Omaha Hi-Lo (8 or better) can be played with as few as 2 players, and with as many as 10 players. Card rooms throughout the world generally set 8, 9 or 10 players as a maximum per table. Small Blind Big Blind: The small and big blinds are forced bets used to create action from the first two players sitting to the left of the dealer button (also known as “the button”). These 2 players put chips into the pot before the cards are dealt. The small blind is one-half of the big blind and the big blind is always the value of a small bet.For example in a game with stakes of $2/£2-$4/£2, the player to the immediate left of the button (the “small blind”) puts $1/£1 into the pot. The player to the left of the small blind (the “big blind”) puts $2/£2 into the pot. The one exception occurs when there are only 2 players playing. In this scenario the player who is the button is the small blind and the other player is the big blind.
Start of the Game.Betting Round 1
The small and big blinds are posted by the 2 players to the immediate left of the button. Each player is then dealt four cards that only he can see. These 4 cards are called the pocket cards. Starting with the player to the immediate left of the big blind, and moving clockwise, each player has the option of either folding (mucking his hand), calling (keeping his hand and matching the current bet) or raising (increasing the bet by an amount of at least as much as the previous bet). If no one has raised by the time the action gets back to the big blind, the player in the big blind has the option to raise or check.
The Flop.Betting Round 2
After the first betting round, the dealer turns three cards face up on the board. This is the flop. Players may check or bet. Checking means that play passes on to the next player. If a bet is made, the next player must either call the bet, raise, or fold and discontinue playing in that specific hand. Checking is no longer an option once a bet is made.
The Turn.Betting Round 3
The dealer turns the fourth card, called the turn card, face up on the table. A round of betting follows, only this time players must bet the higher tier in a structured game. For example in a $2/£2-$4/£4 game you must bet or raise in $4/£4 increments.
The River.Betting Round 4
A fifth, and final card called the river is turned face up on the table. There is a final round of betting, which is conducted under the same betting guidelines as the turn.
After all the above action is complete, there is a showdown. All the active casino players (those who still have cards) show their hands. The last player to bet/raise shows his cards first; the next player clockwise will show his cards second (unless it’s a losing hand – he then has a choice to show or muck his cards). This will continue until the last player’s cards are shown or mucked. If all the active players check on the river, then the first player to the left of the button will show his cards first and the showdown will continue in a clockwise direction. If there is a side pot, the players involved in the side pot will show their hands first under the same guidelines as above. The hand belonging to the winner of the side pot is then compared in a clockwise direction to all the hands involved in the main pot. High hand wins 50% and low hand wins 50%. If there is no qualifying low hand, then the high hand wins 100% (all of the pot). There are no wild cards. The final poker hand is made up of the best five cards, using exactly 2 out of 4 pocket cards and exactly 3 out of 5 board cards for high as well as low. After the showdown, the button is moved one player to the left, marking the new dealer’s position. The blinds are now posted by the 2 players to the immediate left of the dealer button, and a new game begins.