Monthly ArchiveDecember 2017

Omaha Poker – High and HiLo Styles

There are two variations to Omaha poker, the Omaha high and the Omaha hi/lo styles. These Omaha poker styles have the same rules – each player is dealt four pocket or hole cards and five community cards to be shared on the board. The community cards are consecutively revealed in four different phases. Three are shown on the flop, one on the turn, and the last community card is shown on the river. More importantly, players must use two of their four pocket cards and three community cards to make a five-card poker hand. But when it’s time to award the pot, each Omaha poker style has rules of its own.

Omaha high strictly follows the highest ranking poker hand rule. That is, the player who has the highest ranking poker hand wins at showdown. And poker hands are ranked accordingly from the lowest single high card to the highest ranked royal flush.

Omaha hi/lo is also called Omaha eight or better, or just Omaha eight. It’s so named for the simple reason that an unpaired five-card poker hand with no cards higher than an eight is eligible to win half the pot. That’s also why it’s a very popular Omaha poker split-pot variant.

Omaha high uses poker hand rankings to award the pot to the player who has the highest ranking poker hand. Omaha eight or hi/lo, on the other hand, splits the pot into a high end and a low end when there’s a qualifying low hand at the game’s end. But if there’s no eligible low hand in Omaha eight or hi/lo, the high ranking hand scoops the entire pot.

Omaha eight or hi/lo also has another distinctive rule from Omaha high. If a player is vying for both ends of one pot, different hands may be used to play for the high end and the low end. As long as two hole cards and three board cards are used, a player can similarly scoop the entire pot by having the highest poker hand and best eligible low hand in this Omaha poker variant.

Omaha poker, whether it’s high or hi/lo, distributes more cards thus giving players better chances of making a ranking poker hand. But keep in mind that the game firmly follows that a five-card poker hand be made with two out of four pocket cards and three out of five board cards. In Omaha high, the player who has the highest ranking poker hand wins the pot. While in Omaha eight or hi/lo, the pot is divided between who has the highest ranking hand and the best qualifying low hand in the game.