The object of Omaha Hi/Lo is to create a High hand using any two out of four pocket cards and three out of five community cards, and a Low hand using any two out of four pocket cards and three out of five community cards. 50% of the pot will be awarded to the best High hand and 50% of the pot will be awarded to the best Low hand. If there is no qualifying Low hand, the whole pot will be awarded to the best High hand.
To qualify as a Low hand, the hand must contain five unpaired cards ranked eight (8) or lower. Straights and Flushes are not considered when evaluating low hands. The winning Low hand is the hand with the lowest high card. In case of a tie with the high card, the winning hand is the one with the next lowest high card, etc.
It is not possible to have a qualifying Low hand unless three of the community cards are ranked eight (8) or lower. Aces can be used as the lowest card. A player can use any two of his pocket cards for the High hand, and any two of his pocket cards for the Low hand.
Before the deal:
- Players will buy-in for the posted amount.
- Selected players will post blinds.
The dealer button:
The dealer in Omaha Hi/Lo will start to deal each game with the player who the “button.” The button is a graphical representation (“D”) of which player is the dealer. Although our dealer will be dealing the game, the player who has the button placed in front of his seat gets to play his cards as if he were the actual dealer. When the cards are dealt to players, they are dealt in a manner as if the player was actually dealing in a live environment.
Because there is a player “on the button” two players will be asked to post the Big or Small Blinds. The blinds serve a purpose similar to antes, in that they put forced money into the pot that gives players an incentive to enter the hand. However, only two players will post or put up the blinds.
The first blind is called the “Small Blind.” This bet is usually half the minimum bet of the game.
For example, in a €2-4 game, the Small Blind will be €1. The second blind is called the “Big Blind” and is always the same size as the game’s minimum bet, e.g., in a 2-4 game, the Big Blind is €2.
[R] The player directly left of the button will have the “Small Blind.” The player directly to the left of the Small Blind will have the “Big Blind” of the full amount of the lowest game limit.
When there is a button and Small and Big Blinds, we are ready to deal. The dealer always deals from the player closest to the dealer’s left. Moving clockwise around the table, the game will “deal-in” each player. The players will be dealt four cards face down. The player seated to the left of the Big Blind will start the round of betting.
Betting on opening deal:
[R] The player seated to the left of the Big Blind will always have the action on the opening deal. This player may not check; he can only fold, call, or raise.
The game will now advance to each player seated asking to fold, call, or raise until we reach the Big Blind for an action decision. If no player has raised by the time the play returns to the Big Blind, the Big Blind has the option to check his own blind wager, or raise.
Once all players have completed the first round of wagering, they will proceed to the Flop.
The next cards to be dealt into the game will be the fifth, sixth and seventh cards in the game. These three cards will not be dealt to each player, but rather placed face up in the centre of the table.
But before the Flop, a card must be burned. The dealer will deal one face down card into the pot. After the burn card, the dealer will deal three cards face up in the centre of the poker table. These three cards are called “community cards” and are available to all players for potential use to make a poker hand. The area in which these cards lie on the table is commonly referred to as the “board.”
The look of the flop: