A popular variant of Omaha is Omaha Hi-Lo Split, also known as Omaha 8 or Better.
Omaha Hi-Lo is a split pot variant of Omaha poker that normally awards half of the pot to the high hand and half to a qualifying low.
Here's a 5-minute crash course in Omaha Hi-Lo including some simple strategy to get you started.
Basic Rules for Omaha Hi-Lo
Omaha Hi-Lo has essentially the same rules as Omaha Poker. The only real difference is that it has a split-pot variant.
This means that the highest hand typically gets half of the pot while a qualifying low hand gets the other half. A qualifying low hand is one with five unique cards eight or below.
In the case where the same player has both the high hand and low hand, he or she scoops the pot. The same occurs when there's no low hand.
Straights and flushes do not count against a low hand so the best low you can achieve is a wheel (A-5 straight).
Please note that you do not have to use the same two cards for both high and low. For example if the board reads 3c-5c-7d-10c-Qs and you have Ac-2d-Jc-10d, you can use Ac-Jc for high and Ac-2d for low.
Beware of Quartering and Counterfeiting
There are two special conditions in Omaha Hi-Lo that you don’t see in most other forms of poker.
The first is counterfeiting. When a player is counterfeited this means that the board has produced a card that has made a nut low either invalid or a weaker low.
For example if you hold A-2-K-J and the board fall 3-7-8, you have the nut low with the A-2 (A-2-3-7-8).
However, if a two hits the turn, your nut low may no longer be best. A player with A-4, A-5 or A-6 will have a better low.
The other special condition is quartering. When you are quartered in a pot this means that you tied for half of a pot.
This typically happens when more than one player ties for nut low. The high hand gets half the pot and the two nut lows get half of the low pot, or a quarter of the whole pot.
Omaha Hi-Lo is a game where the objective is to scoop pots. You want hands that give you the best chance to win both the high and low halves of the pot.
Your best hands are going to be hands that include both an ace and a deuce along with two cards that work together.
For example, Ac-2d-Kc-Jd is good starting hand because you have chances for nut low, a nut flush and a Broadway straight.
Many pro Omaha Hi-Lo players will recommend that you have hands with more than two wheel (ace to five straight) cards.
For example a hand like Ac-2d-4h-Jc is a desirable hand because you have multiple chances for a wheel along with options for a straight and the nut flush.
Stay Away From Danglers
You want to stay away with hands that have danglers. Danglers are cards that are unrelated to your hand.
An example of a hand with a dangler is Ac-2d-4c-9s. The nine of spades is a dangler because it does not work with any of your other cards.
You want to stay away from most hands that are "one-way" hands unless you're in the blinds and nobody raises. The reason is that many pots in Omaha Hi-Lo will be heads-up split pots.
When you play a lot of one-way hands you will end up just losing your money. Also, in Hi-Lo there are times where you will tie for the low pot.
If you're playing just for low, you will be quartered in these pots and actually lose money in the hand.
Focus On Scoops
Omaha Hi-Lo is a fun variant of Omaha poker that can be a high-action game.
Remember that the goal of Omaha Hi-Lo is to scoop pots and focus on hands that give you the best chance to do so.
If you follow the above tips and focus on scooping pots, you will be ahead of the curve of many beginning Omaha Hi-Lo players and should start enjoying winning online poker sessions immediately.