Omaha Hi-Lo

Omaha Hi-Lo is quite similar to the “Omaha high,” also referred to as pot-limit Omaha. In a nutshell, this loose aggressive card game requires players to compete for the “high” and “low” halves of the pot.

The majority of Omaha Hi-Lo games are actively and aggressively played, with up to five players seeing a flop every hand. This is particularly true in many lower-limit games.

As with many card games, it comes with different aliases. For example, some players call it “Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better,” while others use “Omaha 8” or “0/8.” It can also be spelled “Omaha High-Low” and “Omaha Poker High-Low.”


Difference Between Omaha Hi-Lo and Omaha Poker

The intrinsic rule between the Omaha Hi-Lo and the Omaha Poker is virtually the same, except that the former has two pots for every hand–the high and low pot.

In Hi-Lo, the “low” hands must have five cards with values of eight or lower with a wheel, with A through 5 considered the nut low hand.


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How Is It Different from Texas Hold ’em

The most notable difference between these two popular card games is that a player gets four hole cards in Omaha, whereas a Texas Hold ’em player gets two.

Other key differences you have to keep in mind:

  • Omaha players can’t use combinations; they have to use two of their hole cards and three of the community cards for their final hand. In contrast, Texas Hold ’em players can use different combinations like one, two, or even none of their hole cards, along with three to five community cards to create their final hand.
  • Since Hi-Lo involves splitting the pot, the game is generally played at higher stakes than Texas Hold ’em.
  • Both games have a showdown, which happens when more than one player remains after the last betting round. In Texas Hold ’em, the player with the best hand wins the pot according to the standard ranking of poker hands, whereas in Hi-Lo, the pot is split between the one with the best possible hand and the player with the best qualifying low hand.
  • For seasoned players, Hi-Lo is intrinsically less volatile than Texas Hold ’em.


How to Play the Omaha Hi-Lo

To reiterate, the basic rules for Omaha Hi-Lo and pot-limit Omaha are the same: The players are dealt four cards and must use two of them in combination with three community cards to create a five-card poker hand.

In both games, if a player bets while everyone folds before the showdown, he wins the pot without showing a hand.

But if there is a showdown, the pot is split between the player with the best “high” hand and the one with the best “low” hand.


Rules of the Game

In Omaha Hi-Lo, the “high” hand is the same as Texas Hold ’em. However, the “low” hand requires some more technical explanation.

First and foremost, the cards that make up the “high” hand do not influence the “low” hand. To create a five-card poker hand, a player can use the same two cards, the other two cards, or any combination provided that he utilizes two cards from his four-card hand and three from the community cards.

In general, the Omaha Hi-Low is played with a qualifier for the “low” hand in which all its cards have to rank eight or lower. As a result, the game is also referred to as “Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better.”

A qualifying “low” hand consists of five unpaired cards ranked eight or lower, with the ace considered a low or lowest card, although it can also play as the highest-ranking card in a “high” hand.

Also worth noting is that in Omaha Hi-Lo, the lowest five cards that comprise a straight or flush have no value–the player still has a “low” hand.


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