How to Play Omaha 8 or Better

This is a unique variation on Omaha poker. You will hear it called Omaha Hi/Lo, Omaha 08 or by its more popular title Omaha 8 or Better. If you know how to play Omaha poker then this will be easy to pick up and develop. Throwing a new poker game into your mix can change things up and help you be more competitive against your opponents. Here are the basics rules of Omaha 8 Hi/Lo and a breakdown as to how it is played.

Omaha 8 or Better Game

Like Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo involves 5 community cards to go with 4 in your hand. The only difference is that the pot is split into two parts, a high and a low. The high hand is won by the best poker hand, while a low hand is anything 8 or lower. What this means is that in order to win the low, a player must have an unpaired five-card hand that consists of all cards less than or equal to an 8.

Omaha 8 or Better Rules

There is one guarantee in Omaha 8 or better, high hand will always win all or half the pot. Since in Omaha 8 or better, like Omaha poker, you have to use 2 cards from your hand and 3 community cards it is possible that there would be no low hand to split with. It is also possible for one player to "sweep the pot" and win both the high hand and the low hand.

The rounds are just like Omaha poker in which 4 cards are dealt to each player followed by a round of betting. Three cards, called the flop are dealt in the middle of the table to be used as community cards for all players. This is followed by another round of betting. One more card is dealt face up, called the turn and another round of betting occurs. The 5th and last card, the river is dealt face up followed by the last round of betting.

After the last round of betting is concluded, it is determined who won the high hand and if there is a qualifying low, which player has won it and the pot is split. It is possible to tie for high and for low hand in which case the half of pot is re-split between all hands that are tied. For example if there is one high hand and two low hands that have tied, the high hand gets half the pot and the two low hands split the other half of the pot. This is called "being quartered".

Omaha Hi/Lo, is fast becoming a popular alternative to Texas Holdem. It can be a very fun game to play. Having so many different ways to win or be beaten makes it a bit more active and exciting. You can find it being played at many casinos.