A few tips on Omaha Hi/Lo

Aug 29, 2005 2:01 AM

Carol, I know that Omaha Hi/Lo Split is not one of your favorite poker games, and that you prefer the big bet poker tournaments in which folks are playing No Limit Hold’em and it is possible to bet all of your chips at any time.

Nevertheless, I love to play a limit $4 and $8 structured Omaha Hi/Lo Split, especially out at The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.

I realize that the game has a lot of cards, a lot of betting and a lot of splitting of the pots — thus it is difficult at first for a novice player to understand all of the rules of the game.

Let’s start with how a "bad beat jackpot" may be awarded to a limit Omaha Hi/Lo poker player, and how the amount of money in the pot is divided among the players.

The amount of the jackpot changes each day — The Orleans computes the amount that has been collected from all of the Omaha Hi/Lo Split tables and then posts the amount that will be paid.

The poker room funds this jackpot by collecting $1 from each pot that exceeds a certain amount. This is dropped into the pot and, after deducting for the expense of administration, the sum is held until some unlucky player gets lucky and loses a very good high hand to a larger high

Hand — this is why it is called a "bad beat" jackpot.

Garrett Okahara, the director of poker operations at The Orleans poker room, has trained a very good group of professional poker dealers and floor people who will be happy to explain any and all of the bad beat rules. But you do not need to concern yourself with how you win a bad beat jackpot. The professionals in the poker room will take care of all of that.

Let me just recap: You must have at the end of the hand — when all of the cards are dealt and all of the betting is complete — a hand of four Jacks or better that loses to a higher poker hand. such as but not limited to four queens or higher!

Of course, the bad beat hand must be in accordance with the posted house rules, one of which says: Two of the four cards that you hold in your hand must be a part of the hand that is beaten. And the winner must have also used only two of the four cards that he holds to complete a hand that will beat four jacks are better.

That is why it is called a bad beat.

When this happens to you and you are lucky enough to be unlucky and lose the "hi" part of the pot (when making a high hand of four Jacks or better), then you will take home 45% of the pot.

The player that has the superior poker hand that beats the four Jacks or better will receive 23% of the bad beat pot.

All of the rest of the Omaha Hi/Lo Split poker players that are playing at Omaha poker tables in The Orleans at the time the bad beat jackpot will split 32% of the bad beat jackpot. This is called a table share.

Carol, I have never been lucky enough to be unlucky enough to have a hand as big as four Jacks beaten by a superior Omaha poker hand.

But I have been playing when it happened and I did receive a few hundred dollars as a table share.

I have so much more to explain about Omaha Hi/Lo Split poker that I will have to come back next week and tell more about how to play. But, before I go let me leave you with my:

Poker Tip of the Week

When playing Omaha Hi/Lo Split:

1. Never raise a pot before the flop: there are no bad Omaha hands — only bad flops.

2. When you want to play for "hi" only and you have a bunch of high cards (except when you are in the big blind), never play a hand that has less than 39 points.

3. When you wish to play for "lo" only (except when you are in the big blind), never play a hand that has less than three wheel cards, that is, ace, 2,3,4 or 5.

4. When you wish to play for both hi/lo (except when you are in the big blind), never play a hand that does not have a suited ace and two wheel cards.