Omaha and Hi/Lo, 8 or Better Rules

Basic Omaha Holdem is almost identical with Texas Holdem. The only difference is that you get four hole cards in Omaha instead of two, and you must use exactly two of your cards and three of the community cards to make your final hand. Otherwise, the poker rules for these two games are the same. So let’s save space and discuss Omaha Hi/Lo rules, also known as 8 or Better.

Omaha Hi/Lo Rules

This is a split-pot type of poker game. Whenever possible, the prize money is split between the best high hand and the best low hand. There is always a best high hand in every Omaha Hi/Lo game, following standard poker hand rankings. But there isn’t always a best low hand. There can only be a low hand if it qualifies according to the rules.

To summarize Omaha poker rules:

Two players post mandatory bets. Each player is dealt four pocket cards. Betting comes next followed by the flop, turn and river with betting rounds between each one and after the river. Players left in the game then “show down” their cards.

In Omaha, you must use exactly two of your pocket cards and exactly three community cards to make your five-card hand. If you have 6-7-5-J and the board reads 8-5-9-A-A, you don’t have a straight since you can only use two hole cards.

Omaha Hi/Lo Hands

In Omaha Hi/Lo, you make two hands: your best high hand and your best low hand. You can use different cards for each hand. Ranking 8 or Better high hands is the same as in Texas Holdem. Now this is how you qualify to make a low hand:

First, none of the five cards in the low hand must be 8 or lower. Ace counts as a low card. If there are no less than three cards greater than 8 on the board, no one qualifies for a low hand (since you have to use three community cards and there’s only five of them) and the winning high hand gets the whole pot.

The lower a hand is, the better. The player with the lowest qualifying low hand wins half the pot.

Example Omaha Hi/Low Hands

Below is a comparison of two qualifying low cards with the board reading: Q-3-5-10-8

Player 1: Pocket cards: A, 2, Q, K Community cards: 3, 5, 8 Hand: A, 2, 3, 5, 8

Player 2: Pocket cards: 2, 4, 7, Q Community cards: 3, 5, 8 Hand: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8

Compare the numbers from highest to lowest. Player 2 wins because 3 is lower than 4.

For the high hand, Player 1 wins with a queen pair and an ace kicker.

These are the Omaha Hi/Lo poker rules.

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