What is ‘High Ball’?
The term ‘High Ball’ is used to describe standard poker gameplay, in which the player with the highest-scoring hand wins. This is the opposite of Low Ball poker, in which the ranking rules are inverted and the lowest hand wins.
‘High Ball’ Explained
‘High Ball’ refers to a regular game of poker. In a game of ‘High Ball’ poker, normal rules apply, which dictate that the bettor who holds the highest hand wins the round. This is the opposite of ‘Low Ball’ poker, which refers to a game of poker in which the regular hand rules are reversed – meaning that the lowest-scoring hand would win in any given round.
In a game of ‘High Ball’ poker, the highest-ranking hands are, in order from highest and working downwards: the royal flush, the straight flush, four of a kind, the full house, the flush, the straight, three of a kind, two pairs, pair, and finally, high card. In a hand classified as high card, the person with the highest card(s) would victor over another person with a lower-scoring high card hand, but they would still be among the bottom-ranking players in the round.
In ‘Low Ball’, however, this system of ranking is reversed. In this type of poker game, there are a few ways of ranking low hands. These are: ace-to-six low, ace-to-five low (the most common ‘Low Ball’ ranking system), and deuce-to-seven low. In itself, the ace-to-five system has several variants, one of which is called ‘High-Low Poker’. In a poker game of this sort, the players with the lowest hand and the highest hand share the pot, and the player with the high hand takes any leftover chips should the pot not equally divide.
Having various ways of ranking hands within casino games makes this popular game more interesting, with a variety of ways in which a player can win.