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Omaha Hi-Lo Rules and Poker Strategy

Omaha Hi/Lo plays by the same basic rules as Omaha Hi, with one exception when it comes to deciding the winner: the low hand also wins and takes half the pot. The ultimate goal in Omaha Hi/Lo is to scoop the pot, that is, to take both the low and the high half of it. If you have a A,2,3,4,5 for instance, that’s a hand that gives you a good shot at scooping the pot because it’s a straight for high and it’s the lowest possible hand too. Your high and low don’t necessarily have to be made up by the same 5 cards though. All you have to pay attention to is that you use two cards from your pocket and exactly three off the table for both your hi and low hand, they don’t have to be the exact same cards.

One problem that beginners find extremely frustrating in Omaha Hi/Lo is the reading of the low hands. At first sight, it may be difficult for some to tell whether 4,5,2,7,A or 3,8,5,2,A is the better low.

One easy technique you can use in this respect is to queue up your cards starting with the biggest and read them out as a single number. The one which gives the smaller number is the better low.
4,5,2,7,A can be queued up like so 7,5,4,2,A which give you the number: 75,421. 3,8,5,2,A is 8,5,3,2,1 which is 85,321. That means the first low hand is the better.

Essentially, it’s the highest card that you have in your low hand that gives you the value of your low. If the highest cards are the same in two hands, the second highest is the tie-breaker.

Not every hand qualifies for low. All 5 cards in your low hand have to be lower or equal to 8.

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