Omaha hi/lo is a popular variation of omaha. What makes it different from omaha (hi) is that the pot can be won or split with a low hand. That’s what makes this variation tricky to learn too; figuring out what low hand beats what. I’ll try to make that easier below when I explain when I explain the rules and how you win.
Your Objective (How You Win)
Your objective in omaha hi/lo is to win. You can do this in one of three ways:
- Have the best hi hand at showdown.
- Have the best low hand at showdown.
- The other players fold, leaving you as the only player left in the hand.
A Hand of Omaha Hi/Lo
I already give an example of a omaha hand, so I won’t do that here. Use this link to see that example.
The only difference between the two will be the showdown.
After the last betting round there will be a showdown. Players will turn over their hands to determine who the winner is.
The first player to flip over their hand will be determined by the last betting round. If no one raised the last pot, then the first player to the left of the dealer button will flip their hand over first. If the pot was raised, then the last player to raise will be the first to flip his/her hand over. Then going around the table clockwise each player will need to show or muck their hands. Players must use 2 of their hole cards and 3 of the community cards to make their 5-card poker hand.
The tricky part of the showdown is splitting the pot. In omaha hi/lo, a high and low hand can win at the same time. There can also be more than one high and low hand, meaning that the pot will need to be split amongst 3, 4 or more people.
Once the winning hands have been determined, the pot will be awarded. The blinds will be moved one seat to the left, new blinds reposted and all players will then be dealt a new hand.
Omaha Hi/Lo Rules
Here are the rules that you need to follow playing omaha hi/lo. Keep in mind that some of them are going to be automatic playing online (they’ll force you to follow them). But it’s good to know what they are regardless.
- Raises must be a minimum of 2x the big blind, or the last bet. If someone raises to $10, your bet has to be at least $20.
- Players must use 2 of their hole cards and 3 of the community cards to make their hand.
- Aces count as a low card.
- Flushes and straights don’t count against low hands.
Omaha Hi/Lo Winning Hands
Winning hi omaha hands will be different than what wins the low hand. Here are the hand rankings for both. Below that I’ll explain how to determine the winning hand between two low hands.
Omaha Hi Hands
Winning omaha hi hands are determined using standard hand rankings. Here they are from best to worst.
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- 2 Pair
- 1 Pair
- High Card
The pot will be split in case of a tie.
Omaha Lo Hands
Winning omaha lo hands are 5-card hands 8 or lower. Straights do not work against you. In fact, the wheel is the best hand. Here are the 10 best omaha lo hands from best to worst.
When in doubt, you can determine the best (or lowest) lo hand by using the last / highest card. The lowest of the two is the lowest hand. If they are the same, then you go to the next card.