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How to Play Omaha Hold’em Hi-Lo

Omaha Hold’em is almost similar to Texas Hold’em. Actually it is a variation of Texas Hold’em and the only difference is that it makes use of 9 cards. In Omaha Hi-lo more than one player can win the pot. The pot can be split between players.  Players are dealt four cards face down and five cards face-up are dealt on the table which is shared by players.  Players would have to make a five rank winning hand from any two of their cards out of four and any three cards on the table. A player with the lowest ranking hand or highest ranking hand of five cards wins the pot. With the same hand, a player is able to construct both a high hand and a low hand using sets of different cards.

Omaha hi-lo is also known as Eights or Better. In this game in order for you to qualify for the low hand you would have to have and 8 card as high or 7 card high better. In low hands, flushes and straights are ignored.  The best lowest hand is the 5-4-3-2-A, Aces are counted as low cards although it is also a straight it is ignored.  For a low hand to be possible there has to be at least three cards on the table that are 8 or lower.

The game can be played with a maximum of 8 players or less and the opening bets or round of play is done in a clockwise manner. Each new hand makes use of a dealer button and blinds. Blind bets are known as compulsory bets that should be made by the two players left of the dealer button. The dealer button moves clockwise after every round and the last players to bet will always have an advantage and this is the main reason that the dealer button has to move to each player clockwise giving everyone a chance to bet last on a given round

How the Play Proceeds

Each player receives four cards faced down and the first betting ensures. The player right next to the left of the dealer button must make a compulsory bet and this is known as a blind open or small blind at which this bet should be equal to half the amount required for the lower bet of the table. The second compulsory bet is known as a blind raise or blind open which has to be done by the next player who is seated to the left of the player who made the first compulsory betting.  The second compulsory betting increases the pot size making the amount to be equal to the lower bet amount of the table.  The player to the left of the blind raise would now have to make a bet equal to the bet amount and this is known as a call or s/he can make a bet of an amount equal to the size of the bet and this would be a raise or alternatively s/he may fold. Therefore each player will now have options of making their bets which are the call, raise and fold. During the proceed, if all players either made a call or a fold and no other player made a raise then the player of the blind raise has an option of making a ‘check’ or raising.

The Flop

The flop is when the first three cards are dealt on the table face up. These cards are dealt s

Same time and made available to all players to use.  The first player to the left of the dealer button will start the second betting interval. The player will have the three betting options to select from which are ‘checking’, ‘open’ and ‘fold’.  Hence, each player begins to bet and they will have betting options which are ‘checking’, ‘call’, ‘raise’ and ‘fold’.  The betting will continue and it will stop after all players have equalized.

The Turn

The turn is when the fourth card is dealt face up on the table.  This will ensure the third betting interval and the first player to bet would be the first player left to the dealer button and the betting will stop after all players have equalized. The turn will force the upper bet amount.

The River

The river also known as the fifth street is the final card that is dealt face up on the table.  The final betting interval takes place and betting stops after all players have equalized. The upper betting amount would be in force and betting commences with the first player left to the dealer button.

The Showdown

After all players have gone through all betting intervals and 2 or more players are still in the games players would now have to show their hands.  Players with the lowest ranking hand and highest ranking hand (i.e. three from the board and any two cards in their hand) will split the pot.  If there is no player with a low hand then the player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot.

Summary of the Deal

  1. Players are dealt four cards each face down and the first betting interval commences
  2. Fifth, sixth, seventh Cards are dealt face up on the table and the second betting interval commences
  3. The eighth card is dealt face up on the table and the third betting interval commences
  4. The final stage, the ninth card is dealt face up on the table and the final betting interval commences.

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