Texas Holdem Hi Low Poker
Texas Hold’em Hi/Lo poker also called Hi/Lo split is a variation of the standard game of poker where the pot is divided between the player with the highest hand(as in traditional Texas Hold’em) and the player with the lowest hand(also called a game of Lowball). This poker game of Hi/Low split is played in two types: on a declaration basis where a player has to declare whether he is playing for high or low and on card speak basis where all players play normally as in Texas Hold’em and on showdown everyone reveals their cards and decides the highest and lowest hand.
How to Play
The declaration method of playing Texas hold’em hi/lo poker declares verbally or using markers/chips whether his hand should be evaluated as a high hand or low hand. Upon showdown all players open their cards and from those who declared high, the highest hand is awarded half the pot and from those who called low, the lowest hand is given the second half.
The cards reveal system is simpler as upon showdown, all players show their cards and evaluate the lowest and highest hand and each is given one half of the pot. The betting structure is the same as standard Texas Holdem and cards are also dealt in the same order.
Rules & Strategy
While standard poker rules apply in Texas Hold’em Hi /Lo poker, some changes have to be incorporated because of the declaration factor. In the verbal form of declaration, the one who calls last can have position advantage. Thus a simpler ‘chips in hand’ method is sometimes used where simultaneous declaration can be done. This poker rule asks for a player to take two chips in his fist below the table. Then all players bring the closed fist above the table holding none, one or two chips in his hand. No chips imply ‘lo’ game, one chip implies ‘hi’ play while two chips imply ‘swing’ or both ways.
The swing poker rule mentions that a player has to either win or tie each of the hands i.e both hi and lo hands to win the pot. Sometimes a player can also tie on one particular hand and then he has to split that hand with the tied player. But if a swing player fails for the other half of the pot, then the second pot that he would’ve won is also awarded to the second best hand in that category.
Sometimes a minimum hand is kept as qualifier for both the hi and low hands in certain versions.
Texas Hold’em Hi/Lo poker game calls for special poker skills and poker strategy:
- Position: Calling your preference can give a huge position advantage. Thus if you are playing that format, then always see what others are calling and then access your position. Calling last is always an advantage.
- Bluffing: Bluffing can both be a very powerful tool as well as spoiler. Whilst bluffing from position can sometimes ensure that a player wins both pots but it can also bring his downfall.
- Swing calls: Swing calls are very tricky in this poker game. Thus call for swings if very sure of it and feel that the hand is neutral enough to win both.
- Meeting criterions: Sometimes certain criterions are mentioned for hi and low hands. For example: in some games, ‘no pair’ criterion is needed to win the low hand. Thus always ensure that you fulfill these criterions before calling.