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How to Play Omaha Hi-lo Poker in Las Vegas

Learn to play Poker in Las Vegas

The game of Omaha hi-lo is a "split-pot" version of Omaha poker in which players compete against each other for both the "high" and "low" halves of the pot of money on the table. It is important to understand the rules of Omaha Poker before playing Omaha Hi/Lo.

The rules of Omaha Hi-lo are the same as the rules for Omaha, except that the pot is split between the high and the low hand. An example of a low hand is one that would be a loser in any other game. For example, if you are holding a 7 of hearts and a 6 of diamonds and combine those with a 4, 3, and 2 of any suit on the board, you'd have a very strong "low hand". The best possible hand in Omaha high-low is one in which the same player holds both the highest and lowest hands simultaneously, thus winning the entire pot.

A player may use any combination of two hole cards (cards initially dealt to them at the beginning of the game) and three board cards (cards dealt on the table throughout the course of the game, referred to as “community” cards or “board” cards) for the high hand and another (or the same) combination of two hole cards and three board cards for the low hand.

Object of Omaha Hi-lo Poker

The object of the game of Omaha Hi/Lo is to win the entire pot of money by creating a High hand using any two out of four pocket cards and three out of five community cards, and a Low hand using any two out of four pocket cards and three out of five community cards.

Playing the Game of Omaha Hi-lo Poker

1 At the opening of every Omaha Hi-lo Poker game, all players are dealt one card face-up, starting with the player to the immediate left of the house dealer and continuing clockwise around the table. The player with the highest ranked card will receive the flat white disk with the words "dealer button" on it. Once the dealer button has been distributed by the house dealer, the player to the immediate left of the player with the dealer button will receive the "small blind" button. Then the player to the immediate left of the player who received the small blind button will receive the "big blind" button.

Omaha Hi-lo Poker Table Layout

2 The game starts with the two players designated as the "small blind" and "big blind" putting a predetermined amount of money into the pot before any cards are dealt. This ensures there's something to play for on every hand. This is called "posting the blinds".

In most cases, the the "small blind" puts up half the minimum bet, and the "big blind" puts up the full minimum bet. For example, if the minimum bet was 2 chips, the big blind would place a forced bet of 2 chips and the small blind would put out 1 chip.

Blind: It's called a blind because you haven't seen a card when you put in this bet. You're practically going in without seeing, or blind.

Texas Hold Em 3 Once the blinds have been placed in the pot, every player is then dealt four cards, face-down, starting with the player that received the "small blind" button, and continuing clockwise around the table. These are called "hole cards" or "pocket cards".

4 Once each player has received their four hole cards, the first round of wagering will occur. The first move falls on the player to the left of the big blind and continuing clockwise around the table. That player can either:
Omaha Hi-lo Poker Call the bet: Place a wager that is equal to the amount of the big blind.
Raise it: Place a wager equal to the amount of the big blind as well as an additional amount within the posted table limit.
Fold: Choose to fold their hand and no longer participate during that round of play by placing their four hole cards face-down into the center of the table.
Call the raise, re-raise, or fold their hand: There is a maximum of three raises per round of wagering.

The Flop
Texas Hold'em Flop

5 After the first betting round, the house dealer then moves all player wagers into the pot. The house dealer then discards the top card of the deck. This is called burning the card and is done to help prevent cheating by making sure no one accidentally saw the top card.

The house dealer then flips the next three cards face-up on in the center of the table simultaneously. These cards are called the "Flop". These are the first of five "community cards" that all players can use, along with their hole cards, to make the best possible poker hand.

6 Following the Flop, the second round of wagering will occur for all active players. Betting begins with the first active player to the left of the dealer button. That player can either:
Bet: Place a wager according to the established table limits.
Check: Do not make a wager with the option to call or raise a wager by another player.
Call Call a wager according to the rules and guidelines used in the previous round of play.
Raise Raise the pot according to the rules and guidelines used in the previous round of play.
Fold Fold their hand according to the rules and guidelines used in the previous round of play.

