What is Big O Poker: Rules, Strategy, and Gameplay – Learn How to Play Now​

What is Big O Poker: Rules, Strategy, and Gameplay – Learn How to Play Now​

What is Big O Poker: Rules, Strategy, and Gameplay – Learn How to Play Now​

Are you ready to dive into the thrilling world of ? A fascinating variation of Omaha , Big O combines the excitement of a split pot game with the challenge of mastering five cards and three community cards. Get ready to uncover the secrets to success in this captivating poker game as we explore its rules, strategies, and key differences from standard Omaha, answering the question: what is Big O Poker?

Key Takeaways

  • Big O Poker is a variation of Omaha poker, featuring an extra hole card and Hi-Lo split pot format.

  • Players must understand the rules and gameplay intricacies to be successful in Big O Poker, including starting hand selection, betting tactics based on position & aggression levels.

  • The game can be enjoyed online or at live poker rooms such as Bellagio & Foxwoods Resort Casino Connecticut.

Understanding Big O Poker

A group of people playing Big O Poker

Big O Poker, also known as Five Card Omaha, is a captivating poker game that shares many similarities with Pot Limit Omaha, making it easy to play big in both games. The primary difference lies in the addition of an extra hole card, bringing the total to five hole cards per player. This additional card significantly increases the number of two-card combinations a player can form, thus raising the likelihood of making strong hands.

Big O is a Hi-Lo split game, meaning that the pot is divided between the highest and lowest ranking hands. The 8 or Better rule stipulates that only cards 8 and lower are taken into account for the low, and a minimum of three such cards must be present on the board to make a low possible.

Grasping the basic mechanics of Big O Poker prepares you for riveting game action and competing for winning hands.

Differences from Standard Omaha

One of the most significant distinctions between Big O Poker and conventional Omaha is the extra hole card, which changes the dynamics of the game considerably. Instead of the customary four hole cards in standard Omaha, Big O Poker players are dealt five hole cards. This results in a greater number of two-card combinations that can be employed to form the best hand, with ten possible combinations in Big O Poker as opposed to six in four-card Omaha games.

Another key difference is the Hi-Lo split pot format in Big O Poker, which adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the game. Players must navigate the complexities of forming both high and low hands, while also considering the eight qualifier rule that affects the low hand rankings. Your success in Big O Poker depends significantly on mastering these differences.

Hi-Lo Split Game Mechanics

In a Hi-Lo split game like Big O Poker, pots are divided between high and low hands, with half the pot awarded to the best high hand and the other half awarded to the best low hand. Your starting hand must have at least two cards below an 8 to qualify for a low hand. Additionally, three low cards on the board must not pair with your cards.

The 8 or Better rule plays a significant role in Big O Poker; only cards 8 or lower are applicable to the low end of your hand, with cards over 8 being excluded. To play Big O Poker effectively, two hole cards and three board cards below 8 (no pairs) are required.

Grasping these Hi-Lo split game mechanics bolsters your ability to compete effectively and win pots in Big O Poker.

Big O Poker Rules and Gameplay

A group of people playing Big O Poker with five hole cards

Big O Poker is a variation of Omaha poker wherein players are dealt five hole cards instead of four, and the objective is to use precisely two of the hole cards and three community cards to form the strongest hand. A basic Big O strategy is essential for success in this exciting and challenging big o poker game. Incorporating a big o poker strategy can greatly improve your chances of winning in this pot-limit game, where the maximum bet size corresponds to the size of the pot.

The hand ranking for Big O Poker is consistent with that of standard Omaha poker, with a Royal Flush representing the highest hand and a high card the lowest. In a Hi-Lo split game, half of the pot is distributed to the holder of the highest-ranking hand, while the other half is awarded to the holder of the lowest-ranking hand.

A solid foundation for your Big O Poker journey is built on familiarizing yourself with these rules and gameplay intricacies.

Blinds and Preflop Action

In Big O Poker:

  • The small blind is posted by the player to the left of the button

  • The big blind is posted by the player to the left of the small blind

  • Each player is then dealt five hole cards face down

  • The preflop action begins with players wagering based on the strength of their hands

  • Players may bet, raise, call, or fold depending on the strength of their hand.

In Big O Poker, the choice of strong starting hands significantly impacts your chances of winning the pot.Preflop action is an opportunity for players to gather information about their opponents' hands based on their betting patterns and tendencies, which can be invaluable in later betting rounds.

Flop, Turn, and River

Following the preflop action, the dealer burns a card (discards the top card of the deck) before dealing the flop, which consists of three community cards placed face up on the table. Players still in the game can utilize these cards, along with their hole cards, to form the best five-card hand.

