how to play omaha hi low poker
Owing to its frequently large pots, Omaha HiLo has quickly become a hugely popular game in North America and Europe. Each player in an Omaha HiLo game is dealt four cards ("hole cards") which belong only to that player. Five community cards are dealt face-up on the "board". All players use two cards from their four hole cards in conjunction with three cards from the board to make the best five-card poker hand possible. The pot is divided between the best hand for high and the best hand for low. Note that Omaha HiLo is played with an "8 or better" qualifier, which means that a hand must be, at worst, an 8 for low to be eligible to win the low portion of the pot.
In Omaha HiLo, a disc also known as "the button", serves to indicate which player is the nominal dealer for the current game. Before the game begins, the player immediately clockwise the button posts the "small blind", typically half a small bet (for example, $1 in a $2/$4 game). The player immediately clockwise the small blind posts the "big blind", which is always a full small bet ($2 in a $2/$4 game). Now, each player receives his or her four hole cards. Betting action proceeds around the table, starting with the player on the immediately clockwise the big blind.
Now, the "flop" is dealt face-up on the board. The flop is the first three community cards available to all active players. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise the button. All bets and raises occur in small bets (increments of $2 in a $2/$4 game).
When betting action is completed for the flop round, the "turn" is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in an Omaha HiLo game. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise the button. On this round, betting doubles from the small bet to the big bet. In a $2/$4 game, betting on the turn is done in $4 increments.
When betting action is completed for the turn round, the "river" is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in an Omaha HiLo game. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise the button.
If there is more than one remaining player when the final betting round is complete, the last bettor or raiser shows his or her cards. If there was no bet on the final round, the player immediately clockwise the button shows his or her cards first. The player with the best five-card hand for high wins half the pot, and the player with the best hand for low wins the other half. In Omaha, players must use two and only two of their four hole cards in combination with three cards from the board. In the event of identical hands, the high and low shares of the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands. In the event that no hand qualifies for low, the best hand(s) for high wins the pot.
After the pot is awarded, a new game of Omaha HiLo is ready to begin. The button now moves clockwise to the next player.
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