Omaha Hi/Lo, or Omaha-8, or Omaha High Low, has become very popular due to the large pots and the community cards, which seem to make any poker game with them more attractive to players. Each player is dealt four private cards and throughout the hand there will be a total of five community cards dealt face up. Players will use exactly two of their private cards and three of the community cards to make their best hands. The pot will be split between the player with the best high hand and the player with the best low hand. Omaha Hi/Lo uses the standard poker hand rankings for the Hi pot.
Omaha Hi/Lo is played with an eight or better qualifier for the low hand. A hand must be at least a 8-7-6-5-4 low in order to qualify for the low portion of the pot. If no player qualifies for the low pot, the high hand wins the entire pot.
Low hands are determined by the Ace to Five system. Straights and flushes do not count and Aces are always low. The best low hand possible is 5-4-3-2-A.
There are four variations of Omaha Hi/Lo.
Limit Omaha Hi/Lo: Played with a pre-determined limit for each bet.
Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo: Players can bet any amount up to the size of the pot.
No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo: Players can bet all of their chips at any time.
Mixed Limit Omaha Hi/Lo: The game will switch between rounds of No Limit and Limit.
In Limit Omaha Hi/Lo there is a small bet and a big bet. The small bet, usually equivalent to the big blind, is used for pre-flop action and bets after the flop. The big bet, twice the size of the big blind, is used for the turn and the river.
In Omaha Hi/Lo the two players to the left of the dealer button will put in 'blinds' before the action starts. Immediately to the left of the dealer is the small blind, and to the left of that player is the big blind, usually twice the size of the small blind but not always. In online poker the blinds will be displayed by the name of the poker table.
With the blinds already posted and the players given a chance to see their cards, the player to the left of the big blind now has the option to call, raise or fold. Betting continues clockwise around the table until every table has had a chance to act, then the flop is dealt.
The flop consists of the first three community cards. Once these are dealt the player to the left of the dealer button will have the chance to act first. They can either check, bet, raise or fold. Every other player will then get the chance to act, going clockwise around the table. Then the turn is dealt.
The turn is the fourth community card. Once this card is dealt the player to the left of the dealer button will have the chance to act first. They can either check, bet, raise or fold. Every other player will then get the chance to act, going clockwise around the table. Then the river is dealt.
The river is the fifth and final community card. Once this card is dealt the player to the left of the dealer button will have the chance to act first. They can either check, bet, raise or fold. Every other player will then get the chance to act, going clockwise around the table. This is followed by the showdown to see who will win the pot.
Remember that in Omaha Hi/Lo a player has to use exactly two of their private cards and three community cards to make their best five card poker hand. This also applies to the Low hand, but players are able to use a different set of two private cards and three community cards if they need to. Winning both pots with the same hand is known as a 'scoop'.
The last person to bet or raise will (if called) show their cards at the end of the hand. If there was no betting in the final round then the first player who still has cards that is sitting to the left of the dealer button will show their cards first. The player with the best five card hand wins the pot. If both players have the exact same hand then the pot is split between them. If three players have the same hand, the pot is split three ways, etc. If no one has a qualifying low hand, the best high hand takes the entire pot.
Once the pot has been awarded to the winning player, the dealer button moves one position to the left and a new hand is started once the small and big blinds are posted.