Many players at online poker sites have been flocking to Omaha Hi Lo in 2018, or O8 as it is known in professional circles (thanks to the fact that most limit versions offered online specified you must have eights or better for the low portion of this game). It is an amazingly complex game with a lot of action and excitement. Most of these types of real money games at your favorite online poker sites are going to appear to be very rowdy affairs, active and quite aggressive. It might take some getting used to, especially with players coming from games like Texas Hold’em or the even more sedate Stud variations.
That being said, there is a really a lot to learn about playing and being successful at online poker rooms and their versions of Omaha Hi Lo. In most cases, you can expect to see four to six players at a full table staying in to see the flop, so this means not only are good discipline and starting hand criteria needed, but also knowing how to play the post-flop rounds are very important. At these online poker rooms offering Omaha Hi Lo, you can never forget that this game is very different than Hold’em. Heck, it is also quite different than even the Hi only version of Omaha.
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If have experience playing Omaha (Hi version), you will know that the deal here is exactly the same. When playing Omaha Hi Lo online poker sites, you will be dealt four cards face down in the hole, followed by a betting round. Next comes the flop—three cards dealt together and placed in the center of the table to be used as community cards. Then another betting round. The turn card is dealt next, face-up in the center, followed by a betting round. Finally, the last card (called the river) is dealt face-up and the last betting round follows.
Unlike Hold’em, there are very specific rules about making your hands in Omaha Hi Lo. For one thing, even the best real cash online poker sites will insist that you use exactly two of your hole cards and three of the community cards to make your hand. Believe it or not, there are situations when this might end up limiting the hands you can make.
Another major feature of this game at online poker sites is that it is a split pot. You are going to make both a high hand and a low hand. The winning high hand takes exactly half of the pot and the winning low hand takes the other half. That being said, there are actually times when there is no low hand winner because to qualify you must have a high card of eight or less (ie. This is the eights or better part). Also, for low hands flushes and straights are ignored. Therefore, the nut low hand is A2345. When ranking or counting a low hand you go from the top down, meaning a 6-5 low beats an 8-7 low.
When playing Omaha Hi Lo at US online poker rooms for real cash, the first thing to remember is to always be playing for the high hand. Ideally your hand will also have low potential since it is really nice to scoop up both halves of the split pot. Do not play a hand which only has a low draw possibility. Another thing to remember is that the low hand is normally won by players holding an A-2, so if you have this always consider playing it. However, if this is ALL you have be aware there might be another player who also has an A-2 that could lead to a tie, in which case you only get a quarter of the pot (half of the low half).
There are some key skills you need to learn when playing Omaha Hi Lo online poker sites. For starters, seldom think about raising before the flop. This is a departure from Omaha Hi strategy and the main reason is because there is just too much potential and uncertainty at this time due to playing for both a high and low hand. Fold on the flop in most cases so as to not play less than premium hands.
The aim of this game is to scoop up the pot. Doing so as quickly as possible is wonderful, but often takes a lot of skill and situational awareness. Because of this, you want to always be honing your ability to calculate the correct odds at all times. You should also be choosing your table very carefully. Your best online poker games will be where you have five or more players on average see the flop. This is also another reason to avoid an initial pre-flop raise; such raises in loose games will probably only build up the size of the pot, rather than chase anyone out or allow you to scoop.
Omaha Hi Lo, just like its sister Omaha Hi, at online poker rooms is a nut game. In other words, with anything less than the nut (or unbeatable) hand there is a strong chance you will not win. Also, while you want to try and win both high and low pots, this is actually pretty rare Instead, play for the high with a redraw to the low.
You will find that the top starting hands at online poker sites in the game of Omaha Hi Lo are AA23 double suited. The next best is the AA24 double suited. The reason for the strength is because you now have great potential for both the high and low hands. Here is a list of some profitable starting hands:
Be wary, once again, of the Ace-2. While it will win the low more than any other two-card combination it is still an overall losing proposition, especially when being overly aggressive with it. Also, think seriously about folding hands with two gaps since the chances of making a straight are less than 1% and it would be almost as rare to win the low in such a situation. Since Omaha Hi Lo is a nut game, middle connected hands are pretty much useless. Drop anything like 3456, 4567, 5678, 6789, etc...
For most online poker rooms, there should be some specific advice and strategies offered when playing the flop, turn, and river stages of Omaha Hi Lo. At the flop, you want to count the number of outs you have and then determine if it’s profitable to draw. Even then, only call if you think you will be paid off with a successful draw. Also think about your opponents and how they tend to play.
You should really be ready to do just about anything on the flop. If the possibilities are weak, fold. On the other hand, if it gives you many drawing possibilities, be ready to raise. However, if there is already a pair on the board, release your flush and straight draws, since in many cases you will end up drawing dead.
When the turn card comes, you want to be playing a straightforward game. Fold if there are three suited cards on the board and you don't have the flush. If there is a pair on the board and you don't have trips or a full house, fold. The same goes for when there is a potential straight draw on the board and you don't have a good chance of drawing a better hand. However, if you do have the nut hand, attempt to do a check-raise, trapping some opponents.
On the river at most online poker rooms, play pretty much like the turn. Be aggressive if you think you have the best hand. Be even more aggressive if you think you can also scoop the low. On the other hand, if there is no possibility of a low hand, you might be able to try a bluff, but be careful about this and judge according to the players who are left.
Our advice remains true to form that at most, even at the top online poker sites offering real cash games, American players simply love action. They will regularly play way too many online poker hands. This costs a lot of real money and can really eat into your bankroll. So, be more disciplined with your starting hand selections.
By the same token, you want to be careful of how you call. If your hand has only low potential, be very careful. There is a strong chance you might get quartered. We could say the same thing for seeing flops when you hold four middle cards like the 6-7-8-9. Look at the starting hand guidelines above and be more disciplined.
Many Omaha Hi Lo players at online poker sites raise too often when they hold an A-2, which is a pretty strong starting hand. This is especially true from early position. They are probably trying to make players fold. Instead, the proper strategy is to simply call (or maybe even check in some situations) in order to keep players in, build the pot, while still allow you to see the flop fairly cheaply.
Having read our online guide to Omaha Hi Lo online poker, hopefully now you can venture into the depths of a new game and try out one of our recommended 2018 online poker sites that offer it.