Omaha Hi/Lo - How to Play and Tips
Omaha Hi/Lo is similar to regular Omaha where the pot is divided between a high and low hand. Each player is dealt four ‘hole’ cards face down and five community cards that are dealt face up in the middle of the table for everyone to see and use in Omaha Hi/Lo.
To make a hand in Omaha Hi/Lo, each player needs to use two hole cards and three community cards. The game consists of four rounds of betting that moves clockwise around the table. The person next to the dealer button of Omaha Hi/Lo starts betting to move to the left after each hand.
Omaha Hi/Lo has two forced bets in a hand
When playing Omaha Hi/Lo in online games, it is the dealer button that replaces the ‘real’ dealer. If there are two or more people who end in a tie with five card hands of equal strength, the pot is divided among these players. However, if there is an odd chip in Omaha Hi/Lo, the pot is given to the winner of the high hand.
One rule of Omaha Hi/Lo states that there are two forced bets in a hand called blinds. The small blind is half the low limit bet size while the big blind is equal to low limit bet size. Before the hand, the player at the left of the dealer button posts the small blind while the player to that person’s left is forced the big blind.
In Omaha Hi/Lo, these bets are considered in the player’s first round bet and are live where the player can raise it if nobody does. In a 1 on 1 match in Omaha Hi/Lo, the dealer button player posts the small blind while the other, the big blind.
There are four rounds of betting in Omaha Hi/Lo
Omaha Hi/Lo has four rounds of betting called preflop, flop, the turn and the river. In the case of fixed limit Omaha Hi/Lo, the bets in the first two rounds of betting are equal to the low limit bet. The bets are equal to the high limit bet in the last two rounds of betting.
In case no one folds after the last round of betting, they can show their hand, and perhaps win the pot. The person to bet last, shows their hand first and moves clockwise from there.
When playing Omaha Hi/Lo, if you find that your high hand is not a winner or if you are playing for low without a chance at the high hand, it is better to check or fold and come out of the game.
Be careful of suited flops creating completed flushes
It is risky to consider early raises in Omaha Hi/Lo unless you are sure you don’t lose. Keep an eye out for uniform flops like 8 7 6 in Omaha Hi/Lo as they can become straights which will overtake your high pair trips and other good hands.
There are chances of suited flops creating a completed flush; avoid them. If you come across them, you have to hold the nut in the suit or have two pairs that can fill up.
Omaha Hi/Lo can get confusing at times
Make it a point to study opponents playing Omaha Hi/Lo, especially when you are not playing. Try to find out if they have more hands than they can fold, if they bluff or can be bluffed or if they have any tell tale mannerisms about their hands.
With occasional bluffing, you can vary your play and not be too predictable. Bluffs can win you surprise pots while you may lose chips if the bluff does not work. However by bluffing, you can get calls from weaker hands when you are strong and require action.
The last tip for playing Omaha Hi/Lo is that as it can get confusing, you may think that you have a winning hand when you don’t, and have the best hand without realizing it. It is these mistakes that you have to be careful about.