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Omaha Hi Lo Poker Online in Canada: an Expert Guide

Posted by Veronica Taylor on
Last updated:

The best of both worlds, Omaha Hi Lo combines the game mechanics of traditional Omaha poker with the added upside of additional payouts and large pots.

In Omaha Hi Lo, the pot is split between two winners: the best high hand, and the best low hand.

Our expert guide to Omaha Hi Lo poker will cover:

  • Where Canadian players can play Hi Lo online
  • How to play Omaha Hi Lo
  • Omaha Hi Lo rules
  • Omaha Hi Lo poker strategy and tips
  • Omaha Hi Lo FAQs

Where to Play Omaha Hi Lo Poker Online

Here are the best sites for Canadian players, updated daily, for playing Omaha Hi Lo poker online:

How to Play Omaha Hi Lo Poker Online

To win a hand of Omaha Hi Lo poker, a player has two options:

  1. Make the best five-card high hand
  2. Make the best five-card low

Each pot will be split evenly between two winners.

Players must use exactly two of their four personal cards and three of the five shared community cards. Each player is able to use different card combinations to submit their high hand and their low hand, but each combination must be comprised of the same ratio: two personal cards with three community cards.

If there is no qualifying low hand (more on the qualifier in a minute), the entire pot goes to the player with the best high hand.

The deal and betting rounds follow a similar format to Texas Hold’em, with a flop, turn and river each interspersed with rounds of betting.

Read on for a more detailed look of how to play and rules.

Omaha Poker Rules

Again, the purpose in Omaha poker is to have either the best high hand, or the best low hand. Each pot will be split equally between these two hands, and in the event of no qualifying low hand, the pot will be awarded to the high hand.

Building a Hand

Omaha Hi Lo poker follows a similar dealing structure to standard Omaha poker:

  • Each player will be dealt four personal cards, known as hole cards
  • The table will be dealt five shared community cards, that all players can use to build their hands

Each player must use exactly two of their personal cards combined with three of the five community cards to make their hands.

Players can use different hole and community cards for their high and low hand, but the ratio of community & hole cards must remain the same. Aces can be used as either a high or a low card, depending on which hand you’re building.

8-or-Better Qualifier

Most variations of Hi Lo poker employ an “8 or better” qualifier for the low hand.

This means that in order to be eligible to win the “low” half of the pot, all cards in the hand must be ranked eight or less.

The Deal & Pre Flop

For this example, let’s imagine we’re playing $5 / $10 Hi Lo. This means that the small blind, the player directly to dealer’s left, bets $5 and the big blind, seated to the left of the small blind, bets $10.

Each player is then dealt four cards face down.

The first round of betting beings with the player located directly to the left of the big blind. Players can then call the big blind of $10, raise the $10 to whatever amount (if no limit) or the value of the pot at the time (which in this case would be $15) or the player can fold their cards.

The Flop

After bets are in, the dealer will flip over three community cards referred to as “the flop”.

The first active player to the left of the dealer begins the next betting round. That player can either check (no bet), bet or fold. The players next to the first bettor can either check (if person before them checked), call (match previous bet), raise the bet to their liking or fold.

The Turn

After the post-flop round of betting is complete, the dealer flips over a fourth card, deemed “the turn”, and another round of betting ensues.

The same bet type options as in the post-flop betting round are available to each active player.

The River

Whomever is remaining in the hand gets to see the fifth and final community card – “the river” – and enjoys one final round of betting.

Showdown

After the post-river round of betting is complete, all remaining players reveal their hole cards. The person with the best Omaha Hi hand wins half the pot, and the person with the best Omaha Lo hand wins half the pot. This can be same person and when the same person wins both pots, it’s referred to as “scooping” the pot.

If no player qualifies for the Lo win, the player with the best Hi hand wins the entire pot.

Omaha Hi Lo Hand Rankings

While the double-pot may seem confusing at first, the hand rankings are really quite straightforward, and once you play a few hands, you’ll get a hang of it quickly.

Omaha Hi Hands

Judging the best high hand in Hi/Lo poker is very straightforward, especially if you’re familiar with other hand poker rankings.

High hands follow the same ranking system as popular games like Texas Holdem. The best hands are ranking here, from best to worst:

Name Description Example
Royal Flush Five sequential cards of the same suit, 10 through Ace five playing cards - a 10, jack, queen, king & ace of hearts
Straight Flush Five sequential cards of the same suit five playing cards - a 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 of spades
Four of Kind Four cards of the same value five playing cards: four 9s and a 2
Full House Three cards of the same value and two different cards of the same value five playing cards: four 9s and a 2
Flush Five cards of the same suit five playing cards - queen, jack, 7, 4, & 2, all hearts
Straight Five sequential cards five playing cards - a 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 of various suits
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value (other two cards are irrelevant) five playing cards - three 5s, a 6, and a 2
Two Pair Two cards of the same value and two different cards of the same value (the fifth card is irrelevant) five playing cards - two 4s, two 9s, and a 3
One Pair Two cards of the same value (the other three cards are irrelevant) five playing cards - two Kings, a 7, 3, & 2 of various suits
High Card None of the above; defer to the highest-value card in the hand five playing cards of different suits - king, queen, 7, 3 & 2

 

Omaha Lo Hands

Determining Low hand ranks is more unique, but no more complicated.

Low hands are ranked using the California system, meaning straights & flushes don’t count against a hand, pairs & three/four of a kind do count against the hand, and Aces always count as a low card.

Using this system, unpaired hands are ranked beginning with the hand’s highest card (for example, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 would be “7-low”)

The best possible low hand is known as “the wheel”: A, 2, 3, 4, 5 (5-low).

The next best possible hand would be A-2-3-4-6 (6-4 low.)

The latter hand would lose to the former because 6 is higher than 5. This same pattern continues throughout the deck: 6-low beats 7-low, 7-low beats 8-low, etc.

While flushes and straights don’t count against your hand, pairs do. This means that the lowest pair (e.g. A-A-2-3-4) would still lose out to the highest single-card hand (e.g. 9-10-J-Q-K).

In short: stay focused on low cards and avoid pairs & three/four of a kind – lowest hand wins.

Omaha Hi Lo Poker Strategy and Tips

a circle with an up arrow next to a down arrow

Wait for the Flop

Be sure to see the flop – the first three community cards – before placing any raises. While there are some exceptions to this strategy, a little patience goes a long way in Hi Lo.

X over two face down cards

Don't Bluff

With two ways to win each hand and four hole cards each, calculating probability can be a bit of a mess. We avoid not bluffing, unless you’re very comfortable with the game.

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Assume Good Hands

Again, with two ways to win and four-hole cards for each player, starting hands are likely much higher than you’d expect. Play with caution, assume everyone has a strong hand off the start.

Omaha Hi Lo Poker FAQ

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