Close this search box.

What Is High Card in Poker?

What Is High Card in Poker?

The worst possible hand on the poker hand rankings list is High Card. It consists solely of a High Card, meaning that the player holds no pair or any other hand types. The name for this hand has most people thinking that it’s a hand with the highest card, but if you’re playing Texas Hold ’em, this is, in fact, the lowest possible hand.

In poker, high card refers to a hand in which this card is the player’s highest-ranked card. So, for example, if a player has a starting hand of K♥, 9♠, on a table with 7♣, 6♥ J♣, 3♠ would be referred to as “High King” rather than “no pair,” and the King is then the player’s High Card.

High Card is typically used as a tiebreaker when two or more players have similar hands. For example, if two players have a pair of jacks at the end of the river card, the one with the highest “kicker” (high card) would win.

Let’s suppose player A has a Queen and a Jack at the showdown. Player B has an 8 and a Jack. In this scenario, player A would win since he High Queen, beats player B’s High Jack. 

High card in poker can also be used as a betting strategy. In this case, the player would bet on their high card as if it were a made hand. This can be effective when the player has a good position, and few other betting options are available.

Benefits of High Card in Poker

 High card is the most basic hand in poker and is often seen as the least valuable. However, high card can be very useful in certain situations. Here are some benefits of holding a high card in poker:

  • It can help you win small pots. If you have a high card, you have a better chance of winning small pots than a lower card. This is because high cards are more likely to beat other low cards.
  • It can give you extra information. If you have a high card, you can use it to get additional information about your opponents’ hands. For example, if you have an Ace and your opponent has a King, you can assume they have a strong hand. This information can be beneficial when deciding how to bet or whether to fold.
  • It can be used as a bluffing tool. Although high cards aren’t worth much on their own, they can be used to bluff your opponents into thinking you have a stronger hand than you actually do. This can be a great way to win pots that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to win.
  • Bet on the flop. When the flop is dealt, take a look at your cards and decide if you have a good chance of winning with them. If you have a high card, there’s a good chance that you have a better hand.