Omaha Hi-Lo Poker, also known as Seven Stud 8, Omaha 8 or Better Poker, or Omaha high low split (‘Hi/Lo’), is a split pot game. It is an important part of online poker life, a game that entices players with its huge pots and amazing 16,000 hand combinations. This is one of the most popular internet casino games and pot-limit games, both online and at live tournaments. Up to eight players can participate and both the highest hand and the lowest hand take the pot. The best high hand wins half of the pot, and the best low hand wins the other half of the pot. Beginners may find the rules a bit confusing at first but after some practice they will indeed enjoy this game.
Much like its cousin, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better involves four hole cards for each player. The object of Omaha 8 is to make the best five-card high hand, and/or best five-card low hand, using exactly two hole cards and three community cards. Different combinations of cards can be used by a player to make separate high and low hands.
It is possible for a player to win both the high and low portions of the pot-known as “scooping”. If there is no qualifying low hand (five cards below 8), the best high hand will scoop the whole pot.
And now let’s see the rules: If you have already played pot-limit Omaha, you will have an easy job since the basics are the same of both games. Before the start of the game, every punter should put the obligatory sum into the pot. This so-called “ante” is determined by the game and it is usually 25% of the low limit bet amount. The amount of the ante is not counted towards the future bets. The first round starts with three cards being dealt to the players. There are two “down” (“door”, “third street”) cards and one “up” card. Each player shows one of the low cards, and the lowest one to the left side of the dealer should be brought in. This is counted as the first round bet, and if there are no players raising it, there is no need to contribute more to the pot.
Rounds: There are five betting rounds with only three raises allowed by betting round. The first two deal only with low limit bets, while the rest of them deal with high limit ones.
First round. Three cards are given with one low face-up card. The player with the lowest one to the left of the dealer makes the first bet. Other players have the possibility of placing one half of the low limit bet or raising by placing the whole bet. Punters bet clockwise calling, raising or folding.
Second round. The dealer gives another face-up card and the highest hand has to decide on wether to raise, fold or call. In case of a tie, the highest hand to the left of the dealer is about to act.
Third round. All bets should be of the high-level bet size and everything happens the same way as in the previous round.
Fourth round. Punters receive the sixth face-up card and proceed the same way as in the former round.
Fifth round. Poker players get the face-down card. The bets are made according to the high limit size. The punter who was the last to bet is the first to open the cards. Participants proceeding clockwise choose whether to open the hand or muck it. Online poker sites give you the chance to automatically muck the hand to hide what you really played.
There are certain strategies for how to win the Omaha Hi-Lo. Due to Low and High hands, you have great chance to split the pot into half or win the total amount. If you ever played with Fixed Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, do not forget the fact that your bet cannot go over four times the Big Blind. It is important to know that the pre-flop choice of the starting hands is essential in Omaha Hi-Lo. You should memorize some of them before hitting the poker table.
How to win at Omaha Hi-Lo?
- Start smart. The best option for a winning hand is to have big pairs or other high cards, which makes it possible for you to make the best flush or straights.
- Try not to raise before the flop too often.
- Select the table and position carefully.
- Always play premium strating hands.
- Use the option of playing online poker to help to develop your skills. Try some demo versions to gain practice.