Betting action resumes, with players having the option to:

  • bet

  • raise

  • call

  • fold

These decisions are based on the strength of their hand and the community cards.

The dealer then burns another card before dealing the fourth community card, known as the turn. Another round of betting ensues, followed by the dealer burning a final card and revealing the fifth community card, called the river. The final betting round takes place, and if there are still players remaining in the hand, the showdown occurs, with the best five-card hand(s) winning the pot.

Showdown and Winning Hands

During the showdown in Big O Poker, all remaining players reveal their hands to determine the winner(s). Each player is required to make the best five-card hand they can using two of their hole cards and three of the community cards. The aim is to create the highest possible ranking poker hand. The player with the highest-ranking hand at the showdown wins the high half of the pot, while the player with the lowest-ranking hand wins the low half of the pot, provided their hand meets the 8 or Better criteria mentioned earlier.

In a Hi-Lo split game, it is possible for a single player to win the entire pot by having the best high and low hands or by having all their opponents fold their cards.

You can make informed decisions when betting and deciding whether to continue with a hand or fold in Big O Poker by understanding the showdown process and how winning hands are determined.

Basic Strategy for Big O Poker

A group of people playing Big O Poker with five hole cards and making bets

Adherence to a basic strategy is key to excelling in Big O Poker, which includes choosing strong starting hands and avoiding tilt due to high variance. Since Big Bang! O is a split pot game, hands that have the potential to win both the high and low halves of the pot are especially valuable. It is crucial to be aware of the strength of your hand in relation to the board and your opponents' potential holdings, as this can greatly influence your betting decisions.

In addition to strong starting hands, understanding the importance of position and applying aggression at the right moments is vital for success in Big O Poker. By employing a solid poker strategy, you will be better equipped to capitalize on your opponents' mistakes and minimize your own errors in this thrilling poker variation.

Starting Hand Selection

Selecting strong starting hands in Big O Poker is critical, as it gives you an improved chance of winning the pot. Possessing a strong starting hand provides you with the chance to make more assertive plays and enhance your chances of winning the pot. It is suggested to start with at least one suited ace and one low card, such as a 2 or 3, in Big O Poker. Hands such as KKQ87 should be avoided, as they lack the strength to provide a sufficient chance of winning the pot.

Focusing on selecting powerful starting hands prepares you to navigate the complexities of the split pot format, enhancing your chances of success in Big O Poker. Don't forget that a strong starting hand significantly impacts your ability to compete and win pots in this exciting game.

Position and Betting Tactics

Position is a significant factor in Big O Poker, as it provides the player with more information about the actions of other players before making a decision. Being in late position is the most advantageous position in Big O Poker, as it allows you to gather more information about your opponents' actions before you have to act. This information can be invaluable in determining the appropriate betting strategy to employ in any given situation.

Understanding effective betting tactics, such as raising preflop to reduce the number of opponents, betting on the flop to protect your hand, and checking the turn to encourage a bluff, can significantly enhance your chances of success in Big O Poker. By employing these tactics, you can take control of the pot and force your opponents to make difficult decisions, ultimately improving your overall performance in Big O Poker.

Advanced Tips for Big O Poker Success

A group of people playing Big O Poker and reading opponents

To truly excel in Big O Poker, you need to move beyond basic strategy and explore advanced techniques, which can give you an advantage over your opponents. Two key areas to focus on are analyzing your opponents and utilizing backup cards effectively. By paying close attention to your opponents' betting patterns, tendencies, and physical cues, you can gain valuable insights into their potential holdings and adjust your play accordingly.

Another advanced tip for Big O Poker success is to be aware of the power of backup cards. These are cards in your hand that can potentially improve your hand on later streets, providing additional outs and increased chances of winning the pot. By incorporating these advanced tips into your overall strategy, you will be well on your way to dominating the tables in Big O Poker.

Reading Opponents and Adjusting Play

Being able to read your opponents and adjust your play accordingly is one of the most valuable skills in Big O Poker. This involves:

  • Observing their betting patterns

  • Noting the strength of their bets

  • Looking for body language and verbal cues

  • Analyzing their preflop actions and refining their range based on flop action

By gathering this information, you can make more informed decisions about whether to call, raise, or fold in various situations.

To adjust your play based on your opponents' tendencies, consider how they typically react in certain situations and tailor your actions to exploit their weaknesses. For example, if your opponent is prone to bluffing with weak hands, you can adjust your play by calling more frequently when they make a bet. By fine-tuning your approach in response to your opponents' actions, you can significantly improve your overall performance in Big O Poker.

