Omaha Hold’Em 8/b or Omaha Hi/Low as it is also known is a variation of Omaha Holdem poker in which players try to make both a highest and a lowest ranking hand from a total of four pocket cards and five community board cards. For each hand players must use just two of their pocket cards and three out of the five board cards. Players can use different cards to make up each their hands. The game is played with a standard 52-deck pack, no jokers, and standard poker hand rankings are used for the high hands. The lower hand must be lower than a top eight hand, that is to say and hand of five un-paired cards with highest card not higher than eight. Flushes and straights don’t apply for low hands and aces can be either high or low. This means that the best possible low hand is A,2,3,4,5.
The pot is split between the highest hand and the lowest hand, which can also be the same player.
The rules and order of play are as follows:
A round starts with eight to ten players at the table. Each player is dealt four cards face down and these are his or her pocket cards. A white button is place next to the player to left of the house dealer to designate him or her as ‘dealer’. The player to the ‘dealer’s’ left puts down a small blind and the next player to the left puts down a big blind. The blinds are predetermined before the game and the big blind equals the minimum table bet. The ‘dealer’ position rotates clockwise around the table with each round’. The ‘dealer’ only signifies the position of the players putting down the blinds and the cards are dealt by the house dealer.
A round of betting follows starting with the player who put down the small blind. Each player can check, fold, or raise. To check a player must match the big blind or a previous raise. The round continues until all raises have been called. The house dealer then deals three community cards in the middle of the table and turns them over simultaneously. This is called the flop.
Another round of betting follows, starting again with the player in the small bind. A fourth community card is dealt and this is known as the turn, followed by another round of betting, again starting with small bind position or, if that player has folded, with the player to the left. Finally, a fifth community card is dealt, known as the river, with a final round of betting as before.
Because straights and flushes don’t apply in low hands these are often drawn in which case the pot is split between the high hand and all of the drawn low hands. If none of the players qualify for a low hand the high hand takes the whole pot.
In most casinos Omaha Hold’Em 8/b is played as a Limit Pot game although there are some online casinos that off Omaha No Limit games.