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The Thrills and Challenges of Omaha Hi/Lo

February 8 Sandra Wong

With many entertaining card games, poker is considered one of the most popular. Its many variants are commonly enjoyed by a lot of people. Omaha version, while not as famous as Stud or Hold’em, can be a lot of fun. This game offers an additional twist of excitement with the High/Low option that may make it hard to follow sometimes, but definitely is spectacular to watch.

Contrary to more classic approach, in Omaha, players are allowed to use exactly two cards from their own’s initial set of four, plus three of the five laying on the table. This surely raises difficulties in proper estimation about where your opponent is really standing. On top of that, Hi/Lo Omaha (8 or better) stipulates the likely possibility of splitting the accumulated pot between the winners of the best high hand and best low hand. The division may become quite complicated, depending on number of players and their final outcomes.

On the long run, efficient play in this variant, requires certain amount of work – experience does not come cheap and easy. Especially the successful joggling between those two worlds – highs and lows – should procure enough trouble. Therefore, for more professional help and elaborated guides you should turn to the biggest online poker providers and esteemed informative websites, such as, and check their strategy and tips pages on adequate subjects. For the time being, a few basic things to have in mind should be enough to get you going.

Obviously, the best possible scenario in any given Omaha Hi/Lo gameplay is to simply hit a nut at both ends of the business. Figuring out who has the better high remains pretty straightforward here, like in regular poker. The difference is that it may be a little more difficult to be sure about one’s hand’s real strength, as even more factors come to play. When it comes to flashes for example, one might expect to have better chance at it, holding four cards and all, but that also means the colors can be divided between players in the way that prevents everybody from receiving the required five suited cards.  

More problems arise with the development of the best low, which can sometimes be hard to comprehend. Basically, it consists of five unpaired cards lower or equal to eight. If nobody can meet those requirements then there simply is no low to be taken under consideration in splitting the pot. It’s easy to see that the best low possible is A,2,3,4,5. It is worth to remember that, when favorable circumstances allow, this could be a devastating hand to bestow upon your fellow players (or to come up against). Another thing to be noting is that A and 2 (or some other small card) could be a great start for building the best low hand. More often than not, and this is especially true for beginners, players tend to treat those as a safety net when trying to play loose or having the need to take more risk. When three other small value cards show up in the game, this approach can be effective, but can also backfire. An ace can significantly complicate things, plus even if it works, final results in pot splitting can leave you with smaller percent of the money.

Photo by Frisko / CC BY 3.0



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