What Is a High Card In Poker- Odds, Probabilities, and Rankings

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Last Updated: January 6, 2024

What Is a High Card Poker Hand

High Card is the absolutely worst possible combination, according to poker hand rankings. If you have a High Card combination, it means you do not have any pair in your hand and not holding five consecutive cards or all cards of the same suit.

However, you will rarely hear a player say, “I have a High Card,” since it is often referred to as the highest card in the combination. Here are a couple of examples:

  • A Q 9 5 4 – is called an Ace-high poker hand.
  • Q J 7 8 2 – is called Queen-high.
  • 9 5 4 3 2 – is called Nine-high, etc.

So High Card hand is actually called based on the highest card in the combination, and it is the weakest possible holding standing tall in 10 out of 10 places in the official poker hands list.

High Card Odds and Probabilities

While you surely do not want to make this hand when playing, knowing some basic odds will help you get the feel of how often will you be facing it in your Texas Holdem games:

  • The odds of making a High Card is 50.1177% when you draw five random cards from the deck.
  • The odds of flopping just a High Card is 66.9% with any unpaired hand, so that is the most likely outcome.

There are plenty of other probabilities that might be interesting for you, so if you want to learn more, just check the poker odds page, but these are the most important numbers. The biggest takeaway here is that you will miss the flop most of the time, and you should not be frustrated about that since your opponents will also miss most of the time.

What does a High Card beat?

A High Card combination is the weakest of all possible poker hands, so it does not beat anything apart from a weaker High Card combination.

It loses to all made hands, including One Pair, Two Pair, Three of a Kind, Straight, Flush, Full House, Quads, Straight Flush, and Royal Flush.

Which High Card is the strongest?

The best High Card combination is an Ace-high hand A K Q J 9. With this holding, you would beat all other High Card hands.

While this hand is not strong, you will see many hero calls made with just an Ace-high, which makes this an exciting play.

After all Ace-high hands, the next strongest holding is King-high, Queen-high, etc.

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