Omaha Hi-Lo (8 or Better)
If you've come to this page looking for a place to play Omaha Hi-Lo online, my recommendation is Party Poker. Many poker rooms offer Omaha 8oB tables, but since Party has so many thousands of players at any given time, they offer the best table selection.
Omaha 8 or Better is the Hi-Lo version of Omaha. It is a "split pot" game. That means the pot is split between the highest hand at the table, and the lowest "qualifying" hand. If you happen to win both the high and low portions of the hand, you "scoop" the whole pot.
Players each start with four hole cards. They share five "community" cards (which are dealt face-up in the center of the table). You MUST use two of your four "down" cards with three "up" cards to form your hand. There is no qualifying on the "High" side - the best high hand automatically wins half the pot. To win the "Low" side of the pot, however, your hand must "qualify".
It takes a five-card hand with different numerical values from Ace through eight (with the Ace being the lowest) to qualify for the "Low" half of the pot. The best "Low" hand is A, 2, 3, 4, 5 (also known as the "wheel" or "bicycle"). The winning "Low" hand goes to the player with the lowest high card. The simplest way to determine this is to arrange the cards into a number. If the high cards are the same, the second highest cards are compared.
A simple tip, and credit Steve Badger for this one, is to simply arrange the cards into a number, highest card to lowest. So a hand of 8,5,4,2,A makes the number 85,421. A hand of 8,7,3,2,A makes 87,321. Lowest number wins.
The game plays the same as Omaha Poker. The only difference comes at the showdown, when the pot is split. The preferred betting style for Omaha Hi-Lo is pot limit.
Ties: In case two or more players "tie" for one side of the pot, they will split that half into equally divided portions. If there is an odd chip(s), it will go to the person(s) closest to the left of the "button". (One player winning the "High" side and two players who tie for the "Low" side is not uncommon in Omaha 8 or Better.)
- Straights and flushes do NOT count against you when qualifying for "Low".
- You are permitted to use different cards in your hand for the "High" side and different cards for the "Low" side or the same cards for both the "High" and "Low" sides. In a split pot, any leftover odd chip goes to the "High" side of the pot.
Key to Remember: To determine your hand(s) in Omaha 8 or Better, you MUST play two of your four "down" cards with three of the "up" cards (community cards). You may play different cards for the "High" and "Low" sides.