5 Card Omaha Hi / Lo
5 Card Omaha Hi / Lo has quickly become the most popular split pot game played online and at land-based casinos.
If you’re already familiar with 5 Card Omaha games the basic rules are very similar. The main difference is that, instead of just trying to make the best five-card poker hand, players also compete for the low end of the pot. So, in other words, the pot is split between the highest and the lowest hand. The lowest hand consists of unpaired cards with the highest card no better then an 8 and aces are counted as the lowest card when determining the low hand. The nut low hand is called ‘the wheel’ which is A,2,3,4,5.
In 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo the goal is to win the whole pot – both the low and high hand. If there doesn’t happen to be a low hand at showdown then all of the pot will go to the player(s) with the high hand.
As you’ve already probably figured out by the name “5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo”, every player is dealt an extra hole card with each player getting 5 cards instead of 4. This creates a lot more action both before and after the flop since players have a lot more hand combinations they can make and the kicker will often come into play. Just like in regular 5-Card Omaha players still have to use two of their hole cards to make the best low or high hands when used in combination with the community cards.
How to Play 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo
In 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo the dealer button is used to determine which player will be the dealer for that particular hand. For each new hand, the dealer’s button is rotated in a clockwise fashion around the table. To the left of the button you have the small blind. This player is the first person to receive a card and is required to post their blinds which is equal to half the lower limit bet of the table, rounded down to the nearest dollar. For example, the small blind would be $1 on a $2/$4 table. Then, to the left of this player, you have the player in the big blind position who is required to post their blind which is equal to the lower limit bet. So, the big blind would be $2 on a $2/$4 table. The blinds in 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo are counted as live bets and the players who post them have the option to either check, call, raise or fold when there has been a raise in front of them.
There are four different betting rounds in 5-Card Omaha Hi/Lo In the first two rounds of betting (pre-flop and flop) the betting is set at the lower limit bet. For example, in a $2/$4 game all bets and raises are $2. The last two rounds of betting (turn and river) the betting is increased to the higher limit bet of the table, so all bets and raises are $4 in a $2/$4 game.
After all the players at the table get their five hole cards, every player has had the opportunity to act and place equal bets into the pot the flop is dealt by the dealer with the pot contested between the active players still remaining in the hand who haven’t folded.
After the pre-flop betting action the dealer, into the middle of the table, deals the first three community cards. In this betting round, and in all future betting rounds, the action starts with the player in the small blind or the first active player to the left of the dealer.
The fourth community card, which is known as the ‘turn’ card, is dealt and another round of betting occurs.
The dealer will then reveal the fifth community card face up, known as the river card, and a final round of betting takes place. Once all bets are called each player who is still active in the pot is required to show their hands.
In 5-Card Omaha Hi/Lo the player with the highest hand wins half of the pot. The player with the lowest qualifying hand scoops the other half of the pot if there is one, if that’s not the case then 100% of the pot will go to the player with the high hand. Keep in mind that in situations where two or more players share the same low or high hand the pot is split between them and they will share the low or high pot.