Courchevel Hi / Lo
Courchevel Hi/Lo is much like 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo with one big difference – during the pre-flop stage one of the community cards is dealt face up so, players will have more information about the flop and how it connects with their hands before any betting actually takes place. This exposed card is referred to as the “spit” card but, besides that, the game plays out similar to regular Omaha Hi/Lo games.
In Courchevel Hi/Lo the aim of the game is to win the entire pot, in other words, you want to win the lowest and highest hand, since the pot is split between the two hence the Hi/Lo name. It is possible for the high hand to scoop the whole pot when there isn’t a low hand at showdown.
Players are dealt 5 cards face down and must use exactly two of their hole cards in combination with the board to make the best hand. Starting hand selection is very important because players are competing for the low and high end of the pot. The highest hand is based on normal poker hand rankings and the lowest hand is any unpaired hand that contains an 8 or lower.
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How to Play Courchevel Hi/Lo
At the start of each new hand a marker is placed on the next player to the left in order to indicate the player who is the dealer’s button position for the current hand. The button is used to signify the position of all the players at the table as well as where the blinds are relative to the button.
The players in the small and big blind positions (directly to the left of the button) are required to post blinds. The blinds can vary depending on what Courchevel Hi/Lo stakes are being played. For example, in a $1/$2 Pot Limit Courchevel Hi/Lo Poker game, the small blind posts $1 and the big blind posts $2. The bets and raises which can be made during the pre-flop and future betting rounds are dictated by the size of the blinds.
In Pot Limit games the minimum bet amount is set to the size of the big blind and any raise you were to make would have to be increased by at least the size of the previous bet. So, it would cost a player $2 to call and see a flop or $4 to raise. The maximum amount a player could raise is equal to the current size of the pot plus the amount the active player would have called.
There are four different betting rounds in Courchevel Hi/Lo and they comprise of:
Once each player at the table gets their hole cards and the “spit” card is revealed on the board, the first betting round of the Courchevel Hi/Lo game begins.
After the pre-flop betting, the remaining two community cards are dealt face up on the board to complete the flop. The action in this round of betting and all future betting rounds begins with the active player immediately to the left of the dealer’s button. Another betting round occurs.
Once all the betting has been completed on the flop, the fourth community card is dealt followed by another round of betting by the players still involved in the hand.
Then the fifth community card is dealt on the board and the last round of betting occurs.
Each player is required to show their hole cards and the player(s) with the best low hand splits the pot with the player(s) with the best high hand (according to traditional poker rankings.) The regular poker hand rankings apply in Courchevel Hi/Lo when determining the winner of the high part of the pot.
Different Betting Variations of Courchevel Hi Lo
The betting limits that are imposed on each player during each betting round is determined by the type of Courchevel poker game being played. Pot Limit Courchevel games are by far the most popular and in this format of the game bets are limited to the size of the pot – which always changes based on the betting action during each hand.
Betting in Limit Courchevel Hi/Lo games is set at a pre-determined amount For the first two rounds (pre-flop and flop), all bets and raises must be equal to the big blind. For the next two betting rounds (turn and river) the size of all bets and raises doubles. Due to the fixed betting structure of limit games it’s much more difficult for players to build big pots, which some players prefer, since you can’t lose as much money. But on the flipside, you also can’t win as much money with your strong hands.