What are the rules for Omaha Hi/Lo?

Omaha Hi/Lo and regular Omaha are fairly similar, with one exception that makes for a big change in strategy. The premise for Omaha Hi/Lo is that there are two winning hands for each game: the strongest (highest) hand, and the weakest (lowest) hand split the pot.

The game itself is still played the same as regular Omaha, with each player starting with four pocket cards face down. Five community cards are then dealt face up, and the highest and lowest hand split the pot. The winning hand must contain two pocket cards and three community cards.


Here's where things get interesting…


For a hand to qualify as a low hand, it can't have any card higher than an 8. Since Aces count both as high cards and low cards, the best possible low hand is A-2-3-4-5.

You're probably thinking, "Isn't that a straight?" You'd be right, except that in Omaha Hi/Lo any hand that qualifies for the low is not affected by straights or flushes. This creates an interesting situation: You can qualify for both the highest and the lowest hand in a game. If you win both, you take the whole pot! For example:


Suppose it's your lucky day and you've been dealt the Ace and 2 of spades, and the community cards hold the 3, 4 and 5 of spades. Your straight flush will (most likely) take the high hand, and because neither straights nor flushes count in the low hand ranking, you've got the best possible low hand. Congratulations, you just ‘scooped the pot,’ taking 100%!

Now, to determine the highest hand we'll use the standard hand rankings, which can be viewed on our Hand Rankings page. To determine the best low hand, the highest low card is used. If two players share the same high card, then the next lowest card is used, and so on. If there are no hands qualifying as a low hand (i.e., every hand holds a card higher than an 8), the highest hand will take the whole pot.


The rest of the gameplay is the same as regular Omaha.



Related Topics:

What are the different poker hands and how do they rank?
What are the rules for Omaha?
What are the rules for Texas Hold’em?
What does Hi/Lo mean?