Omaha Hi-Lo (also known as Omaha/8 or better) is frequently viewed as one of the most difficult but favored poker variations. It’s a game that, even more than regular Omaha poker, invites play from all levels of players. This is the main reason why a once obscure variation, has expanded in popularity so quickly.
Omaha 8 or better starts just like a normal game of Omaha. 4 cards are dealt to each player. A sequence of wagering follows where gamblers can wager, check, or drop out. Three cards are given out, this is referred to as the flop. One more round of betting ensues. After all the gamblers have either called or dropped out, an additional card is flipped on the turn. Another round of betting ensues at which point the river card is revealed. The entrants must attempt to put together the best high and low 5 card hands based on the board and hole cards.
This is the point where a number of players get flustered. Unlike Hold’em, in which the board can be everyone’s hand, in Omaha Hi-Lo the player must utilize precisely 3 cards from the board, and precisely two hole cards. Not a single card more, not a single card less. Unlike normal Omaha, there are two ways a pot could be won: the "high hand" or the "lower hand."
A high hand is exactly how it sounds. It’s the best possible hand out of every player’s, it doesn’t matter if it is a straight, flush, full house. It’s the same concept in nearly every poker game.
The lower hand is more difficult, but certainly free’s up the play. When determining a low hand, straights and flushes don’t count. A low hand is the worst hand that can be made, with the worst being made up of A-2-3-4-5. Considering that straights and flushes do not count, A-2-3-4-5 is the worst possible hand. The lower hand is any five card hand (unpaired) with an 8 and below. The low hand takes half of the pot, as does the higher hand. When there’s no low hand presented, the higher hand wins the whole pot.
It may seem difficult at first, after a few hands you will be able to get the basic subtleties of play easily enough. Since you have individuals betting for the low and wagering for the high, and seeing as so many cards are being used at the same time, Omaha/8 offers an exciting collection of wagering options and because you have several individuals shooting for the high hand, along with a few shooting for the low hand. If you like a game with a considerable amount of outs and actions, it is not a waste of your time to compete in Omaha 8 or better.