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Scooped and Quartered In Omaha Hi-Lo

In this article, you will learn what it means to "scoop" a pot and the disastrous effects of being "quartered" as those terms pertain to the game of Omaha Hi-Lo-8-or-Better.

Scooped and quartered are the two most important words in the Omaha Hi-Lo lexicon and it is therefore extremely important that you gain adequate understanding of them.

Begging to Get Quartered

Let's talk about being quartered first, on the premise of "gimme the bad news first."

It is necessary in Omaha 8 to be able to put people on a general hand. You need to quickly figure out, using player tendencies combined with the board texture, who is most likely to be going for the high hand and who is most likely to be going for the low hand.

Pay attention to the number of low cards on the board at all times. Average or subpar Hi-Lo players will often get stuck drawing with four-to-a-low and next to no hope of hitting the high side of the hand. These people are just begging to get quartered.

With three people in the hand, and two of them going for the same low (which commonly occurs with an A-2-x-x holding for each), they both stand to lose money--even if they hit their hands!

Only the high hand will profit in this case because he will get half the pot returned to him, while only contributing about a third. The other two will split the low half, a quarter of the pot each, but they each contributed the same third to the pot.

For example, if the pot is $24, and it's a three-way hand, each player contributed about $8 to the pot. The high hand gets $12, resulting in a $4 profit. However, the two "winning" low hands get only $6 a piece, resulting in a $2 loss for each of those players.

The low hands in this case have been "quartered." Avoid this mistake by always giving yourself a chance to win both the high and the low hands.

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Scoopage Is Beautiful

Now for the good news: scoopage.

A scoop occurs in Omaha 8 when one player wins the entire pot for himself. This event mostly happens when you play with good, solid starting hands.

These are hands such as Ac-2c-As-3s, where you have nut low and nut high possibilities. If you look closely at this hand, you will notice that you have two different nut flush possibilities, you have multiple nut low possibilities, and you have AA for the highest full house possibility. In other words, you are sitting pretty, pre-flop.

If the flop does your hand justice, you will have a very good chance to win the high side outright.

However, there will be much more money in the pot if there is a low possibility on the board too. With a lot of players in this hand, drawing dead to practically any cards that help you, you stand to make a very nice profit by "scooping" the entire pot.

In a case like this, everyone in the hand is subsidizing your attempts at a scoop.

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The Key: Play Good Quality Starting Hands

Playing good quality starting hands will allow you to minimize the times you are quartered and maximize the times that you scoop.

In Omaha 8, a good quality starting hand can be defined as a hand that can win both the high and low sides. Of course not every flop will accommodate your dreams of scoopage, and even the best players can get quartered.

Nevertheless, by focusing on playing starting hands that have both high nut and low nut possibilities, you can put yourself on the path towards becoming a more profitable Omaha Hi-Lo player.

In that sense, the word "both" may be more important in this game than scooped and quartered put together.

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