Let's start with the Basic Rules for Pot Limit Omaha/8 and the differences between PLO and NLHE
In this article we'll be giving a basic guide on how to play Omaha Hi/Lo or as it's often called O8 and Omaha8. We'll touch base with the key differences between O8 and No – Limit Texas Hold'em
- Pot Limit Omaha/8 is similar to Texas Hold'em in that 2 players have to post forced bets called a "small blind" and a "big blind" there is also a dealer button in play with 4 rounds of betting, pre-flop, flop, turn and river.
- Each player is dealt 4 hole cards in Pot Limit Omaha/8. The mechanics are the same as Pot Limit Omaha in that you must use two of your four hole cards in addition to three of the five community cards to create your final five card hand. Where the game differs is that there is the potential for the pot to be split into two halves with half of the pot going to the player with the best high card hand and half of the pot going to the player with the best qualifying low card hand. The best high card hand is simply the best five card poker hand a player can make and follows the same hand rankings as Hold'Em.
- For the pot to be split into a low half, first someone must qualify to have a low hand. This means their final hand must have five cards 8 or less without a pair. You must still use two cards from your hand and three from the board. For the purpose of the low hand an Ace is considered low. This means that the best possible low card hand is A2345. The worst low card hand is 45678.
- It is possible and often a good strategy to play hands that can win you both the high and (if available) the low portions of the pot. A2345 is a very strong hand because not only is it the best possible low hand but it also serves as a 5-high straight as the high hand. Also consider playing hands that can make a low and also have a suited Ace as you can then make the nut flush.
- Note that in order for a low to be possible the community cards must contain at least 3 unpaired cards 8 or less. If there is no low possible then the entire pot is awarded to the best high card hand.
For introductory players, this information will give you the foundation needed to build on to improve your O8 game. We have an Omaha section on our forum if you would like to discuss PLO Hi/Low Strategy with new players and experts of the game.