
Reading the Board: Principles for Reading Low Boards
Reading low boards in Omaha Poker can be a little tricky, too. There are 4 basic principles to get you started:
 You must use exactly two and only two cards from your hand.
 You must have a 5card poker hand in which all cards are lower than an 8. This means your final hand must be 8hi or lower.
 It is the highest card in your hand that counts first, not the lowest, and an Ace counts for low. So if you have A2358 for low, then you first look at the highest card, the 8 to determine what your low is. If anyone else has a 5card hand whose highest card is lower than an 8 then they beat you. So A2367 beats A2358. Another way to think of this is to turn your hand around and write it as a number. So here, your A2358 would be written as a number as 85,321, which is a higher number than 76,321. The lowest number wins.
 Flushes and straights don't count. You are just looking at the rank of the hands. So the best possible low is A2345.
Question 1: You have A2TK, the board is 78JQK. What is your low?
Answer 1: You don't have a low. There are not 5 cards which are all lower than an 8.
Question 2: You have A2TK, the board is 788QK. What is your low?
Answer 2: You don't have a low. There need to be 5 cards of separate ranks all lower than an 8. If you pick the A2 from hand, the 3 lowest cards on the board are 788 making your entire hand A2788. Your hand needs to be 8hi or lower, but you have one pair which beats 8hi.
Question 3: You have ATKK, the board is 34567. What is your low?
Answer 3: You don't have a low. You must pick exactly two cards from your hand and three from the board, and then have all of them be lower than an 8 and not duplicate each other. You don't have 2 cards in your hand that are 8 or lower.
Question 4: You have A23K, the board is 234QK. What is your low?
Answer 4: You don't have a low. You can pick A2 from your hand, but must take 34Q from the board so don't have 5 cards lower than an 8. Or you pick A2 from hand and 234 from the board, but then your hand is A2234 and you have 1pair which is higher than 8hi. When the board duplicates some of the cards in your hand, it's called counterfeiting your hand, and we'll have a deeper look at that in the next section.
These examples make it look like a low is rare, but as it turns out, a low will be possible around 60% of the time.