I have a question here: the Hi-Lo pokers I have played, long time ago, live games with friends, low can’t be high. Low to mean the worst draw. A-5 straight can not be low. Anyone have any idea when was this rule introduced (A-5 can be low), or it was always like that?
Another discrepancy I observed is a quad needs a kicker, (when the table draws a quad). Quad is a quad, it doesn’t need to further qualify with the kicker. Any comment?
I have heard of variances of Hi Lo where a straight A-5 is an exception, but the more famous one is the one we play here at replay, where A to 5 is the lowest lo.
Regarding quads, yes you absolutely need a kicker if 4 of a kind is on the board.
If the board shows quads and no ace (example 3-2-2-2-2), the player who has an ace, or the highest kicker, wins the pot. Unless the 5th card is an ace itself (A-2-2-2-2) then it’s a split. If the board shows A-A-A-A-x then the player holding a K or the highest kicker wins the pot as well, etc… These are the situations where the kicker defines who wins the hand.
As I understand the history, in the oldest known “low” games (circa 1890s), the lowest low was 7-5-4-3-2 of mixed suits. In those games, the Ace was high only except in a straight, straights and flushes counted as highs (both were lower than full houses, quads, or straight flushes, in other words). Such games can still be found occasionally, called “Kansas City Lowball.” It is largely a regional game, seldom seen in the eastern part of the USA. Next came the Eastern Lowball hand that counted straights and flushes as highs, but counted the Ace as being low. That held the lowest low to be 6-4-3-2-A of mixed suits. At some point in the late 30s or early 40s, California’s legal card clubs agreed that neither the straights nor the flushes should count toward low in the draw game of Lowball, and this variant proved very popular. When Nevada casinos started offering high-low split games, they decided to do away with the “declaration” (of which part/s of the pot players were competing for, opting instead to play the games as “cards read” (meaning the best hands win their direction/s). To further simplify the process (and the dealer’s lives), they also followed the Lowball convention of not counting straights and flushes, just the low cards contained within them. Kansas City Lowball Draw is still offered in some places, I think including the WSOP. Again, these conventions are largely local, so before sitting in a local live game, check the house rules or you may be very disappointed. In my area, one local game goes with the 6-4 low and another (2 miles away and with some of the same players) uses the Wheel as the best low. There is no “universal” agreement on this, just house rules.
Flushes and straights do not count towards low, and also you have to declare whether you are betting low or high. That was the older version of the game. Casinos slightly simplified to ease the game for both the players and the dealers. Very nice information. Thank you.
Thanks to all for your feedback on this hand! It was great to see everyone’s analysis and different takes about how a hand like this would be played. I’ve randomly drawn from all participants in the thread, and these five players are 50,000 chips richer!
We’ll be posting our analysis of December’s Hand of the Month on our blog soon, and we’ll be ending this promotion with that final hand. Thanks again to everyone who has submitted a hand or chimed in on these threads! We have some different things in store for you this year.
I’m sorry to hear that this promotion is coming to an end. It helped breathe new life into the Poker Strategy section of the forums, both creating really interesting conversation fodder, as well as convincing players that only lurked or perused other forum categories to come out of the woodwork and add their two cents. We’ve gone from having two or three new Poker Strategy threads a month to seeing a new one pop up every day (thanks in no small part by relative newcomers like @puggywug ), with a great blend of newbies and tough regs breaking down hands.
While I hope that the current level of discussion in this category continues, should it begin to flag, I hope Replay will consider reinstating the Hand of the Month promotion.
Seconded. I liked the HOTM promotion, and had already submitted one for consideration for January I’m sure it was a more labor intensive promotion to run, since someone had to read all those emails and pick a winner, but it was a lot of fun to read them, and see an entertaining hand with commentary.
I think we can still post hands and dissect them, it just won’t be a contest anymore. Those wishing to post or comment–or just read, like me–ought to still be able to do so. The topic is interesting, but the amount of effort that must’ve gone into it had to be massive. Unless someone shuts off the topic, and I doubt that’ll happen.
Can you even have quads in Omaha if all 4 cards are on the board? Since you have to use 2 cards from your hand, it seems to me the best possible hand is a full house, if quads are showing on the board. Kind of like when there is a flush on the board and the winning hand is 2 pair. Correct me if I’m wrong - I’m still fairly new to Omaha
Thanks for the great feedback – it’s great to hear that some of you had fun with this promotion! We’re still choosing a hand from December that will be going up on our blog, though there won’t be a cross-post over here this time. We’ll be posting the analysis and messaging the winner on Monday, and encourage folks to post their thoughts over on the blog (though anyone is welcome to chat about it in a thread on the forum, too – there just won’t be an official one).
We may end up doing another iteration of this promotion in the future, especially if we can better communicate that we’re not looking for statistical anomalies so much as hands that were played in an interesting way.