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Omaha High-Lo: a difficult game

If you are looking for a fun game and the potential to make good money, why not trying the less well-understood Omaha High-Lo, usually played in the pot-limit variation?

Omaha High/Low is a more complex version of Omaha poker then Omaha High, and it requires deep strategic understanding, even more than in Omaha High, already a difficult game.

Like any High/Low variation, it means that each pot is split in half: one half for the highest hand, one half for the lowest hand. This introduces additional complexities into the game, making it paradisiacal waters for the long-toothed sharks seeking some fish deveived by their own luck.

Indeed this is one of the games where you may encounter the most fish and make the most money, because chance and variance will mask the rigor of the necessary strategic moves, to all except the most advanced players. And the fish may think that they have mastered the game after they have digested the rules, which after all are not that difficult to grasp.

Omaha Hi-Lo Tips

An important notion is that as the pot is split in half, if you call big bets but only aim at the high or low hand, you will only get half the pot even though you paid 100% percent of your bets each time. Therefore note that the most profitable type of hands that you should focus on getting involved with are the ones when you win the entire pot.

You can win the entire pot either if you have both the high and low hand, or if there is no low hand. These two points deserve some explanation.

In general the low hand must be made of cards eight or lower, and it can be the case that there is no possible low hand if the board only has high cards (remember that you must use 3 cards from the board and 2 from your hole cards to make your hand). In such cases, the pot is not split and only the high hand counts.

This shows two things. First the high hand is statistically more powerful and deserves more attention than the low hand, which may not occur. Also if the board looks like there will be no low hand, than this is going to be a more valuable pot to win if you have the high hand, twice as valuable indeed.

Another problem with the low hand is that it is more often shared than the high hand, leading to only winning a quarter of the pot. This is because one needs 5 different cards from the group {A,2,3,4,5,6,7,8} in order to win the low hand, and this limits the number of possibilities especially if both players have an ace. Conversely the high hand often results from a race and hence is not shared.

The other scenario is when you attack both the high and the low hand at the same time. Omaha High-Lo specialists know how to do that by implementing a disciplined starting hand selection. In fact the fish may be very loose with their pre flop requirements given that almost any four card may lead to a winning hand. But the key is to play the starting hands amenable to winning entire pots, such as AA23 double suited.

If you want to play Omaha Hi Lo online, it is not usually included in US or UK Internet Casino games. But you can play the game at one of the major online poker rooms such as Full Tilt Poker.

For starting hands requirements, check the article about starting hands in Omaha High Low.

Omaha Tips
Starting hands
Holdem players
Opponent reading
Omaha High-Lo
After the bubble
Post flop moves
PLO swings
Bluffing in Omaha
PLO mid stakes

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