Introduction to Omaha Hi-Lo: Learn the Basics and How to Play
How can you win a poker game with a bad hand? Omaha Hi-Lo, of course! Find out how to play at Ignition poker
At Ignition, we’ve got a few types of online poker games. The most popular is Texas Hold’Em, but a fun variation is known as Omaha. Instead of getting two hole cards in your hand, you get four. To make Omaha even more fun, we’ve got a variation called Ignition poker Omaha Hi-Lo!
In Omaha Hi-Lo, the best traditional poker hand only wins half the pot. The other half belongs to the low hand. We’ll discuss how this works in the next section.
What is Omaha Hi-Lo? How to play Omaha Hi-Lo
Omaha Hi-Lo follows the basic rules of Omaha. Players are dealt four cards each, while the community board has five (just like in Texas Hold’Em). Players then make five-card hands using only two of their hole cards and three of the community cards on the board.
The winning high hand is found using traditional hand rankings (high card -> pair -> three of a kind -> straight -> flush, etc.)
Ignition poker Omaha Hi-Lo also pays half the pot to the low hand, as we said above.
To make a low hand in Omaha, you must use cards that are 8 or lower. You can’t have pairs in your low hand. Also, straights and flushes are disregarded. Taken together, this means that the best low hand in Omaha is A-2-3-4-5. The second best would be A-2-3-4-6. To compare two low hands, start with the highest low card. If equal, go to the next highest. Go until one player shows a card that is lower than the other player.
That is, 8-7-6-5-4 is beaten by 8-7-6-5-3.
Play Omaha Hi-Lo at Ignition
Ignition poker Omaha Hi-Lo can be found in the “Card Game” box at the top of the poker client (as shown in the image above). Just check the tick box and you’ll see games appear.
It’s available in a few different formats.
One is the classic cash game, where you can select your antes, limits, and number of seats. After making your choices, you’ll be taken to your table.
Antes are the amount that you’ll bet to get into each hand. You can play Omaha Hi-Lo at micro stakes like tables at $0.02 / $0.05 all the way up to $10/20 tables, and sometimes beyond. Whatever level you like, there’s probably an online poker game for you.
Limit describes how much you can bet. You can play no limit, pot limit, or fixed limit.
Fixed limit means that betting and raising can only be done in fixed increments of one big bet for preflop and flop rounds, and two big bets for the turn and river. This is also capped at 4x the big bet total for each round. So at our micro stakes game above with a five cent BB, the max preflop amount you would have to call to play would be 20 cents.
Pot limit has always been a popular way to play Omaha Hi-Lo. This limits the size of bets to an amount tied to the size of the pot, essentially.
No limit is the super exciting poker variation that lets you bet or raise your whole stack at any time. For thrill seekers, there’s no other version of poker to play. For chill seekers, fixed limit is the way to go.
[insert image of Omaha Hi-Lo table action from Ignition]
Ignition poker Omaha Hi-Lo can also be played as a tournament. This is where you buy in and receive a ticket to battle your way to the end of a poker tourney against a field of opposing players. We’ve got Omaha H-L tournaments where you compete for a prize pool of thousands of dollars, if you’re willing to post your buy in.
Tournaments in general range from a few dollars on up, so you can find whatever level of action you need.
Difference between Omaha Hi-Lo and Omaha
Players who love online poker games often dabble in variations aside from Texas Hold’Em when they need a change of pace. But what’s the difference between Omaha original flavor and spicy Omaha Hi-Lo? Well, like we described above, the main difference is that the pot is split. Instead of being winner-take-all, the pot is divided in half.
One half goes to the best traditional poker hand according to normal hand rankings. The other goes to the low hand – a hand with cards 8 or less and no pairs. This could be the same hand for a player with A-2-3-4-5 (aka the “wheel”). The wheel is a straight for purposes of the high hand, but the best low hand you can make, also!
When you’re playing Ignition poker Omaha Hi-Lo, you’ve got to keep an eye out for wheel possibilities. It will always be the low nuts, but might also get you the rest of the pot, too!
Omaha Hi-Lo Strategy
Omaha Hi-Lo strategy can be tricky at first for players that are just arriving from Texas Hold’Em.
The best route is to start with normal Omaha poker first. This gives you a chance to get used to the idea of having 4 cards in your hand instead of two. It also trains you to think bigger. Omaha is a game that is generally dominated by straights, flushes, and better hands due to the number of cards each player has to work with. Those top pairs just aren’t as strong as they are in Texas Hold’Em.
In order to do that, you’ll also want to start in practice mode. This is a free game mode that lets you play Omaha against other players for virtual credits. There’s no real money trading hands. Instead, you can get a feel for the flow of Omaha and how betting will work without putting any of your own funds at risk.
Once you’ve nailed down the basics of Omaha, it’s time to move on to Omaha Hi-Lo. There you can practice what you’ve learned and start to see how adding a low hand changes the game. If you’re one of those people who never seems to make the hand you want – if you could pave your driveway with busted draws – this could be the best version of poker you ever play!
The most fundamental strategy note is that your “garbage” hands now have some power! Low straight draws are huge, because you can make them and win the high pot, but also miss them and still win the low pot. The expected value of hands like that goes way up in Omaha Hi-Lo.
Two learn more, you can check out this article or just head to our strategy section and read whatever you find there.
Omaha Hi-Lo Hand Rankings
To determine low hand rankings in Ignition poker Omaha Hi-Lo, you need to start with the highest card that is 8 or lower in a hand. If you’re head to head with someone and they have a 7-6-5-4-3 and you have an 8-6-5-4-3, you just lost the low. If, on the other hand, you had 7-6-5-4-2, you would win it. Your cards go head to head in comparison until one player shows a lower card than the other.
Play practice mode today!
If you’re new to Omaha altogether, start there and play for free to get started. If you’ve played Omaha, but you’re curious about Hi-Lo, fire it up and see what all the FUN is about. You just might find your new favorite game.