How to Play Omaha hi/lo

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How to Play Omaha hi/lo

The Rules

For most players, migrating from Holdem games into Omaha is relatively simple, provided they understand key differences such as players making strong hands more often. With Omaha hi/lo especially, bluff with caution. The key difference with hi/lo is that when three unpaired cards between A-8 hit the board, it becomes possible to make a five card low hand by using two of your own cards. The lowest hand then wins half the pot, with the strongest possible low hand being A2345.

How to Avoid Getting Quartered

Situations arise in Omaha hi/lo where players tie for one half of the pot. Players often get involved with hands that contain nut low potential so it’s surprisingly common for two players to use A2 from their own hand to make the nut low, but one of them also has a flush or straight for the high half. In this instance the player with the weaker high hand only wins quarter of the pot for chopping the low.

Try to maintain some pot control on any boards where you have the nut low but middle pair or worse for high. Too many amateurs jam their money in the pot because they have the nut low and think they have half the pot locked up. Usually they only have quarter of it secured.

Counterfeiting

This is another tale of caution against bloating the pot when you flop the nut low. If you hold A28Q and the flop is 357, you hold the best possible low. But you must be aware of the danger of a 2 or ace hitting the board. If this happens, your A2357 will no longer be the nut low. With a board reading 3572 an opponent holding A4 in their hand can now make A2345. When the nut low is taken away by pairing one of the low cards you were using, that is what we refer to as ‘counterfeiting’.

 

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