Poker is a game that involves a lot of excitement and engagement, but sometimes you do feel like playing something a little different. However, for that, you don’t have to abandon poker in search of varieties of card games. Poker has spawned many variants, so that you have plenty to choose from. It can be from games like five Card Draw, or Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo or even Omaha. Here, you can learn to go over Omaha Hi-Lo Poker Rules and play or master the game in no time.
Omaha Hi-Lo Poker is just a variant of regular poker, and it is also known as Omaha Eight (Omaha/8). The basic feature of this game that sets it apart from other variants is that at the end of the game, the pot is split between two players. One player is someone who has the High Hand, and the other one is someone who made the most qualifying Low Hand.
There are many other basic elements apart from these unique features which are important to learn if you want to play this game successfully. Just like other Omaha games, Hi/Lo games are played with a deck of 52 cards and in between two and nine players. Players are dealt with four hole cards which they must keep private. Other than that, five community cards are dealt face-up on the table. Players must use three of these community cards and two of their hole cards in order to build their hands. Players who can build such a winning hand according to poker hand rankings, can also win half the pot. The other half is won by the player who has created a Low Hand according to Omaha Hi-Lo Poker Rules. In case no player built a low hand, the player who has the high hand takes the entire pot. A player can also build both the hands and take the entire pot.
After understanding the fundamental aspects, here are the rules of Omaha Eight.
Basic Rules of Omaha Hi-Lo Poker:
The basic rule of Omaha Hi-Lo Poker is slightly different from other types of poker games:
Betting: This game consists of four rounds of betting. The betting moves around the table in a clockwise fashion and begins with a player who’s sitting next to the dealer button. Such a dealer button moves one place to the left after each hand.
Blinds: Before this game starts, players sitting towards the left of the dealer have to post ‘blind bets’. These bets are called blinds because you’ve to place them before any of the cards are revealed. This process is done in order to ensure that the pot has some money to sustain the initial steps of a game. The player who is sitting immediately to the left of the dealer posts what is called the ‘small blind,’ whereas the person who’s sitting to the left post the ‘big blind.’
Preflop: The player in this game can see their four hole cards after all the players have received their cards. After which the betting round begins by the player who is sitting immediate left of the big blind. This player is also known as Under The Gun, and they can even do the following things:
- Call: Placing an amount that is equal to the big blind,
- Raise: Placing an increased bet, and
- Fold: Give up their cards and even exit the game.
Before the round ends, it will always come back to the big blind. The big blind can simply ‘check’ that entails in staying in the game without having to do anything. However, if any other player has raised the betting amount, the big blind can call, fold or re-raise on the raised amount.
The Flop: Here, three community cards are being dealt on the table. The cards are placed face-up and can even be used by the players in order to build their hands. Then another round of betting begins at this stage.
The Turn: Here, the players are dealt with a fourth community card, and they are placed face-up on the table. Then the third round of betting commences.
The River: Here, the fifth, as well as the final community card, is dealt face-up on the table followed by the final round of betting.
The Showdown: In this stage, the players reveal all the hands. The player who has the highest hand wins half of the pot, and the one who has the lowest hand wins the other half. While one player can win both hands, in the absence of a low hand, the player who has the high hand wins the entire pot.
One of the best strategic tips to remember while playing this game is to notice the difference in profit, which is between winning half the pot and winning full. This margin affects your bankroll a lot. Experienced players are familiar with the difference, and they aim to play both the high and low hands themselves. It is also important to keep your strategy in mind while playing your starting hands. Remember that sometimes it’s better to fold, rather than play and win only half. So, it’s important that you pay attention to your cards and not get confused by thinking that you’ve got a shot at winning.
How to Play FAQ
- Raise before the flop.
- You must remember that your aim is to scoop the pot.
- You must be able to fold on the flop often.
- Must be able to play premium hands at the start.
- Remember to carefully select your table. Only play in loose games where there are five or more players who see the flop on average.
- Also be skilled on calculating pot odds.