Omaha 8 or Better is the Hi/Lo version of Omaha. It is a "split pot" game. Over the past few years, Omaha 8 or Better has been the fastest growing poker game in the world.
There are two basic types of Omaha 8 or Better games:
- Limit Omaha 8 or Better - which means there is a specific betting limit applied in each game and on each round of betting.
- Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Better - meaning the most you can bet what is in the pot.
Basics: Players start with four "down" cards. Players share five "community" cards, which are dealt face-up in the center of the table. You MUST use two of your four "down" cards with three "up" cards to form your hand. There is no qualifying on the "High" side - the best high hand automatically wins half the pot and could win the whole pot. To win the "Low" side of the pot, however, you must qualify (which is why the game is named Omaha "8 or Better").
To qualify for Low: It takes a five-card hand with different numerical values from Ace through eight (with the Ace being the lowest) to qualify for the "Low" half of the pot. The best "Low" hand is A, 2, 3, 4, 5 (also known as the "wheel" or "bicycle"). The winning "Low" hand goes to the player with the lowest high card. For example, a player with a 2,4,5,6,7 would have a better "Low" hand than someone with an A,2,4,6,8. If two or more players have the same high card, the player with the second lowest card (or third, fourth, or fifth if necessary) in their hand wins the low side of the pot.
- Straights and flushes do NOT count against you when qualifying for "Low".
- You are permitted to use different cards in your hand for the "High" side and different cards for the "Low" side or the same cards for both the "High" and "Low" sides. In a split pot, any leftover odd chip goes to the "High" side of the pot.
Ties: In case two or more players "tie" for one side of the pot, they will split that half into equally divided portions. If there is an odd chip(s), it will go to the person(s) closest to the left of the "button". (One player winning the "High" side and two players who tie for the "Low" side is not uncommon in Omaha 8 or Better.)
Key to Remember: To determine your hand(s) in Omaha 8 or Better, you MUST play two of your four "down" cards with three of the "up" cards (community cards). You may play different cards for the "High" and "Low" sides. A player "scoops" the pot when they win the whole pot. (This is your mission.)