Poker Beginners Guide: The Deal

For dealing and betting purposes Omaha Hi/Lo is structured exactly the same as Omaha Hi. Each player receives four cards, followed by the flop, turn and river with the usual betting interludes in between.

The only difference comes at the showdown. Here the pot is split equally between the best high and low hands. You can use either the same or different cards to complete your high and low hands, just so long as two of the cards come from your hole cards.

There are a couple of important points to note here:

  • a) If no-one has made a qualifying hand, then the best high hand scoops the entire pot.
  • b) If the same player has both the best high hand and the best low hand, then he scoops the lot.
  • c) If two players or more tie for one end of the pot then they split their half of the pot. They do not split the entire pot, just their half of it.

Lets take a look at a couple of examples of this.

  Board Cards  
A   B  

Here Hand A has trip Nines for his high and 8-4-3-2-A for his low. However, Hand B scoops the pot with a Five-high straight for high and 5-4-3-2-A for low. He uses the Five and Deuce from his hole cards to make both high and low hands.

  Board Cards  
A   B  

In this example both players can make a wheel for low: 5-4-3-2-A. Hand A takes the Ace and Trey from his hole cards and Hand B uses the Trey and either the Four or Five. The low end of the pot is therefore split. For the high Hand A can use the Eight and Seven from his hole cards to make an Eight-high straight: 8-7-6-5-4. The best that Hand B can do is a Six-high straight. Hand A therefore takes the high end of the pot.

Lets imagine that there is $20 in the pot. First Hand A takes his winnings for the high end: $10. The two players then divide the low half of the pot between them, taking $5 each. Thus Hand A collects a total of $15 and Hand B only $5. In poker parlance, we say that Hand B has been quartered.

It is actually quite common in Omaha Hi/Lo for one player to take the high end of the pot, leaving the low end to be split between two or more other players.