Mastering Omaha Hi-Lo Poker: A Comprehensive Guide

Content Team 1 year ago
Mastering Omaha Hi-Lo Poker: A Comprehensive Guide

If you enjoy playing poker and are looking for a new challenge, you should try Hi-Lo Omaha. This game is similar to Texas Hold’em, but with an exciting twist. You need to understand the rules, best Hi-Lo strategies, and betting structure to learn how to play Hi-Lo Omaha. Let’s dive into this article to learn more.

What Is Hi-Lo Omaha?

If you’re familiar with pot-limit Omaha or “Omaha high,” you’re on the right track to learning Omaha Hi-Lo. In Omaha Hi-Lo Poker, players compete for the high and low halves of the pot, as the name implies. In addition to being played with fixed-limit betting, Omaha Hi-Lo is frequently incorporated into “mixed game” formats, such as the popular 8-game mix Poker.

The game is sometimes referred to as “Omaha 8” or “Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or better.” There are also pot-limit and no-limit variations, which are both popular either as tournaments or cash games.

High Low Omaha Rules

According to traditional hand rankings, the “high” hand in Omaha Hi-Lo follows the same rules as in hold’em or Omaha high games like PLO. If you’re new to split-pot games or Hi-Lo Poker, the “low” hand requires a little more explanation.

If you have a high hand, regardless of the cards you use, you can also make a low hand. For example, when building your five-card Poker hand, you can use two cards from your four-card hand plus three community cards.

For Omaha Hi-Lo, all cards that make up a low hand must be ranked eight or lower according to the rules. This is the origin of the phrase “split-8-or-better,” usually added to the game’s name.

Five unpaired cards ranked eight or lower constitute a low qualifying hand. In a low hand, an ace is considered the lowest card, while it can also serve as the highest card in a high hand.

In Omaha Hi-Lo, it doesn’t matter if you have a straight or flush with your five lowest cards (if they are all ranked 8 or lower), you still have a low hand. Omaha Hi Lo differs from other “lowball” games because flushes and straights don’t raise your low hand.

Thus, the lowest possible Omaha Hi-Lo hand would be 5-4-3-2-A, the best “low hand.” The next lowest possible hand would be 6-4-3-2-A. In Omaha Hi-Lo, 8-7-6-5-4 is the worst low hand.

To determine which low hand is the best, every player needs to consider each hand in terms of its five-digit number, and the hand with the lowest number is the best (or lowest). Therefore, 5-4-3-2-A is better than 6-4-3-2-A, and 6-4-3-2-A is better than 6-5-3-2-A.

How to Play Omaha Hi-Lo

A 52-card deck is used in Omaha Hi-Lo Poker, also known as Omaha 8-or-better. Initially, each player receives four cards, and then the dealer puts five face-up cards on the table.

After that, players must make both a high hand and a low hand by selecting cards from their hand and the community cards. Two cards from each player’s hand and three from the community must be included in both hands. Winners are determined by having both the highest and the lowest hands.

Hi-Lo Omaha Strategy

It can be challenging for new players to rethink some of the fundamentals they’ve learned while playing Texas Hold’em. In Omaha Poker, high card combinations such as A-K and A-Q do not have the same power to dominate a hand as in Hold’em.

A single big pair is unlikely to still be ahead by the river because more card combinations are available; a straight, flush, or any other draw is more likely. We recommend following a few basic play rules when it comes to Omaha Hi-Lo strategy:

  • On the flop, you should be able to make several different hands (or draws) based on your four-hole cards.
  • As middle cards are less useful than high or low cards, your hand should have three very strong cards to go with it (i.e., 7, 8, 9, T).
  • Keep position in mind, and relax your starting hand requirements if no one has shown strength.
  • When calculating your pot odds, make the appropriate adjustments if you’re only drawing to half the pot.
  • Keeping your hand too close to the table can lead to you being easily outdrawn if you flop the nuts.

