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Omaha 8/b Poker Rules
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(Also known as Omaha 8 or better)
Omaha 8/b is a community card game. This means that 5 community cards (cards everyone is allowed to use to make their hand) are dealt after each player receives 4 individual pocket cards (cards only they are allowed to use when making a hand.) Omaha 8/b is also a split pot game, so half of the pot will be awarded to the player with the highest hand and half of the pot will be awarded to the player with the best qualifying low hand. Players are allowed to use exactly 2 pocket cards and exactly 3 community cards for their best high hand and potentially 2 completely different pocket cards and a different combination of 3 community cards for their best qualifying low hand. One-half of the pot is awarded to the player with the best high five-card hand. One-half of the pot is awarded to the player with the best qualifying low five-card hand (could be the same person who one the high hand pot.) If no one makes a qualifying low hand (a hand where the highest card is 8 or lower) the entire pot will be awarded to the high hand winner.


  Basic Game Structure
  • Blinds are posted
  • 4 pocket cards are dealt to each player
  • Pre flop betting occurs
  • The flop is dealt (3 community cards)
  • A 2nd round of betting occurs
  • The turn card is dealt (the 4th community card)
  • A 3rd round of betting occurs
  • The river card is dealt (the 5th community card)
  • A final round of betting occurs
  • Showdown occurs (hands must use 2 pocket cards and 3 community cards)
  Detailed Rules

Omaha 8/b is played with a standard 52-card deck and as many as 10 participants. A dealer "button" is used to indicate the position of the player who would be dealing the cards if the players were actually dealing the cards themselves. The player holding the button acts last and thus has a positional advantage that remains throughout the hand. After each hand, the button is moved one position clockwise, so that all players in the game have, after a full round, had exactly the same number of opportunities to hold positional advantage.

The two players on the button's immediate left must post "blind" bets...that is, amounts they place in the pot before they see their cards. Typically, the player in the very first position posts a blind bet one-half the size of the player in the second position, although in some games, the first bet (called the "small blind") may be as little as one-third or as much as two-thirds the size of the second bet (called the "big blind").

All participants are now dealt four cards face down. These are pocket cards and belong exclusively to their "owners," and are not seen by the other players at any time until the showdown at the end of the hand. A round of betting takes place at this point, which is called "before the flop" or "pre-flop."

Once the pre-flop betting is complete, the three cards are dealt face-up. These are "community" cards that belong to everyone, and these three cards are called "the flop."

A second round of betting follows. In the second betting round, the player closest to the left of the button, who is still in the hand, acts first. After everyone places his or her bets, a 4th community card is dealt which is called the "Turn" card, or "Fourth Street."

After the third round of betting concludes, the dealer reveals the fifth and final community card, called "the River," or "Fifth Street," which leads to a final round of betting.

At the end of the final round of betting, any players still remaining in the hand turn their cards over. If at any point during the hand, one player makes a bet that all others decline to call, the hand is over immediately, and the player who made the final wager takes the pot without the need to show his or her cards. The player who can assemble the best five-card high hand wins half of the pot. The player who can assemble the best qualifying five-card low hand wins the other half of the pot. If there is no qualifying low hand, the high hand winner is awarded the entire pot. It is feasible for a single player to win both the high hand and the low hand pots.


  Qualifying Low Hands

Qualifying low hands consist of five cards with different numerical values from Ace to Eight (thus 8 or "better"). If more than one player meets this criteria, the player with the lowest high card will win the low hand pot. (e.g. Ah, 2d, 5c, 6c 7d BEATS Ac, 2c, 6d, 7h, 8d. Straights and flushes do not count against a low hand however, since all cards need to have different numerical values, a pair is not eligible.

Something to keep in mind: Since players must use 3 community cards to make a low hand, if there are not 3 community cards with values of 8 or less, it is not possible for a qualifying low hand to occur during that game.

Split Pots

The potential for split pots in Omaha 8/b is greater than in other limit games. First, if a game has both a high hand and a qualifying low hand at the showdown, the pot will be split between the winning hands. It could be split further if multiple players have the same hand evaluation for either the high hand and/or the low hand. And then, just imagine what could happen if there are multiple all-ins during the hand!


  Example Hand Evaluation for Omaha

To make their best hand in Omaha 8/b, players are allowed to use exactly 2 pocket cards and exactly 3 community cards for their best high hand and potentially 2 completely different pocket cards and a different combination of 3 community cards for their best low hand.

Pocket Cards Community Cards Best High Hand Evaluation Best Low Hand Evaluation
As|Ah|3c|2d Ad|Kd|10d|2d|8d As|Ah|Ad|Kd|10d
3 of a kind
No qualifying low hand
2s|4s|6c|10d Ah|Kc|10h|8d|5c Ah|Kc|10h|10d|6c
Pair of 10s
Ah|2s|4s|5c|8d
Ad|10s|Jc|2d 2c|8d|9c|Qc|As 8d|9c|10s|Jc|Qc
Q high straight
No qualifying low hand
Ac|Ad|Ks|2h Ah|Kd|4c|8c|6d Ac|Ad|Ah|Kd|8c
3 of a kind
Ac|2h|4c|6d|8c

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