What is High?
‘High’ is a term often heard in poker and blackjack relating to a card that ranks highly – usually a ten or a court card. When used in the context of a craps game, however, it refers to a bet at the ‘high’ side of the ‘horn’ bet, which is sometimes added to the four-way bet. This bet wins a double payout if the chosen number – 11 or 12 – is rolled in the next turn.
The word high will crop up often in casino slang. It usually means a card that has a high value; it is, therefore, desirable to hold in the hand as it has a good chance of beating another. The ace is usually the highest card, but in games where ‘ace is low’, the king takes the highest spot.
In craps, the word high has a different meaning. It refers to a kind of bet that can be placed on a single turn by the game’s shooter – the player currently rolling the dice. The high bet is part of the horn bet – a bet that one of the numbers 2, 3, 11 or 12 will be rolled on the next turn. These are the hardest numbers to get in the game, as there are only two sets of numbers which make these up – 1 and 1 or 1 and 2 for the low horn bets, and 5 and 6 or 6 and 6 for the high horn bet.
Players who make the horn bet usually place a minimum wager on all four of the numbers; for example, a £1 bet on either 2, 3, 11 or 12 being rolled. The high bet is an additional wager of the same value, which doubles up the wager on either 11 or 12. If this number is rolled on the next turn, the player wins a double stake at a 36:1 chance. Players who win their high bet make a good profit, but the odds are long and the four-way spread makes for a large house edge.