Over the past few years, Omaha 8 or Better (also
known as Omaha Hi/lo), has been the fastest growing poker game in
the world. Players love it because it is an action game.
Omaha 8 or Better
is gaining in popularity everyday. It is a fun game to play and
many think it provides the most action of any poker games.
Basics: Players start with four "down" cards. Players
share five "community" cards (which are dealt face-up
in the center of the table). You MUST use two of your four "down"
cards with three "up" cards to form your hand. There is
no qualifying on the "High" side - the best high hand
automatically wins half the pot and could win the whole pot. To
win the "Low" side of the pot,
however, you must qualify (which is why the game is named Omaha
"8 or Better").
To Qualify for Low: It takes a five-card hand with different
numerical values from Ace through eight (with the Ace being the
lowest) to qualify for the "Low" half of the pot. The
best "Low" hand is A, 2, 3, 4, 5 (also known as the "wheel"
or "bicycle"). The winning "Low" hand goes to
the player with the lowest high card. For example, a player with
a 2,4,5,6,7 would have a better "Low" hand than someone
with an A,2,4,6,8. If two or more players have the same high card,
the player with the second lowest card (or third, fourth, or fifth
if necessary) in their hand wins the low side of the pot.
Here is the procedure for Omaha:
Prior to dealing the cards, two blind bets (the
Small Blind and the Big Blind) are placed in the pot by the two
players to the immediate left of the dealer. The blinds are put
in to start the action.
Everyone is dealt four "down" cards.
The action begins with the player to the left of the big blind
folding, calling, or raising. Play continues with all players
making one of these decisions. This is the first betting round.
Upon completion of the first round of betting,
three cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table (community
cards known as "the Flop"). This is the second round
of betting. Beginning with this round of betting and throughout
the remaining rounds of betting, the player to the left of the
dealer button acts first. A player may now Check or Bet (if there
is no betting in front of them). If there is betting and/or raising
in front of them, they may Call, Raise, or Fold.
Upon completion of the action on the "flop,"
another card is dealt face-up (known as the "The Turn"
or "Fourth Street"). This is the third betting round.
The size of the bet doubles on this round of betting. The betting
again starts with the player closest to the left of the button.
Following the completion of action on "the
turn," the dealer turns over the last card (known as "The
River" or "Fifth Street"). This is the final round
Upon completion of the final round of betting,
the best hand wins the pot.
Straights and flushes do NOT count against you
when qualifying for "Low."
You are permitted to use different cards in your
hand for the "High" side and different cards for the
"Low" side or the same cards for both the "High"
and "Low" sides. In a split pot, any leftover odd chip
goes to the "High" side of the pot.
Ties: In case two or more players "tie" for one
side of the pot, they will split that half into equally divided
portions. If there is an odd chip(s), it will go to the person(s)
closest to the left of the "button." (One player winning
the "High" side and two players who tie for the "Low"
side is not uncommon in Omaha 8 or Better.)
Key to Remember: To determine your hand(s) in Omaha 8 or Better,
you MUST play two of your four "down" cards with three
of the "up" cards (community cards). You may play different
cards for the "High" and "Low" sides. A player
"scoops" the pot when they win the whole pot.