Omaha Hi Lo

Omaha hi/lo rules are exactly like Omaha hi games except that there is one significant difference. That being, the highest and the lowest hands share the pot, in what is a split pot game.

This means there can be two or more winners who will split the pot when there is a qualified low hand. For the low hand to qualify in this game, it must consist of 5 different cards with the value of 8 or lower.

The lowest possible hand is A-2-3-4-5. The second lowest is A-2-3-4-6 and the third lowest will be A-2-3-5-6. If there is no qualifying low hand than the highest hand takes the whole pot.

The best possible starting hands in Omaha hi/lo are A-A-2-3, A-A-2-x, A-A-3-x, A-2-3-4, A-2-3-x, A-2-K-K, A-2-Q-Q, A-3-4-5, A-A-4-5, A-2-Q-K, A-2-K-J, A-3-K-K, A-3-4-x, 2-3-4-5, and any hand with 2-3-4.

It is possible to have more than one low hand winner in Omaha hi/lo poker, so the name of the game is to only play starting hands that can scoop (win both halves of the pot) the whole pot. You should avoid chasing for half the pot and do not draw to any low that is not the nuts.

Low limit Omaha hi/lo games have so many players seeing the flop, that you will most of the time need the nut low to get half of the pot, and expect to get quartered a decent percentage of the time.

Don’t fall in love with dry aces (A-A-6-9) in Omaha hi/lo. This is not a strong hand unless it is double suited, and it will most of the time need to catch a full house to win. When playing big pairs like A-A, K-K and Q-Q always make sure the side cards are connected in some way.

Decision making after the flop in Omaha hi lo are fairly straight forward. Keep on playing if you have the nuts, or if you are drawing to the nuts. If not, fold your hand.

Be careful playing hands like A-2 hands like A-2-7-9. For example, let’s say you hold A-2-7-9, and the board is 3-4-8. At this point on the flop, you currently have the best possible low hand (8-4-3-2-A). But let’s say the turn was a 2. Now your low hand has improved to 7-high, but it’s no longer the best possible low hand, as an opponent that is holding A-5 will have the nuts for the best possible low hand (A-2-3-4-5), as well as a 5-high straight (also known as a wheel) for a very strong high hand as well.

Omaha hi/lo starting hands that are very overrated by low limit players are hands like A-K-Q-J, K-Q-J-10, K-J-10-9, and Q-J-10-9. These are strong hands in Omaha hi but hands that are typically good in Omaha high games are weak in the hi lo version of the game since you have no chance of scooping the whole pot unless no one qualifies with a low hand.

The best hi lo Omaha strategy is to find a loose game where at least 50% of the players regularly see the flop. At the lowest stakes Omaha hi/lo tables, it would probably be a good strategy to play fairly tight, trying to make the nuts. In such games, there will be plenty of fishy players that are playing far too many starting hands, and will be paying you off simply by tightening up and making strong hands.

However, this strategy isn’t going to work as well in higher stakes Omaha hi/lo games against a tougher set of opponents. They will not be as likely to pay you off when you do make hands and the scenarios where you do actually make a hand, there is the potential of getting pushed off hands you shouldn’t be folding because you are playing overly tight.

Like any poker game, in order to maximize your winnings, you really need to adjust to the right level of aggressiveness, and take what you can get basically. Try and get as many of your chips as possible in the middle of the table, when you catch a flop that has a potential of scooping the whole pot.

Play only quality starting hands. Omaha hi lo poker hands are further apart in value than any other poker game, so you will not be able to outplay other players after the flop. Bluffing rarely happens in Omaha hi/lo, so always trying to steal a pot will only hurt your bankroll.

When playing heads up, you want to try and draw to hands that can win both the high and low portions of the pot. While playing in multi-way pots, you want multiple draws to the nuts, and can be happier splitting the pot with all the extra chips that will be in the pot.