Omaha Hi Lo

A very interesting kind of Omaha, which players love for a big bank and opportunities to win it. The fact is that according to the rules of Omaha HI Lo, the best high-hand receives one half of the pot, and the second – the strongest low-hand. Hence the unusual name Omaha Hi Lo (abbr. High-low). Sometimes this game is called "Omaha 8 or better" as in the game used low-combination, where the "eight" is considered the weakest option. General poker rules will help you quicker to understand all the details of this unusual game.

Types of betting limits

  • Limit / Fixed-Limit Omaha Hi Lo (abbr. FL) – the maximum and minimum bet size is strictly limited;
  • Pot Limit / Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo (abbr. PL) – the maximum rate cannot exceed the current size of the bank;
  • No Limit / No-Limit Omaha Hi Lo (abbr. NL) – the maximum bet is not limited and can reach the full stack (all-in);
  • Mixed / Mixed-Limit Omaha Hi Lo (abbr. ML) – in each hand the bet type changes from pot-limit to no-limit and vice versa.

Card combinations

For the formation of hands in Omaha Hi-Lo, high and low card combinations are used. The holder of the strongest high-hand divides the bank in half with the owner of the strongest low-hand. If the “high” and “low” hand was collected by one player, he takes the whole bank entirely. Recall that a low-combination should consist of cards of no higher than eight, so it is not so easy to assemble it. If no one turned out to have a low hand in the current hand, the whole bank goes to the owner of the best high hand.

In Omaha Hi-Lo, the player needs to collect the best combination of 5 cards. On the hand, all players receive 4 pocket cards. In each round of the game, 5 more common open cards are added, which form a “board”. For the formation of a combination, the player can use only one combination of cards: 2 pocket + 3 common and nothing else. According to the rules of Omaha Hi-Lo, the same card can be used both in Hi and Low combinations. For example, the best low-hand is 5, 4, 3, 2, and is also a good high hand - a straight from the top five to an Ace. With such a hand, you can claim the entire bank.

Button and required bets

Before the cards are dealt, the players form the initial pot. Omaha Hi-Low uses required blind bets for this – the small and big blind. The players who bet the blinds are determined by the dealer button – a chip with the letter D. The player sitting to the left of the button always places the small blind. The player following him has to make the big blind, it means, twice as much. More information about the purpose of the button and required bets can be found in the poker general rules.

The number of blind bets depends on the type limit chosen. In Omaha Hi-Lo with a fixed limit, the big blind is equal to one minimum bet, while the small blind is half the minimum bet or a bit more. For example, in the game “Omaha Hi Lo FL $ 5 / $ 10” the big blind will be $ 5, and the small blind will be $ 3. It is worth noting that in the pot-limit and unlimited Omaha Hi-Low blinds are also indicated in the game name, but are read differently. In the game Omaha Hi Lo NL $ 2 / $ 4, the small blind will be $ 2, and the big blind will be $ 4.

Dealing

After making the required bets, the cards are distributed. Each player, starting with the small blind, receives four pocket hole cards. Now players can proceed to the first round of betting. The actions in the trade, as well as the stages of the Omaha Hi-Lo game are completely identical to the rules of Texas Hold'em and Omaha Hi.

Betting actions

  • Pass or Fold means to draw cards. In this way, the player may refuse to fight for the bank in the current distribution.
  • Bet – make a bet if no one has bet in the current round.
  • Call – means to equal bet, to call, to answer. Make a bet equal to the previous one.
  • Raise – raise, means, put more than previous players.
  • Check – it's a pass in the current round of bidding, but not giving up the fight for a common bank. A check can be made if no bets have been made in this round of betting or this player has already placed the Blind, which does not need to be called. If all players have made Check, the round is considered to be completed.
  • All-in – a bet on the entire stack (all player chips). Used only in no-limit game.

Preflop

All players in this round have only three actions: Pass – exit from the game, as well as calling or raising the Big Blind. A player to the left of the big blind, who is, for example, $ 4, opens the round of betting. A player can make a pass, call ($ 4) or raise. In this case, his bet will be at least $ 8.

