How to Play Omaha High Low (Hi-Lo) Poker - Official Poker Rules

David Sklansky

If you are currently unacquainted with the set-up for Limit Texas Hold'em and Omaha, please be sure to read Limit Texas Hold'em Set-Up and Play and Omaha Set-Up and Play before you begin reading this text.

Limit Texas Hold'em and Omaha are identical in terms of playing procedures.

Omaha high-low is a split-pot game. This means that there exists the possibility of making both the best high and low poker hand.

Half the pot is awarded to the player with the best high hand, and half the pot is awarded to the player holding the best low hand. If no low hand is feasible or no one qualifies for a low hand, the whole pot goes to the high hand.

The goal is to have both the best high and low hand (called scooping the pot).

The High Hand

The high hand is exactly the same as in regular Omaha, where it is the best "normal" poker hand, starting at the top with a royal flush and moving on down the line.

Similarly, just as in regular Omaha, one must use two (exactly two) of the hole cards and three (exactly three) of the board cards when making a hand.

The Low Hand

The low hand is slightly more complicated to figure out. One must still use two of the hole cards with three of the board cards in order to qualify for the low hand. However, all low hands must be Eight or lower (the lower the better).

An Eight low contains an Eight and four lower cards, a Seven low contains a Seven and four lower cards, and so on. The best possible low is called a wheel and is Five high, 5-4-3-2-A (a Five high straight).

The worst possible low is 8-7-6-5-4 (an Eight high straight). Accordingly, in order for there to be a possible low on the board, there must be at least three cards Eight or lower on the board.


An 8-4-3-2-A low is worse than a 7-6-5-4-3 low.
A 7-4-3-2-A low is worse than a 6-5-4-3-2 low.
An 8-7-3-2-A low is worse than an 8-6-5-4-3 low.
A 7-6-3-2-A low is worse than a 7-5-4-3-2 low.
An 8-6-5-4-3 low is worse than an 8-6-5-4-2 low, which is worse than an 8-6-5-4-A low.

Getting Quartered

In Omaha high-low it is possible to win a quarter of the pot. This can happen when two players have the same high or low hand, but one of the players has the best high or low hand.

Example 1

Player A has the best high and the same low as player B. As such, Player B will receive one quarter of the pot and player A will collect three quarters.

Example 2

Player A has the best high hand but no low and player B and C hold the same low. Player A receives one half of the pot and player B and C split the remaining half. Player B and C got quartered.

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