Much like Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo players are dealt pocket cards face down, and must ultimately make the best possible poker hand using the community cards on the table and the pocket cards in their hand.
The major difference between these two online Poker games is that in Omaha Hi/Lo you are dealt 4 cards as opposed to the 2 that you would be dealt in Texas Hold’em. However, you do not use all 4 of the cards dealt to you. You only use 2 of the 4 cards to make your best possible 5-card hand.
Omaha Hi/Lo is played with an “8-or-better” qualifier. In order for a low hand to qualify, it must feature five different cards with a rank of 8 or lower. For example, the hand 8-7-6-5-4 would be eligible to win the low portion of the pot. In Omaha Hi/Lo, Low hands are determined in exactly the same way as they are determined in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo. In the event that none of the players show a qualifying low hand, the high hand at the table wins the entire pot.
Omaha Hi/Lo Gameplay:
- Blind Pay – At the beginning of each hand, 2 blinds are placed (exactly like Texas Hold’em) which are preliminary bets designed to encourage action. The blinds placed (the small blind and the big blind) by the two players directly to the left of the dealer.
- The Dealing of the Initial Cards – 4 pocket cards (that can only be seen by each individual player) are dealt, face-down.
- First Round of Betting – Before the flop is dealt the first round of betting begins based on the strength of the original 4 cards dealt. Betting begins with the player to the immediate right of the big blind and ends with the big blind.
- Dealing of the Flop – After the first round of betting has been completed 3 cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These cards are known as community cards as they can be used by all players.
- Second Round of Betting – Betting now begins with the player directly to the right of the dealer and continues around the table.
- Dealing of the Turn – A fourth community card is placed on the table face up.
- Third Round of Betting – In a no-limit or pot-limit game the betting rounds continue in the same way as the first and second rounds. In a limit game betting is now raised to the higher stake amount. For instance, betting increments would be $20 in a $20/$40 limit game.
- Dealing of the River – The fifth and final community card is dealt face up on the table.
- Fourth and Final Betting Round – Players make their final bets based upon the strength of their hand.
- Showdown – Players showdown their cards to determine the winner of the hand. The player showing their cards first is the last player in the hand who made a bet or raise.
- Awarding of the Pot – The player making the strongest 5-card hand out of the 9 (4 pocket cards and 5 community cards) is awarded the pot. The pot is divided into 2 and is awarded to the player(s) holding the best 5 card high hand, and the best 5 card low hand. If 2 players have hands of equal value (the best high hand, the best low hand), the pot is divided between them. If the same player has a combination of cards that qualify as both the best high hand and the best low hand, the entire pot is awarded to the holder of that hand.