High-Low Split

What is a ‘High-Low Split’?

‘High-Low Split’ is a form of poker which combines the rules of highball and lowball poker in one game. The game plays like standard poker, except players choose whether to aim for a high or low hand, they declare this intention to the table. The pot for the game is split at the end between the winning high hand and the winning low hand, with each taking an even stake.

‘High-Low Split’ Explained

In ‘High-Low Split’ poker games, there are essentially two games taking place at the same time – even though the game plays out like a normal round of poker, with each player taking their turn according to the rules of that game. Draw, stud and hold’em games can all be played as highball or lowball poker, and high-low split is a combination of the two styles.

In highball poker, or standard poker, players are searching for the highest ranking hand they can make. There are chances to improve this hand during play, and at the end of the game, the hands will be assessed. The lowest card that can win is a single high card; the highest hand is usually a royal flush. In lowball poker, the game style is the same but the winning ranks are reversed in value. The cards run from high to low, so a 2-2 pair beats a 6-6 pair in lowball games.

A high-low split game combines both styles. Players can choose to chase a high hand or a low one, which they will usually decide on the basis of their opening deal. Some games require that a player declares their intentions towards a high or low hand, but this is not always necessary. At the game’s showdown when all cards are revealed, the highest hand and the lowest one are both deemed winners. The prize pot is split evenly between both players.