In traditional poker games, just like in traditional online blackjack game, the player with the strongest hand wins the pot while in lowball poker the pot is awarded to the player with the weakest hand. But the games in which these both rules are combined are even more popular. In such games known as High Low split games (or simply Hi/Lo) the pot is split between the player with the strongest hand and the player with the weakest hands. This is uncommon for other casino games like blackjack and roulette game where each player gets his wins depending on his blackjack or roulette bets.
How to play
There are two ways High Low split poker is played. According to one method, the players must declare whether they contest for the high or low hand and in the showdown the strongest hand is chosen among those declared for High, and lowest hand is chosen among the hands declared for Low. But the “cards speak” method is more common. According to this method the players reveal their cards in the showdown and the winning hands are determined by their strength that can be evaluated by all players at the table.
In case of ties the pot can be divided into more than two parts. For example, if in the showdown one player with the High hand wins the half of the pot and two players tie for the Low hand another half of the pot is split between them (each player with the Low hand wins the quarter of the pot).
In most Hi/Lo poker games the player must qualify to claim for the low half of the pot. For example, in “Eight-or-better” poker the player who holds eight-high or lower can win the half of the pot but if he or she holds nine-high of higher the pot is not split and player with the high hand wins the whole pot. Usually, there is no qualifier for the High hand. Note that in poker games where more than five cards are dealt to create five card hand (for example, in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo) the player can claim for both High and Low win. Thus the chances to win are higher in Hi/Lo poker games and that’s why they are very popular with professional players.
Among the most popular Hi/Lo poker games featured at most online poker rooms are Omaha Hi/Lo (or Eight-or-better Omaha) and 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo.
Playing poker for a living gives you backbone. You cannot survive without that intangible quality we call heart.
Bobby Baldwin, 1978 WSOP winner