that can be put together, with the lowest being made up of A-2-3-4-5. Since straights and flushes do not count, A-2-3-4-5 is the smallest value hand possible. The lower hand is any 5 card hand (unpaired) with an 8 and smaller. The lower hand wins half of the pot, as does the higher hand. When there is no lower hand available, the high hand wins the complete pot.
While it seems complex initially, following a couple of rounds you will be able to pick up on the base subtleties of play with ease. Since you have people wagering for the low and betting for the high, and seeing as such a large number of cards are being used at once, Omaha/8 offers an overwhelming assortment of wagering possibilities and because you have numerous players battling for the high, along with many shooting for the low. If you enjoy a game with a lot of outs and actions, it is worth your time to compete in Omaha hi/low.