Omaha 8 is a very popular variation of the Omaha poker game (specifically, the Omaha Hi/Lo game. The underlying rules are very comparable to those elaborated in the Omaha Hi page of our site (please review this description for more detailed rules), but there are some subtle differences which are described here, which gives the game its own flavor.
In Omaha 8 games, the pot is split between BOTH the Lo and Hi hands; i.e., there are 2 players that claim victory in each game. Hi or Lo best hands are derived from the same cards.
Additionally, 1 single hand can win both the Hi and the Lo portions of the pot. As an example of this, a hand known as "the Wheel", which consists of an Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5, can conceivably win both the Hi and Lo hands.
In a given hand, if there is no obvious qualifying Lo hand winner, the best Hi hand will win the entire pot.
In the division of the pot, the Hi hand receives any odd chip, over the Lo hand.
Other than that, all the regular rules of an Omaha Hi/Lo game are in effect except that a qualifier of 8-or-lower for the Lo hand applies. Essentially, what this means is that the winning low hand can only consist of cards under the value of 9. Hence, the Flop would need to consist of 3 cards under the value of 9.
In order to qualify for the low half of the pot, the low hand must be 8 or lower. That is why this game is named "8 or better", or for short, "Omaha 8".
Some interesting scenarios of the Omaha 8 (and Omaha Hi/Lo) rules are that straights and flushes do not count against you when you are competing to win the Lo game. Additionally, you can use different cards in your hand for the Lo portion and different cards for the Hi portion of your hand considerations, or better yet, you can even use the same cards for both the Lo and Hi hands.