What is a ‘High Hand’?
‘High hand’ is a poker hand which has the highest rank against the others in that round. The high hand wins the pot in most forms of poker. This high hand could contain anything from a single high card through to a royal flush or a five or a kind, depending on the rules of the game being played. Where two high hands tie, the pot might be split or a tiebreak decision made.
‘High Hand’ Explained
In most forms of poker, players are aiming to make the highest ranking hand they can, and beat the hands of their opponents in the process. Unless the game has lowball rules, cards rank from 2-A (and in some circumstances, A-K) and the value of any hand is determined through the combinations and sets of numbers and suits in that hand. These hands usually consist of five cards, which might all be held by the player or be a mix of face up and face down table cards.
The ‘high hand’ is the highest hand at the table at any given point in the game. Because poker contains variables like the draw or the flop, players can improve their hand and might lose control of the high hand – or gain it – as play moves on. When the showdown occurs, the high hand is the best hand which is still in play.
The highest possible hand in poker is usually the royal flush (a suited set of 10-J-Q-K-A) and a player who holds this is certain to win in most cases. However, the high hand could be something as simple as 3-4-6-8-K, if no other player has a pair or a card high than the king. Any combination of cards can therefore make up the ‘high hand’. Most usually though, the high card will be a pair or better – especially in games with three or more players.