Whether you are playing poker for fun or your aim is to win, it is important to know the difference between regular and Hi-Lo poker games. Both types will be a great test of your strategies as well as skills.
Regular poker follows a basic format, and all other types of poker also use this format. Basically in the start of the game, players have to make a contribution to the pot. This is where the chips are present. Then players are dealt cards. The number of cards depends on the type of poker you are playing. Also, the all the cards can be hidden or just some. Then based on the strength of the cards, players place their bets in each betting round. After all the rounds are over, the player with the strongest hand, or the player who still has his cards after all the other players have folded their hands is declared the winner and take the pot.
Whether you are playing regular poker or Hi-Lo poker, it is important that you know the strength of your hand. You should also be able to read the other players hand, be able to bluff, or realize when another player is bluffing.
Usually in regular poker, there is just winner. This is the player with the strongest hand, or the players who is left standing while all other players have folded their hands. This player takes the entire pot. In Hi-Lo poker, the pot is split and not taken by a single player. Rather the player with the strongest hand and the one with the lowest hand divide the pot between them. Hi-Lo poker is a variation that is commonly seen in Omaha and Stud 8/b.
Let us have a look at regular Omaha and Hi-Lo Omaha to make this difference between regular and hi-lo poker games more distinct.
Omaha is quite similar to Texas Hold’em. However, in stead of two hole cards, each player is dealt with four hole cards. In addition, there are five community cards. In regular Omaha, the winning hand must use two hole cards and three community cards. This is mandatory.
After the first round of betting, three cards are dealt at the center of the table. This is the flop. Then the betting resumes. After that one card is dealt, which is the turn. This is followed by another round of betting, and then followed by the last community card being dealt, which is the river. This is followed by the last round of betting and then there is the showdown. The player with the strongest hand wins the pot.
Regular Omaha can be played as no-limit, pot-limit and fixed-limit versions. However, the most common versions are the pot-limit and fixed-limit. The no-limit is rare and seldom played.
Hi-Lo Omaha is quite popular in online poker rooms. The main rules are similar to Texas Hold’em and regular Omaha, but there are some changes that make the game extremely enjoyable.
In this version too, players are dealt four hole cards, and just hole cards have to be used with three community cards to make a combination. The major difference here is that the combination can be the highest or the lowest.
In case the community cards do not allow a player to make the lowest combination, he can only play for high combination. In order to make a low combination, the hand must have 8 and lower cards. For example, 8,7,6,5 and 4 will be considered a low hand. Whether it is a winning hand will depend on the other players, who are also playing for a low hand. In case another player has 6,5,4,3 and 2, then he will win half the pot. In Omaha, Ace can be used as a high or low card. The only rule for making low combination is ensuring that the cards do no overlap.
Having a straight or flush is definitely not good for a low hand. The best low hand in Omaha hi-lo would be A, 2, 3, 4 and 5. While a straight could help the player win the high hand. Sometimes, it is quite possible that two players have the same hand. In this case, the pot will again be divided into two and shared between the players. In case the chips are uneven when the high pot or the low pot is split, the extra chips will always go to the winners of the high pot.
This should give you are better understanding of the differences between regular and hi-low poker games.