Omaha Hi-Lo is sometimes referred to as Omaha Eight or Better. The game works in the same way as standard Omaha but there are two pots, physically there is only one pot, but there are two ways to win the money. Half of the pot is awarded for the best poker hand (remember to use two from your hand!) The second half of the pot (the “lo” part) is won by using 2 cards from your hand and 3 from the board with no cards higher than an 8.
When playing the “lo” part of the hand straights and flushes don’t count. So the best “lo” hand is A 2 3 4 5 – also known as “the wheel”, the second best “lo” hand is A 2 3 4 6. Playing Omaha Eight or Better does require some extra concentration compared to Hold’em especially if you are new to the game.
When you play Omaha Hi Lo you are not aiming to win the low pot or the high pot, but both together. Winning the hi and lo pot together is known as “scooping the pot”. A lot of players only aim for the hi part of the pot or the lo part of the pot, this is known as “quartering”. Quartering is the best way to lose your bankroll playing Omaha Hi Lo as you will be chasing small fractions of only half the pot.
Aces count as high or low when playing Omaha Hi Lo. When playing Omaha Hi Lo it is very important to understand the specific rules of “hi-lo”. For example, if you look at the two hands below:
Hand 1 : A 2 3 4 7
Hand 2 : A 3 4 5 6
At first glance it looks like Hand 1 (A 2 3 4 7) should win, but it’s not the 2 that is important, it’s the highest low card. It is the 7 v 6 that is important in this example.