What are the rules of the Omaha Hi / Lo?

In Omaha Hi / Lo Poker you have to combine the four initial cards with three of the five community cards to get a five-card hand with the highest possible value. Unlike Omaha Poker and Texas Hold’em, in the Omaha Hi / Lo Poker rules, the jackpot is split between the highest and the lowest hand. The lowest hand must be composed of five different cards, value 8 or less.

It is common that instead of playing in the boating limit variant such as Omaha High, it is played with betting limits.

Differences with Texas Hold’em

Each player receives 4 cards instead of 2 cards.

It is mandatory to use 2 of the 4 cards and combine them with 3 of the 5 of the table to form a hand.

Once the four pre-flop cards are dealt, the game develops like Texas Hold’em. The player who is located to the left of the dealer starts to bet the small blind and it is normal for the bet to be half the minimum possible.

Example: If the betting limit is € 2 / € 4, the small blind will be € 1.

The big blind is placed by the player to the left of the small blind and his bet must be equal to the minimum bet, € 2 in our example.

The player who deals the cards is identified with the Dealer button and begins to deal from the player to his left. Deal four covered cards to each of the participating players, this is called initial cards.

 Pre-flop betting round

Then the pre-flop betting round begins the player to the left of the big blind and can choose to match, raise the amount of the big blind, or withdraw from the hand. It is still betting clockwise.

If everyone matches the big blind, the one with the big blind has two options: he can pass or raise the bet.

The Dealer then distributes the Flop. To start, 3 community cards are dealt face up.

The next round of bets starts the player to the left of the button. This can pass or bet and from it, all other players can match, raise or withdraw.

The Dealer then distributes the Turn, also called the “fourth street”, this is a community card discovered.

Again, the Turn betting round starts with the player to the left of the button. The minimum bet must be the highest bet limit. In our example: € 4

The Dealer then distributes the River or Fifth Street and that, like the Turn, is a new card discovered. The round begins again with the player who is still active and is located to the left of the button.

Omaha Poker showdown

If after the betting round is over there is more than one active player, the final confrontation or showdown begins and is done as follows:

The player who made the last bet (or who raised) has to show his cards.

The player with the best lowest hand will receive half of the pot and the other half will receive the one with the highest highest hand.

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The best lowest hand: five different cards that do not form any pair and whose value is less than or equal to 8. The best lowest hand that has the highest card of least value, will win. In case of a tie between high cards, the winner will be the one with the next highest card with the lowest value.

The Ace is considered the lowest card of a low hand. Stairs and colors do not count. If the case of identical hands were to occur, the pot will be distributed equally among the players with the best hands.

After distributing the boat, the Dealer or button moves to the left and the next game begins.

There are situations in which the boat is not divided, as it is possible to have the best low and high hand (Hi / Low) at the same time. It can also happen that in one hand no one has managed to have the lowest hand or has not reached the confrontation or showdown with it.

 Exceptions and differences with the Omaha Hi

The only difference that Hi / Lo has with Omaha Hi is at the time of confrontation or showdown.

If a chip cannot be split, it will be added to the reserve pot for the highest hand.

If none of those who have reached the confrontation have a good low hand (8 or less as the highest card and no pair formed), the pot is handed to the winner of the highest hand (Hi).

It is possible to win the high and low boats with the same cards or with a different combination.


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