Managing Pot Size and Aggression

In Big O Poker, managing the pot size and applying aggression judiciously are key. Effective pot management allows you to capitalize on your opponents' mistakes and prevent costly errors on your part. Strategically avoiding bluffing into a small pot and attempting to win larger pots is recommended.

Additionally, pot control is essential to avoid making costly mistakes in this high-variance game.

Aggression is a key factor in Big O Poker, as it enables players to win pots without necessarily having the best hand. However, it is crucial to apply aggression judiciously and in line with your overall strategy. Understanding when to apply pressure and when to back off is vital in maintaining control of the pot and maximizing your chances of success in Big O Poker.

Playing Big O Poker Online and in Live Games

A group of people playing Big O Poker online

Whether you prefer the convenience and variety of online poker or the social atmosphere and challenge of live games, Big O Poker can be enjoyed in both formats. There are advantages and drawbacks to both online and live Big O Poker, and understanding these differences can help you choose the best option for your preferences and needs.

Online poker provides convenience and a platform to hone your skills from home, while live games offer a more social and interactive gaming experience. In addition, live games can be more challenging due to the presence of other players and the need to read their physical cues and tendencies.

Choosing between online or live Big O Poker ultimately depends on your personal preference and the kind of gaming experience you seek.

Online vs. Live Big O Poker

An image showing the rules and gameplay of Big O Poker, a variant of Omaha Hold'em with five hole cards, perfect for players wondering what is Big O Poker and how it differs in online and live settings.

The primary distinctions between online and live Big O Poker are:

  • Experience: Online poker provides a virtual experience, while live poker offers a tangible experience with social interaction.

  • Betting sizes: Online poker often has smaller betting sizes compared to live poker.

  • Speed: Online poker is generally played much faster than live games, allowing for more hands to be seen in the same amount of time.

  • Rake: The rake, or the fee taken by the house, may differ between online and live poker games.

Online poker is available 24/7 from anywhere with an internet connection, while live poker requires physical presence at a specific location.

On the other hand, live poker offers a more engaging atmosphere and enables players to detect physical cues and tells from their opponents. Players tend to wager larger amounts in live games compared to online games, and live poker usually has a higher rake compared to online poker. Weighing these factors can help you determine whether online or live Big O Poker is the best fit for you.

Recommended Poker Platforms and Rooms

There are several options available when choosing a platform or room for playing Big O Poker. Some recommended online poker sites include , , and Party Poker, which all offer Big O Poker and a wide variety of games and stakes. These platforms often provide bonuses and promotions to attract new players and keep existing players engaged.

For live Big O Poker action, popular poker rooms such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, and the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut are excellent options. These live poker rooms offer an immersive experience, allowing you to compete against other players and hone your skills in a social and challenging environment.

No matter which platform or room you choose, Big O Poker promises excitement and the opportunity to test your skills against opponents from around the world.


In conclusion, Big O Poker is an exciting and challenging poker variation that offers a unique twist on the classic Omaha game. By understanding the rules, gameplay, and strategic concepts, you can improve your chances of success and enjoy the thrilling experience that Big O Poker provides. Whether you choose to play online or in live games, mastering the skills and strategies outlined in this guide will help you become a formidable opponent at the Big O Poker tables. Are you ready to embark on your Big O Poker journey and rise to the challenge?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Big O and PLO?

Big O is a variant of pot-limit Omaha in which five cards are dealt to each player instead of four, and is often played as a hi-lo game.

PLO, on the other hand, deals four cards to each player and does not usually include the hi-lo option.

What is the best starting hand in Big O?

The best starting hand in Big O is widely accepted to be ace, ace-deuce, and three double suited on both of the aces for four cards, or with any Broadway card for five cards.


This gives the player a strong chance of making a big hand and winning the pot.

What is the big O in poker?

Big O is a variation of Omaha poker where each player is dealt five cards and the pot is split between the high and low hand (if it meets the 8-or-better rule).

It is also known as Omaha Hold'em or simply Omaha.

How are pots divided in Big O Poker's Hi-Lo split game format?

In Big O Poker's Hi-Lo split game format, the pot is divided between the highest and lowest ranking hands, with half awarded to the best high hand and the other half awarded to the best low hand.

This format allows for more players to win a portion of the pot, as the best high and low hands are both rewarded. It also adds an extra layer of strategy to the game, as players must decide whether to play for the high or low hand.

What is the significance of pot size management in Big O Poker?

Pot size management is an essential part of playing successful Big O Poker, allowing players to capitalize on their opponents' missteps while avoiding making costly mistakes themselves.