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Rankings of Low Hands in Split-pot games

The best low hand, composed of five unpaired cards with a rank of eight or lower, captures half of the pot when you're playing Omaha/8 or 7-stud/8. A hand like 7?6?5?3?2?, beats 8?5?4?2?A?, but loses to 7?5?4?2?A?.

The worst possible qualifying low hand is 8-7-6-5-4, while the best low hand - called a wheel or a bicycle - is 5-4-3-2-A. A wheel can be tied, in which case all players holding wheels split the low end of the pot, but it can't be beaten. Because a wheel is also a five-high straight, it stands a good chance of being the best high hand as well as the best low hand. If it is, and it's the only wheel, the proud holder of that wheel scoops the entire pot.

Figuring out the best low hand can take some practice. Just begin with the highest of the low cards and continue in descending order. In Omaha you must use exactly two cards from your hand and exactly three from the five community cards to form your best five-card low hand. Remember, you need five different ranks to have a low hand.

In 7-stud/8, your low hand (if you have one) is the five lowest cards of different ranks from the seven you've been dealt. In virtually all Internet games, all must be of the eighth rank or lower.

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