The Turn (Fourth Street)
Texas Hold'em Turn

7 Again after the second betting round, the house dealer then moves all player wagers into the pot. The house dealer burns another card and then takes one card from the top of the deck and place it face-up on the table so there are now a total of four community cards face-up on the table. This fourth community card is called the "Turn card" or "Fourth Street."

There is then another round of betting (the third), exactly as after the Flop. The first active player to the left of the dealer button begins this third round of betting.

The River (Fifth Street)
Texas Hold'em River

8 Once again the house dealer moves all player wagers into the pot and then burns another card before taking the fifth and last community card from the top of the deck and placing it face-up on the table so there are now a total of five community cards face-up on the table. This card is called the "River card" or "Fifth Street". Once the fifth community card (which is the final community card) is placed face-up in the center of the table, the fourth and final round of wagering occurs, starting with the first active player to the left of the dealer button.

Showdown
Texas Hold'em Showdown

9 Once the fourth and final round of wagering has been completed, the house dealer will move all wagers into the pot. Then all active players will then enter into a showdown with each other and compare their hands. In a showdown, players must use two of the four hole cards initially dealt to them at the beginning of the game and three of the five community cards turned over throughout the round of play to make the highest ranking five-card poker hand.
The pot shall be awarded to the player with the highest ranking five-card poker hand, according to the hand and card rankings shown above. All other players shall lose
In the event more than one player has the highest ranking hand, the pot shall be split equally among the winners.
In the instance there are an odd number of chips, the odd chips shall be awarded to the player closest to the left of the dealer button.
The player with the highest ranking five-card poker hand wins. All other players lose.

Things you must know about Omaha Hi-Lo

All the rules of Omaha apply to Omaha high-low split except a specific combination of cards must be used in Omaha Hi-lo to make the best hand.
1 The low hand must qualify by being at least an eight low. The player’s hand must have five cards of different ranks that are an eight or lower in rank. If no low hand qualifies, then the whole pot is won by the person with the best high hand only.
2 In Omaha Hi-lo each player may compete for and win both the Hi and the Lo hands.
3 You can use two different cards to compete for the high and low portions of the pot or you can use the same two cards for both hands.
4 Aces can be used as either the highest card or as the lowest card.
5 Straights and flushes do not affect the low value of a hand.
6 The best possible low hand in Omaha high-low split poker is a (5, 4, 3, 2, A) known as a "wheel".
7 Low hands are counted from the top down. For example a player with 8,4,3,2,A (an 8 low) would lose to a player with 7,6,5,4,3 (a 7 low).

Omaha Hi-lo Poker Hand Example
Your Hand
Your Hand
Your Opponent's Hand
Your Opponent's Hand
The Board (Flop, Turn, and River)
The Board
Your Best Hand
Your Best Hand

Your best five-card hand is two pair, Aces and Sevens, using the two Aces in your hand and the Sevens from the board.

Your Opponent's Best Hand
Your Opponent's Best Hand

Your opponent’s best five-card hand is two pair, Sevens and Fours, using the two Fours from his hand and the two Sevens from the board.

Your qualifying Low Hand
Your qualifying Low Hand

You also have a qualifying low hand using the Ace and the Eight from your hand, along with the Seven, Five and Two from the board, 8, 7, 5, 2, A to make an Eight low.

Your Opponent's qualifying Low Hand
Your Opponent's qualifying Low Hand

Your opponent also has a qualifying low hand using the Three and Four from his hand and the Seven, Five and Two from the board: 7, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Omaha Hi-lo Poker Terms
Term Meaning
BLIND BET In Omaha Hi-lo Poker, players sitting at certain spots on the table will have to make a wager before seeing any cards
FLOP The three community cards that are dealt face up after the first round of betting is complete.
TURN This is the fourth card dealt after the flop.
RIVER This is the fifth and final card dealt.
CALL To make a wager equal to the amount of the wager made immediately prior, in order to stay in the game.
RAISE To make a wager higher than the last bet, this forces the other players to bet more to stay in the game. Raising the bet.
FOLD To discard or throw away your hand, forfeiting all interest in the current pot.
CHECK To waive the right to start betting, while retaining the right to act if another player begins to betting.
BLIND A required bet made before any cards are dealt.
HOLECARDS The cards dealt facedown to a player.
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