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How to play Omaha Hi Lo

Unlike Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi Lo is a complex game due to the increased number of cards that are in play during each hand. The poker rules involved in Omaha poker aren’t necessarily much different than Texas Hold’em poker rules other than two basic things. First, in Omaha poker each player is dealt four cards while players only receive two in Texas Hold’em poker. Second, Omaha Hi Lo poker dictates that each player use exactly two hole cards and exactly three community cards to form his or her hand, which is much more strict than Texas Hold’em poker rules and results in a very different approach to the game of poker.

Players in Canada are often more familiar with Texas Hold’em poker rules and the strategy they entail rather than Omaha Hi Lo poker rules. But Omaha Hi Lo poker is quickly gaining popularity and is now second to Texas Hold’em in Canada and elsewhere around the world. The difference between Omaha Hi Lo and Omaha is that the pot is always split between the winning high hand (which is the same as in Omaha poker) and the winning low hand, which is an added level of complexity.

In Omaha Hi Lo poker, players in Canada should play for the high hand while leaving open the potential for the winning low hand too, which makes it a little different than having the option to play for two completely separate hands. The low hand must contain five cards (as usual, two must be from a player’s hand and three must be community cards) whose face values are eight or below. As with the high hand in Omaha, due to the increased number of cards in play for each hand, the likelihood of a player having the low nut is high, so as always, it’s important to only play strong hands.

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