Poker has many variants, that can make playing this game very exciting and entertaining. The minute you think you’ve mastered one game; you can start afresh with another variant. There are several variants that are extremely popular amongst players, such as 5 Card Draw, or Lowball or even Texas Hold’em. However, today we’ll be looking at a variant known as Omaha. We won’t be looking at regular Omaha, but rather at one of its versions, known as Omaha Hi/Lo. If you’re confused and haven’t heard of this game, then don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We’ll show you how to play Omaha Hi/Lo, and soon you’ll be winning and how!
So, before we go into the details of the game, it is important that we understand some of the basic elements. This game is played between 2-9 players with a deck of 52 cards. Players are dealt four hole cards that they must keep private, and five community cards, from which they can build their hands.
A unique feature of this game is the Showdown. In this round, the pot is split between two players, one who has the high hand, and the other with the lowest qualifying hand. A single player can build both hands and win the pot, whereas, in case there is no low hand, then the player with the high hand takes the entire winnings.
Now that we’ve got the basics of the game down, we can see how the game is played by looking at the steps.
Omaha Hi/Lo Steps:
This hi/lo poker game proceeds as follows in the manner as listed below.
- Betting: Table positions play an important role in the betting procedure of the game. There are four rounds of betting in this game and moves around the table in a clockwise manner. The player sitting next to the dealer button begins the betting. This dealer button, after each hand, moves one place to the left.
- Blinds: the ‘blinds’ are players who have to place bets before the game begins. They do so to ensure that there is some money in the pot, and the initial stages of the game can be sustained. The ‘small blind’ is the bet placed by the player seated to the left of the dealer, whereas the person seated to the left of the small blind post the ‘big blind’.
- Pre-Flop: four hole cards are dealt to all the players. Only they can see their own hole cards. The betting round begins with the first player seated to the left of the big blind. This player named ‘Under the Gun’, and can play one of the following moves:
Call: which is equaling the amount place by the big blind,
Raise: increasing upon the amount placed by the big blind, and
Fold: giving up their cards and exiting the game.
At the end of the round the betting will come back to the big blind. The big blind can either ‘check’ which lets him/her stay in the game without doing anything. However, if another player has raised, then the big blind can play the moves mentioned above, but instead of raising, they re-raise on the raised amount.
- The Flop: the players are dealt three community cards, which are placed on the table. They are visible to everyone and can be used by the players in order to build their hands. This stage is followed by a round of betting.
- The Turn: a fourth community card is placed face-up on the table. A third round of betting follows
- The River: the final and fifth community card is placed face-up on the table. The final round of betting commences.
- The Showdown: at this stage, if there is more than one player in the game, then all the players reveal their hands. The player with the highest hand wins half the pot, whereas the player with the lowest qualifying hand wins the other half.
There are some tips to keep in mind if you want to play a successful game of Omaha/8. They are as follows:
- Ace and Deuce are important cards if you want to win this game. This combination is one of the highest-rated. These two cards in your hand can prove to be more profitable than any other combination.
- Consider the difference in profit, when you win half the pot versus taking it all. You’ll be winning a lot more when you win the entire pot. Otherwise, you’ll be making just a small profit after recovering what you placed. So, it’s smarter, in some games, to fold instead of winning half the pot, and try to win the entire pot in the next game.
- Don’t consider bluffing. Omaha is a game that depends on the value of the cards. The possibilities of your opponents having a low hand or a high hand are quite high, since this game doesn’t just allow for one kind of hand to win. So, don’t take your chances by relying on bluffing and causing a layer to fold. The chances of a player folding are quite low.
- Don’t be afraid of being quartered. In a game where there are many players, and you end up getting a quarter of the pot, you shouldn’t be disappointed. As long as you recover your investment, and break even, you should be good.
- Strategize and try to build a hand that comprises of poker hands that are closely connected. All the players at the table have several cards, so the chance of you winning increase if your hand consists of cards that can be used together.
As we reach the end of our tour through how to play Omaha Eight poker, we can safely say that you have all the information you need to try your hand at this variant. So, come join us at Spartan Poker, and play poker online. You're more than ready to play some Omaha and test out your new skills.