Tips for Playing High-Low Poker

It can’t be very clear to play Omaha Hi Lo Eight or Better. In Omaha Poker, there are more than 16,000 possible starting hand combinations instead of 169 in Holdem. However, following these ten tips, you should not have any problems to play.


As far as Omaha Hi-Lo is concerned, the only hands that are strong enough to survive in this game are those that contain two Aces and a Deuce. In Poker, hands with these two cards are considered the highest-rated combos in the game. Therefore, an Ace-Deuce and two random cards in a full game will yield a higher profit than two Aces and two random cards. Playing Ace-Deuce preflop in a loose game is also almost always possible. However, some Ace-Ace hands do not perform as well as Ace-Deuce hands.

The More Help, the Better

Undoubtedly, the more closely connected your cards are, the better your chances of winning. Unfortunately, your opponents also have a lot of cards. If you want to survive through the river, you may need them.

Have a Backup for Your Low

Compared to the dry Ace-Deuce, the Ace-Deuce-Three is far superior. A counterfeited card on the board is likely to lose the hand unless you have another low card. In the case of the flop being 874 and you holding the A2, you have 8742A for the nut low. A seven might be made by someone else, but 8742A may be the lowest of all possible lows if another Ace or Deuce falls. Your opponent would now have 7432A for the low nut if you were dealt a deuce on the turn. On the market, counterfeit items aren’t uncommon. Each time a player flops the nut low with six outs, they have a 24% chance of being counterfeited.

Have Backup for Your High

You can expect your flopped nuts to be in roughly 114th place by the river, just like the low. Omaha HiLo Poker is a game where you need the nuts with redraws to survive. With the flop being 7s 8sTc and the 9JQA with no spades, you’re probably in a lot of trouble despite having the nut high. You are in third place if you get a low draw, a flush draw, and a couple of random hands against you. There is also a possibility that someone else might have the same nut straight as you but with redraws to go along with it if there is a lot of action on the flop. If that’s the case, you’re somewhere between a two to one and three-to-one dog. Don’t forget that you flopped the nuts!

Protect Your Hand

With this, a player is only able to play live Poker. There is a common occurrence where half of the players seated at the table hold their hands away from their bodies so they can check their cards throughout the course of the hand while they are seated at the table. Due to this, all their neighbors are always able to see what they are holding at all times. The more people don’t know what you have, the harder it is for you to win a game of Poker when no one knows what you have. When they have a look at your hand, the chances of you making a profit are slim, as well.


There are not many difficulties in learning Omaha Hi-Lo, especially if you already know how to play pot-limit Omaha. However, despite the fact that the Hi-Lo Omaha strategy can seem complicated, there is a great deal of importance placed on knowing what strong starting hands are, for example, hands containing an Ace with at least 1 or 2 low cards, and especially a deuce, so that you do not make the mistake of fighting only for the high or low cards.


How do you win high low in Omaha?

To win High Low in Omaha, you need to make the best high hand and the best low hand. The best high hand is the standard Poker hand using two hole cards and three community cards, while the best low hand must have five cards of different ranks with a maximum of eight.

What are the best starting hands for Omaha Hi-Lo?

The best starting hands in Omaha Hi-Lo include hands that can potentially make both strong high and low hands. Examples include A-A-2-3, A-2-3-4, A-A-5-6, A-2-5-6, and 2-3-4-5. Four low cards and two high cards or four high cards and two low cards are generally weak starting hands.

What is the difference between Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo Poker?

The difference is that in Omaha Hi-Lo, the pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand. In Omaha, only the best high hand wins the pot. Learning this distinction is the key to learning how to play Omaha Hi-Lo.

How do you play 5 card Omaha Hi-Lo?

In 5-Card Omaha Hi-Lo, each player is dealt five hole cards, and the rules are similar to regular Omaha Hi-Lo. Players must use two of their hole cards and three community cards to make the best high hand and the best low hand.

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