Omaha Hi Lo

Omaha Hi-Lo poker is generally played between 2 to 10 players and is a close cousin of Texas Hold’em. This game is also called Omaha High-Low or Omaha 8 or better.

There are two ways to win in Omaha Hi-Lo poker. Players either need to have the highest or the lowest hands. The pot is then split equally between these two players. The highest hand is always a guaranteed winner. However, in order for the lowest hand to qualify it has to meet certain requirements. The player has to have 5 numbers lower than (and including) 8. This cannot include any pairs. If there is not a low winner then the high winner takes the entire pot. This is called winning the high and low pot.

Players can choose between three types of Omaha Hi-Lo poker. The fixed limit game has preset bets and raises for each round. The pot limit game is where the bets and raises cannot exceed the amount of the pot as it stands at the time of the bet or raise. No limit games are just as it says: There is no maximum bet amounts during any of the rounds of play.

Before playing the game it is important to know the basic jargon:

To Fold: This is when a player decides that his/her cards are not strong enough to continue betting and the cards are discarded. The player sits out for the rest of the hand.

To Check: This is when a player passes putting money in the pot.

To Call: This is when a player places a matching amount in the pot.

To Raise: This is when a player puts twice the amount of the previous bet in the pot.

The Little Blind: This is the bet that starts it all off. The player sitting to the immediate left of the dealer places the small blind. This is usually equally to between a third and two thirds of the big blind.

The Big Blind: This bet is placed by the person to the left of the person who placed the small blind. This should be equal to the minimum bet.

The Pot: This is where every player’s eye will roam. It is the pile of chips in the middle of the table where all chips are [placed. The winners win the entire pot.

Community Cards: These are the face-up cards in the middle of the table. Three of these cards are used in conjunction with two of the four pocket cards to make a winning hand.

The Turn: This is the term used for the 4th community card.

The River: This is the term used for the 5th community card.

To Buy In: This is the minimum amount of chips that a player can buy in order to sit at the table and play.

The sequence:

  • Each player is dealt 4 cards face down. These are called the pocket or hold cards.
  • Play happens in a clockwise direction, with players being able to bet, check, raise or fold.
  • The next action the dealer takes is to turn over 3 community cards face up. This is known as the flop.
  • Once again, players start the betting starting with the person to the immediate left of the dealer – assuming that the player has not folded.
  • A fourth card is then turned. This is known as the turn. The betting continues again and stops when all the bets have been called.
  • The dealer then deals the final card to bring the total of community cards to 5. This is called the river.
  • The last round of betting happens and whichever player raised or bet last in this stage has to show their hand first.
  • Winning hands are determined by using two of the pocket/hold cards with three of the five community cards to make up the best poker 5 card poker hand. The highest and lowest poker hands split the pot.