Omaha Hi Lo Poker Games in India
Omaha Hi/Lo poker is a variant of Omaha poker with slight differences in pot distribution amongst winners that makes the game interesting. The game rules are similar to Omaha but the difference is at showdown where the winner is not one but two, one high ranking player satisfying hand ranking rules and one low hand ranking player satisfying the low ranking criteria as below:
– The low hand must comprise of two cards from player hole cards and three cards from board.
– Qualifying low hand rank comprises of five unpaired cards all of rank 8 or below.
– Aces will be considered low for the low ranking card.
– Flushes and straights are not considered for low rank. So 5-4-3-2-A is best possible regardless of suit.
– Card suits doesn’t hold any priority so if two players have 8♦-6♦-5♦-4♦-2♦ and 8♣-6♣-5♣-4♣-2♣ then low half pot amount will be distributed among both the players.
If there is no qualifying low hand, the high hand wins the entire pot. The pot is evenly split between the Hi hand and the Lo hand and the same cards can be used in declaring both Hi and Lo.
To understand better, low hand ranking is dealt in the following order starting from least powerful to most powerful:
1. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4
2. 8, 7, 6, 5, 3
3. 8, 6, 4, 2, A
4. 8, 4, 3, 2, A
5. 7, 6, 5, 4, 2
6. 7, 6, 5, 2, A
7. 7, 5, 4, 3, 2
8. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
9. 6, 4, 3, 2, A
10. 5, 4, 3, 2, A
How to play: To start with each player is dealt with four face-down hole cards at once. Each game has predefined size of small blind and big blind in the ratio of 1:2. One player is marked dealer that keep rotating in clockwise direction, force small blind and big blind are placed by the first and second player immediately left of the marked dealer. The round commences after the hole cards are dealt and force blinds are placed. The game is played in following rounds:
Preflop: The round start by the player sitting immediate left of the big blind player. The player can ‘call’ or ‘raise’. Round continues till all the players have placed either equal betting amount and each participating player got the chance to act. Example if any player raises the amount the cycle will continue again till all the players have called same betting amount or they are ‘All-in’ or ‘folded’.
Flop: After the previous round of betting the three community cards will be displayed face up in the community table that is seen visible for all active players. The round start with the active player immediately left of the dealer. The flop round continues till all the players have placed same bet amount, if any player raises the bet all other active players have to fold or call the raised amount to move to next round.
Turn: One community card called ‘turn’ will be dealt face up on the table accessible to all the players. The active player immediate left of the dealer will initiate the round with ‘bet’ or ‘check’. The round will initiate as previous rounds and ends with the same rules as previously discussed.
River: When betting is complete for the ‘turn’ round fifth community card will be dealt face up on the table accessible to all players. The active players who have some chance to make the higher hand rank will continue to bet in the further rounds with ‘call’ or ‘raise’ and the round continues till all the players have put same bet amount and got the chance to act.
Showdown: River betting round completes, five face up community cards are displayed and at least one active player is there. The showdown of card of all the active players is done and the pot will be split between the highest and lowest ranking. In scoop, the whole pot amount will be won by the highest ranking player.
Example: Remember that you can use two cards of the four hole cards and three cards of the five community cards to make the winning hand.
After all the rounds are complete winner can be determined in following way:
On board suppose following cards are displayed: 4♦, 5♠, 7♦, Q♣, A♥
Player 1: A♦ 2♣ K♦ K♣
Player 2: A♣, 3♣, Q♦, Q♥
High Winner: Player 2 wins high hand with three-of-a-kind queens: Q♦, Q♥, Q♣ A♥ 7♦
Low Winner: Player 1 wins low hand with a 7-5-4-2 Low: 7♦, 5♠, 4♦, 2♣, A♦