A Beginners Guide to Omaha Hi-Lo

Written by Morgan Burton

This is an extremely popular game online. Although the betting follows the same format as Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, at the end of the game the pot can be won by either the highest hand OR the lowest qualifying hand.

As in Omaha, you are dealt four cards face down. From these four, you can use any combination of two cards to make the best possible high hand. However, in Omaha Hi-Lo, you can also use any two cards to make the best possible low hand. A qualifying low hand must contain 5 cards all of which must be 8 or lower. The best low hand is A-2-3-4-5. Quite often this will also qualify as the best high hand, which will enable you to ‘scoop’ the pot.

This may seem a little confusing, so here is an example (without betting strategy);

You look down at your cards and see that you have been dealt;

• Ace (hearts)
• 2 (hearts)
• Ace (clubs)
• Queen (clubs)

Scenario 1

The flop, turn and river shows;

• Ace (diamonds)
• 7 (spades)
• 10 (spades)
• Jack (clubs)
• 6 (hearts)

Your best High hand would be three aces.

In this scenario there is no qualifying low hand, and so the best high hand would win the pot.

Scenario 2

The flop, turn and river shows;

• 8 (spades)
• 5 (hearts)
• 4 (spades)
• 3 (spades)
• Q (hearts)

Your best hand would be a straight Ace to five (although it may lose to a flush on this board).

Your best low hand is A-2-3-4-5 (the suits have no relevance when ranking a low hand).

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