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  • September 27, 2020

Omaha Hold'em high-low Rules

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Omaha is also thought to be the game of the future, with its popularity growing very quickly, and already outgrowing many 7 card stud populations. In fact, the most populated omaha 8b games are found online these days.
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Qualifying Low hands
In Omaha hi/lo, the pot can be a split pot if there is a qualifying low hand. To qualify as a low hand, the player must have five unpaired cards that are 8 or lower. An ace counts as the lowest card in a qualifying low hand, and flushes and straights do not effect the low value. The best “low” hand would be an ace through five straight (A2345). This hand is commonly called the “Bicycle.” It is entirely possible for a player to have the best low and best high hand. Take for example a player has A2456, all of spades. He has a spade flush as a high and and an Ace through 6 low hand. Players can even use different cards in their hand to make a separate low and high hand. If a player has both the best high and best low hand, he wins the entire pot, also called “scooping” the pot.
The Blinds and Dealer Button
Omaha is a fixed position game, like Texas Hold’em. Position is determined by who currently is sitting behind the dealer chip or button. The dealer chip moves clockwise around the table after each hand. The dealer has the advantage of acting last on every round except for the first, and wise poker players know the advantage this brings. Also like Texas Hold’em, we use blind bets to get the pot started. The first player to the left of the dealer puts in the small blind, which is usually half of the big blind. The player to the left of the small blind is required to put in the big blind, and this is generally equal to the small bet at the particular limit being played. For example, in a $10/$20 game of Omaha, the small blind would be $5 and the big blind $10.
The initial deal is where we see the major difference between Omaha and Texas Hold’em. In Omaha, each player is dealt four cards face down instead of two. However, only two of these cards are allowed to be used in creating the players hand. This must be kept in mind as the hand progresses! The four down cards is the greatest stimulant for action for the Omaha variation of poker, as it is not hard to find a nice hand when you are dealt 4 cards.
After everyone is dealt 4 cards face down, the player to the left of the big blind must either call the big blind, fold or raise. Each player acts in turn, folding, calling, raising or re-raising. The blinds are considered “live,” meaning that when the action gets to them in the first round of betting they can also fold, bet or raise.
 
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The Flop
When betting action is completed on the first round, chips are raked into the pot and the dealer places 3 cards face up in the middle of the table. These are community cards, used by all players to create their best hand. Again, do not forget that you must use exactly 2 cards from your hand and three cards from the community board to create your best five card hand! A round of betting begins, starting with the player to the left of the dealer button.
The Turn
After betting action has concluded on the flop, another card is placed face up in the center of the table, called the Turn. This card is also a community card. Bets double on the Turn. In our game of $10/$20, while $10 bets were made before, we now have to be or raise $20 at a time.
The River
The final community card is placed face up in the center of the table, and the final round of betting takes place. We again use double bets on this round.
Showdown
When all bets are equalized on the River, a showdown occurs and the last player to make a bet or raise must turn over his down cards, revealing his best five card hand. If there was no betting on the final round, the first player still active to the immediate left of the dealer must show his hand. Each player in turn can either turn over his cards to reveal a better (or worse) hand, or muck his cards face down if he is the loser. Each player has to use exactly two of his hole cards and three cards from the community cards on the board. If there is no qualifying low hand, then the player with the highest ranking hand wins. If there is one or more qualifying low hands, then the player with the lowest qualifying low hand and the player with the highest ranking hand split the pot.
 
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