Omaha Hi-Lo, also known as Omaha 8, is one of the most technical poker games to play, and requires quite a lot of skill in order to play correctly. It is easy to make non-obvious mistakes that will cost you a lot of money in the long run, particularly when you do not properly understand how the hands are ranked. Your starting hands need to work together, cards that work together tend to be winning poker hands!
At showdown, the Omaha8 total pot will be divided by 2; half will go to the winning high hand(s), and half will go to the winning low hand(s) if there are qualifying low hands. To qualify for a high hand, standard NLHE or LHE (high poker) rules apply. To qualify for the low hand, you must be able to make a five card hand with the highest card being an 8 (which is why the game is also known as Omaha 8), no pairs allowed, and suits do not count. To see which low hand is the better hand, you must simply lay the two against each other, considering the highest card first, then the next highest card, and so on.
The best possible low hand you can make in Omaha8 is the A-2-3-4-5, while the worst possible qualifying low hand is the 4-5-6-7-8. A hand like A-2-3-4-9 is disqualified for the low because it contains a card higher than an 8, and a hand like A-2-3-4-4 is also disqualified for the low because it contains a pair.
In Omaha Hi-Lo, you want hands that work together for both the lo and hi pot. Of course, not all pots will have a lo, but all pots will have a hi, so hands with only a hi value can still be played.
Winning Poker Hands in Order – Omaha Hi-Lo
Top Playable Omaha Hi-Lo Poker Hands
Aces Deuce Three Double Suited
Aces Deuce Two (or Three)
Ace Deuce Suited w/ Pair
Aces with 4 (or 5) Suited
High Suited Connectors
Best Made Omaha Lo Hands (in Order)
The Best 6-Lo
Now that you have some idea how to play Omaha Hi-Lo check out Hero vs Villain to the right! Remember, the pot is usually split hi-lo and sometimes you can find yourself only winning 1/4 of the pot if you tie and do not qualify for the lo! You need to be careful to not only use 2 of your hole cards but select cards that can make a good lo, along with a hi!
Omaha 8 is a deceptively complex game, but also a very rewarding one. Hopefully with the help of these hand ranking examples, you will be halfway down the road of Omaha 8 mastery, and ready eat up all the n00bs you can find along the way.
Hero vs Villain
Looking at a ranking chart like on the left is easy, but now the challenge comes seeing the board, Hero’s and Villain’s hand. Who wins?
Results: Hero’s high hand would be AcAd5s8hTh for a pair of aces, while Villain’s high hand would be 7c7d5s8hTh for a pair of sevens, which means Hero takes down the high pot, which is one half of the total pot.
To qualify for the low, the other half of the pot, you would need a hand with at most an 8-high, no pairs. Hero’s low hand would be Ac2c4s5s7s (A-2-4-5-7), while Villain’s low hand would be 2c4s5s6c7c (2-3-4-5-7). Hero’s 7 low beats Villain’s, which means Hero would win the low pot and scoops!
Results: Hero’s high hand is a 2s6s7s8sTs for a T-high flush while Villain shows down 2s7sTsKsJs for the King-high flush, and takes down the high pot.
For the low pot first we have to see if there are qualifying hands. Hero shows down Ah2s3h6h7s (A-2-3-6-7) while Villain shows down Ah2s4h5h6h (A-2-4-5-6), both are qualifying lows because none have a 9 or higher, and neither have any pairs. 6 low beats 7 low, so Villain would take home the low pot too, for a scoop.
Results: Hero’s high hand at showdown would be 5c5s5hAsJh for trips five, while Villain’s would be AcAsKsJhTh for a pair of aces. Hero wins the high pot.
For the low pot, first we have to see if there are qualifying hands. Hero shows As2s5s6cTh (A-2-5-6-T) which is T-high and thus disqualified from the low pot, while Villain would show Ac2s5h8c9c (A-2-5-8-9), a 9-high hand which would also disqualify his hand from winning the low pot. This means that for this hand there was no low pot, and the pot would not have to be split in the high and the low, which means the highest poker hand would win the whole pot outright.
Results: For the high pot, Hero would show down TdThAdJs8h for a pair of tens, while Villain would show down 9c9hAdKcJs for a pair of nines, meaning Hero wins the high.
For the low pot, as always you first have to see if there are any qualifying hands. Hero’s low would be Ad2c3s4s6h (A-2-3-4-6), a 6-low, while Villain would have Ad2h3s4s6s (A-2-3-4-6), also a 6-low. Each card in each hand ties with each other, meaning that it ends in a draw. Villain and Hero would both win the low pot, which means that the low pot would have to be chopped in half. In total, Hero would win 3/4 of the full pot, while Villain would win 1/4 of the full pot (half of half). This is sometimes referred to as being quartered, and can obviously also happen for the high pot.