Omaha Hi Lo is one of the variants of Poker and is also known all over the world as Omaha 8 and Omaha High Low. With the rising interest of people in online casino gaming, Poker has now become a billion dollar business. Once people used to have warped and narrow minded views about the poker players. Now with its rising popularity, majority of people consider Poker as a sport rather than as a card game favored by chronic gamblers.
The rising popularity of Omaha Hi Lo Poker can be attributed to the frequency of large pots used in this game. The game play includes dealing of four private cards commonly known as “Hole Cards” to the players. Five community cards are dealt “Face Up” on the board. Players are required to use two cards from their Hole Cards in combination with three cards from the board to generate a best poker hand.
The most interesting aspect of this game is that the pot gets divided between two players who attain the best hand for high and the best hand for low poker hand combination. A player can use different combinations of at least two hole cards in order to attain a high or low hand. It is compulsory to use two cards from player’s hand and three from the board.
Variants of Omaha Hi Lo
Even though Omaha Hi Lo is a variant of Poker, it can be further differentiated as
- Limit Omaha Hi Lo
- Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo
- No Limit Omaha Hi Lo
- Mixed Omaha Hi Lo
Limit Omaha Hi Lo: In this variant a specific betting limit is in place for each game and every round of betting.
Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo: Bets have a limit based on the amount of chips available in the pot.
No Limit Omaha Hi Lo: All chips can be put up as a bet if desired by the player.
Mixed Omaha Hi Lo: This variant is a mixture of Limit and Pot Limit Omaha. It includes increasing the size of blinds when game moves from Pot Limit to Limit. This ensures the consistency of stake levels.
Rules for Playing Omaha Hi Lo
The game starts with one player being nominated as a dealer. Before the dealing of the cards, the person sitting on the left side of the dealer posts a “small blind”. This blind is considered as the first forced bet. The other player sitting on the player posting the small blind now posts “big blind” which in normal conditions is twice the amount of small blind. After this cards are dealt to all players as mentioned earlier in this article.
The rules governing Omha Hi Lo game play for two to ten players include the following.
- Highest hand shares the pot with low hand player.
- Two of the hole cards along with three from board must be used for constituting highest and lowest ranking hand.
- A winning high hand must always be there for the completion of the game.
- To qualify as the lowest ranking hand, the five card combination must have 8,7,6,5,4 or other lower ranking cards.
- Aces are used as both high and low denomination card.
- There must be at least three raise limits per round.
- No ‘flushes’ or ‘straights’ allowed.
- In case of more than one combination of lowest hands for multiple players, low hand pot is divided equally between holders of such combinations.