Further, the right to make a decision is transferred from player to player in a clockwise direction, and the player in the big blind completes the first round of betting. If none of the opponents raised, then this player can Check, because his bet is equal to all the previous ones. If he decides to raise, the trades are held in a new circle until all the active players equalize their bets.

Flop

The next stage of the game begins with the delivery of three common open cards, which are called the “flop”. The right to open a trade belongs to the first active player to the left of the button. Two actions are available to him: bet – the first bet in a betting round or a check. If a player chooses a check, then the right to decide is transferred to the next active player. If all players make a Check, the round is considered to be completed. If the player chooses a bet, therefore he opened the betting and other players can only make even a bet- Call, Bet more – raise or make a pass. As in pre-flop, Trading continues until all active players equalize their bets.

Turn

The “turn” is added to the three common cards - the fourth is open card. Players will break into a new round of betting, which opens the first active player to the left of the dealer button. The rules and actions remain the same as on the flop. In a fixed-limit game, the bet size and the raise increases. If in Omaha Hi Lo NL $ 2 / $ 4 the minimum bet was equal to $ 2, now players have to make a bet $ 4.

River

Before the start of the next round of betting, the fifth community card the river is dealt. This is the last card players receive in the current hand. A round of betting follows the same rules as on the flop and turn. If all active players have equalized the bets, the final stage of the game begins.

Autopsy or showdown

According to the results of this stage, the winner of the distribution is determined and, therefore, the owner of a common bank. The last player which made a Raise starts the showdown. If there were no bets, then the right to start the showdown first belongs to the player to the left of the button. The player with the best high and low hands takes the entire pot. If the winning combinations have collected several players, in this case, the total pot is divided between them. If no player is able to collect a low-hand combination, the bank goes to the player with the strongest high-hand.

It may happen that the game does not reach the showdown. For example, in one of the betting rounds, the player makes a bet that no one can equalize and all opponents simply fold. When a common bank is played, the whole described game process begins again. The button goes clockwise to the next player, and two players to the left of the new dealer can proceed to the required bets.

Features of Omaha Hi-Lo based on the type of limit:

  • fixed limit – preflop and flop all bets, including Raises, do not exceed the size of the Big Blind (OmahaFL $ 2 / $ 4). On the Turn and River, bet size doubles, that means, go to the upper limit. (OmahaFL $ 2 / $ 4). Each round of betting allows for no more than four Raises: Bet, Raise, Re-raise, and Kep (another raise).
  • Unlimited – throughout the game, the bets size and the number of raises is not limited. Also, the player can go All-in, that means, play the entire stack (All-in). The minimum bet should be equal to the Big Blind, and the minimum Raise should be the previous bet, doubled. For example, in Omaha NL $ 5, the size of the minimum bet and the Big Blind is $ 5. Therefore, the minimum Raise should be $ 5 and the final bet amount will be $ 10.
  • Pot-limit – the minimum bet in the game is equal to the Big Blind, and the maximum bet is limited to the current size of the pot. The minimum Raise is equal to the previous bet: if a player bets $ 5, then the minimum Raise of the next player has to be $ 5 and the final bet amount will be at least $ 10. The maximum raise in Pot-Limit Hold’em is equal to the current pot size: the total pot + the sum of all the bets of this round + the Call that the player has to make before the Raise.

For example, it will look like this. In the current round, the pot size was $ 100. The player makes the first bet - the maximum bet is $ 100. The next clockwise player wants to Raise, but before that he has to call the previous player’s bet - $ 100. Taking into account the bets made, the amount of the current bank has grown to $ 300, and this player now needs to raise to $ 300. In this example, the player’s maximum Raise was $ 400 (the call of the previous bet is $ 100 + the total bank Raise is $ 300). The number of raises in pot-limit Hold'em is unlimited.

  • with a mixed limit – in this case, the limits of bets go from fixed to no limit and back. The rules for each type of limit described above do not change. Fixed limit blinds in Mixed-Limit Omaha Hi Lo can be greater than in Limit Omaha Hi Lo. Thus, the average pot size is kept in hands with a mixed limit.