How to Play Big O Poker and 4 Strategies

How to Play Big O Poker

If you just master at Texas Holdem or Pot Limit Omaha, then we recommend you to learn how to play Big O Poker.

Big O is one types of poker that is very much like Omaha, aside from the fact that the player will manage five-hole cards rather than four. As in this game, players require use two of their hole cards at showdown and three of the community board cards to create the best five-card poker hand. 

In this article, we will explain to you all the basics of Big O Poker and some tips to help you play with the best skills!

What is Big O Poker?

Big O Poker Definition
Big O Poker Definition

Before we jump into how to play Big O Poker, let’s start this article with the basic information. The full name of the poker in this question is actually 5 Card Omaha Hi Lo 8 or Better. It is definitely way too long for anyone to want to use. 

With that reason, players will quickly come up with a much shorter name of Big O, that sounds a million times better and offers a fast way to talk about the game. As the name suggests, Big O is obviously a Hi Lo version of 5 Card Omaha. It means all players will be dealt 5-hole cards, and the pot is divided into half between the best high and the best low hand. 

The 8 or Better rule is used in Big O. This means only cards 8 and lower count towards the low and at least 3 such cards need to be on the board in order for low to be possible. 

How to Play Big O Poker (Basic Rules)

How to play Big O Poker much like playing 5 Card Omaha. It is a new game in the mix that means it is not yet solved, and different players will have greatly different approaches to it. With 5 hole cards per player, the variance in Big O can be massive. 

In addition, it can seem like the worst hand keeps on winning again and again. However, this is obviously not true, and practicing how to play Big O Poker strategy will reward you even more than playing in Texas Holde. It is because players will make even bigger mistakes at the tables. 

Well, the basic Big O rules that you must remember include the following:

  • 5 hole cards will be dealt to every player
  • 5 community players will be dealt for everyone to use
  • Exactly 2 hole cards must be used at showdown
  • All betting is limited to the size of the pot in the game
  • Half of the pot will be rewarded to the best Hi hand
  • Half of the pot will be rewarded to the best Lo hand
  • Full pot will be rewarded to the best Hi hand if no Lo is available

Of course, how to play Big O Poker is a lot more complex than just these few basic rules. However, if you already know how to play Omaha poker, it will be a lot easier. 

Tips and Tricks in Big O Strategy

Now that we have covered all the most important things on how to play Big O Poker. In this section, we will cover some tips that will change the way you play the game, and ensure that you will be playing a profitable game against most players at the table. 

1. Position is Gold in Big O 

Position is crucial in all types of poker. However, all Omaha games make position even more essential. In Big O, you really want to have the position more than anything else. 

Playing the button and cutoff as often as you are allowed to and ensuring you build big pots in position with good cards are the most important strategic adjustments. Since you will be drawing more often in this poker variation, being in position is a must. It will allow you to dictate the game flow and control the size of the pot. 

2. Choose Your Hands Carefully

All types of Omaha poker revolve heavily around holding the nuts. However, Big O makes this feature even more crucial. On how to play Big O Poker, holding the second nut Lo or the second nut flush at showdown means losing more often that is not. That is why starting hand selection is very critical here.

3. Use Pressure with Equity

While bluffing too much on how to play Big O Poker, it will leave you exposed to being exploited a bit. By doing so at the right time will make money for you. Whenever you hold hands with a lot of poker equity here, especially in position, you will start betting big and often get the positive results. 

4. Slow Play The Bet Hands

While slow playing is not always the best idea on how to play Big O Poker, it can be quite a strong play. Most importantly, when you have a hand that is good for both the Hi and the Lo. 

For example, imagine you have a set and the nut Lo on the return, and there is a bet and a call in front of you. If you choose to raise at this time, you will often end up getting players to fold hands that have every little equity against your hand. 

On the other hand, choosing calling, you might convince at least one of the two opponents that you only have a Lo. You are just drawing to the Hi, or are otherwise not as strong as you are. 

Final Words

Big O Poker is easily one of the most interesting poker games available these days. It is one that will let you play quite a few hands and have a lot of fun. The most important thing to keep when practicing how to play Big O Poker is discipline, as playing too much out of position or playing too loose will lead to some bad experiences. 

Remember that the Big O strategy, play with discipline and patience, and you will be rewarded again and again as your opponents will make mistakes and misplay their hands across the board. 


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