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The basic understanding of the game...
Omaha Hi Low is played the same way as Omaha where all players get handed four pocket cards. Under the course of the game five community cards are dealt on the table. And just like in Omaha, players have to make the best combination using only two of their hole cards together with three of the five community cards.
The difference in Omaha High/Low is that the best and worst hand of the game splits the pot. Players get to use any two cards of their four hole cards and any three cards from the five community cards to the table to make either the best or the worst hand.
The worst hand possible in Omaha Poker is A, 2 , 3, 4, 5 or the bicycle. In Omaha this would not count as a straight. Any hand that is below 8 and did not pair anything on the table counts as an Omaha low hand and is in fact a good hand in this game.
In Omaha High/Low you pay the blinds just as in a normal texas holdem or Omaha game. The player to the left of the dealer pays the small blind and the player directly to the left of the small blind pays the big blinds. Blinds exist to make sure that every hand receives some action. If not for blinds most games would be folded.
When the small and big blinds are in, the dealer deals four pocket cards face down to each player starting with the small blind. These are the cards you need to make the best or worst combination with to win. The player to the left of the big blind is the first to act in Omaha Hi Low and has to either call the big blind, raise it (minimum raise is the big blind. to whatever sum he wants, or fold if the player doesn’t feel that his cards are good enough. The first round of betting is completed when every player who is still in the game has contributed to the pot.
Second round of betting (The Flop)
When the first round of betting is completed the dealer burns the first card in the deck, this is to ensure to cheating has occurred like marking the cards. He then proceeds by placing three cards face up on the table, this is the flop and contains community cards that any player may use with his or her four pocket cards. The small blind in the previous round is the first one to act, and he can do so in three ways:
- By betting – placing at least the big blind in the pot or any sum he wants.
- By Checking – the player tells lets the players know he does not want to commit any more chips to the pot yet.
- And lastly, by folding – some players might do it, but what is the point if you can check?
The round is completed when every player has contributed the highest bet in the pot.
Third round of betting (The Turn)
When the second round of betting has been completed the dealer again burns the top card of the deck but this time only places one community card face up on the table, this is the turn card. This card can make a winning hand a loosing one and a loosing hand a winning one, hence the name, the Turn card.
The player to the left of the dealer starts the round of betting and once every player has contributed to the pot the round is over.
Fourth round of betting (The River)
The Dealer once again burns the top card and lays out one card face up for everyone to see. This card is called the River or 5th Street and is the fifth and last open card for the players to use when making their hand. A fourth and last round of betting commences and goes exactly as the three previous betting rounds went.
After the fourth and last round of betting is done it is time for the Showdown where the players still in the game have to show their hands. The players need to use two of their hole cards and three of the five open cards in Omaha High Low to make their hand. In Omaha High Low the pot gets split 50/50 between the best high hand and the best qualifying low hand. A qualified low hand consists of five cards (two hole cards and three community cards) with no card higher than an eight. A Straight and a Flush do not count when you’re looking at the lowest hand. But they do count when you try to determine the strongest hand in a game of Omaha high low.
A player can win the whole pot by having the lowest hand that’s also better than your opponent’s best high hand. If no player has a hand that qualifies then the high hand wins the entire pot.
Also remember that you can use any two of your four hole cards and any three of the five community cards when making your high hand and your low hand.