All you need to know: High Card Poker Hand Ranking

When you hear the word ‘High Card,’ your mind may trick you into thinking that this is some novelty or that this is a rare situation where you hold superior cards that will easily win you the prize. However, in reality, the High Card poker hand is the worst possible hand that you could ever have in any given situation. To win at a game like Texas Hold’em, the ending solely relies on who it is that holds the best five-card poker hand for it is he alone who wins the pot.

There are 10 possible poker hand rankings and those are- Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, and then finally we have the poker High Card ranking which makes it undoubtedly the least favourite, and the weakest hand that you could have at the table.

Poker High Card Rules

Since we have established a basic understanding of what the High Card denotes in poker games, let us now look at a couple of key points players must bear in mind while dealing with them.

- Ranking of the High Card in Poker

Most poker games like Texas Hold’em are played using the 52-card French deck wherein there are 1,302,540 possible High Card combinations. The High Card itself is said to have formed only when your poker hand does not fit any of the distinct nine poker hands. Being at the bottom, this is the weakest five-card hand you can have. It can beat none and is always vulnerable. When dealing with a High Card poker hand, it is important to recognize the highest individual card you hold since that alone is responsible for deciding what your High Card rank is technically. The higher the card, the better it is. This means that a Queen High card hand beats a Jack High one and an Ace High Card hand beats a King High one, and that is how the chain follows.

- Tiebreaker

Now that we recognize the High Card hand ranking as the one that sits at the bottom of all possible poker hand combinations, we must also acknowledge another context where the term ‘High Cards’ comes in handy while playing the poker game. High cards also work as potential tiebreakers during the showdown when two or more players have the same hand ranking. This is another implementation that High Card rules poker have. Although this is a rare circumstance, it does happen, especially during poker tournaments. In such a situation, when players have their hands clashing with one another, the hand with the higher ranking claims the pot. For instance, if two players arrive at the showdown and both hold straights, then the one holding an ace-high straight wins the prize pool since the ace here acts as the High Card.

Probability of Holding a High Card

Usually, when poker players look at probabilities, they wish to know their odds in holding cards that bring them closer to their luck. In the case of high cards however, you might want to check out the probabilities of having one just to ensure that you don’t end up owning it during an intense high stakes game. For our illustration, we will consider the odds for you to end up with the High Card hand in a game of Texas Hold’em during the preflop, the flop, the turn and the river rounds.

Preflop 50.12 When five cards are drawn at random from a 52-card deck

Flop 67.70 relying on unpaired and unsuited hole cards

Turn 87.23 relying on unpaired and unsuited hole cards

River 86.96 relying on unpaired and unsuited hole cards

And that is the utmost 101 you will need when learning about the High Card ranking in poker. Although not the most popular, and definitely the most dreaded among them all, high cards are just another factor of poker’s unpredictability. Even the most experienced and dominant of players end up with high cards and look to turn their fortunes around. It may be the weakest, but sometimes even the strongest of hands can fail in poker if they aren’t played with precision. By employing the right poker strategies and the ability to bluff the right way, a High Card can be used in ways that it isn’t often attributed to.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the High Card ranking and be sure to visit Spartan Poker for plenty more of such informative blogs and articles that are catered towards bringing you the best poker experience online. If you are new to Spartan, you could avail a ton of rewards and bonuses by registering at our website and downloading our app. From Texas Hold’em to 7-card stud and even video poker, we have several games available with the smoothest engine to give you the finest user experience. So, join Spartan and get going with playing poker online.