High Card Flush
High Card Flush is a hybrid table game based on traditional poker. If you’ve ever been curious about playing High Card Flush but unwilling to risk real money without learning the ropes first, this page is for you.
This OUSC guide includes a thorough description of the game’s rules and procedures, including a running example hand to help illustrate the concepts. Learn expert strategy tips to play correctly and increase your odds of winning.
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High Card Flush Rules
High Card Flush incorporates elements from games like Caribbean Stud Poker and Three Card Poker. If you’re not already familiar with them, take a moment to read up on both of those games, as the betting structure and other aspects will be similar. High Card Flush uses a standard 52 card deck of playing cards, and all cards are valued at their usual rank.
However, rather than ranking actual poker hands like Pairs, Three of a Kind, or Straights, High Card Flush is all about forming strings of suited cards, also known as a flush for poker rookies.
Understanding High Card Flush Hand Rankings
The objective of High Card Flush is to land strings of consecutive suited cards (all hearts, spades, diamonds, or clubs). When playing traditional poker, players need to hold five suited cards to form a flush, but in High Card Flush, your longest string of suited cards is what you’ll be playing.
If you are dealt three high hearts along with four low spades, you’ll always play the four-card flush over the three-card variety. Your highest string of suited cards is known as the “maximum flush.” Seven-card maximum flushes are higher than six-card maximum flushes, which outrank five-card, and so on down the line.
The worst you’ll ever hold is a two-card maximum flush (with something like Ad Ks 10h 9c 8d 7s 2h). In this case, you have a pair of two card flushes (Ad 8d and Ks 7s).
The best hand you can hold is a seven-card maximum flush, and should the dealer hold the same, that tie is broken using the same high card process.
How to Play High Card Flush
Take a look at this quick and easy step-by-step guide to learn how to play High Card Flush.
Place Your BetsPlayers must first put up a mandatory wager known as the Ante bet. At this time, you can also place an optional side bet known as the Bonus bet. For the sake of our running example hand, we’ll assume that a $5 chip has been placed on both the Ante bet and the Bonus bet.
Dealer Distributes CardsThe dealer will distribute seven cards face down to each player, along with seven cards face down to themselves. The High Card Flush table is set to seat up to six players, along with the dealer. For our example hand, we’ll use a strong hand like Kh Qh 7h 4h 3h 3d 2c, which would give us a five-card maximum flush ranked at king high.
First Betting RoundOnce you’ve assessed the relative strength of your seven down cards, it’s time to decide between a Fold or a Call.
FOLD: you surrender the hand, and the house claims your Ante bet.
CALL: you need to place a second call bet.
Determine Call BetIn most table games, this second bet is equal to the size of your Ante bet, but in High Card Flush, a three-tiered system is used to determine your call bet sizing:
FIRST TIER: When you hold a two, three, or four-card flush, the maximum Call bet you can make equals precisely the amount of your Ante bet.
SECOND TIER: When you hold a five-card flush, the maximum Call bet you can make equals precisely double the amount of your Ante bet.
THIRD TIER: When you hold a six or seven-card flush, the maximum Call bet you can make is equal to precisely triple the amount of your Ante bet. In this case, you can still opt to place a smaller Call bet equal to either 1x or 2x your Ante bet.
Dealer Reveals CardsWhen all players have completed their actions, the dealer will reveal their seven-card holding. The dealer must follow the same hand ranking guidelines described above. The dealer must produce a three-card flush of nine high to qualify.
When the dealer doesn’t have a qualifying hand, players who chose to Call have their Ante bets paid out at even money, while all Call bet(s) will be returned as a push. If the dealer has a qualifying hand, players with a superior hand have their Ante and Call bet(s) paid out at even money.
High Card Flush Payout
Below you can find the most common Bonus bet paytables. We can see how this payout scale works by looking at our running example hand (Kh Qh 7h 4h 3h 3d 2c). With our five-card flush and $5 placed on the Bonus Side bet, we’d earn an additional payout of $50 at 10 to 1 on our money.
|Seven Card Flush||300 to 1|
|Six Card Flush||100 to 1|
|Five Card Flush||10 to 1|
|Four Card Flush||1 to 1|
Alternate Bonus Bet Paytable
The paytable above is the most commonly found, but you may also see the following paytable in play. This alternative paytable is a little more player-friendly, offering a chance to push on the Bonus bet when you make three-card flushes of eight high or worse or any two-card flush.
|Seven Card Flush||200 to 1|
|Six Card Flush||50 to 1|
|Five Card Flush||6 to 1|
|Four Card Flush||1 to 1|
|Three Card Flush (8-high or Worse)||Push|
|Two Card Flush||Push|
|Three Card Flush (9-high or Better)||Loss|
Straight Flush Side Bet
There is also a second side bet known as the Straight Flush bet that pays out whenever a player forms a straight flush using three or more cards. This side bet carries an outlandish house edge rate of 13.11%, making it a non-starter for any savvy casino player concerned with preserving their bankroll rather than gambling on long shots.
|Seven Card Straight Flush||8,000 to 1|
|Six Card Straight Flush||1,000 to 1|
|Five Card Straight Flush||100 to 1|
|Four Card Straight Flush||60 to 1|
|Three Card Straight Flush||7 to 1|
|All Other Hands||Loss|
Practice Playing High Card Flush Online
It might seem like a lot of information, but you can learn High Card Flush in a matter of minutes. Now that you know the basics take a spin on this free-to-play learning tool. You can set wagers, take a seven-card hand, and make the decisions for yourself before taking on the dealer’s hand. With just a few deals under your belt, you are ready for a real money session.
Best Places to Play High Card Flush
High Card Flush ranks among the most highly placed table games, so odds are you can find the game in your nearest casino property. Unfortunately, our top-rated online casinos do not offer High Card Flush at this moment. If you want to play a hand of traditional poker, check out our recommended online poker casino sites.
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High Card Flush Strategy
With only a single-player decision point and no ability to draw or otherwise improve one’s holding, the strategy for High Card Flush can be boiled down to a simple set of guidelines dictating when to Fold and Call.
Basic Rule to Follow
According to casino game mathematician Charles Mousseau of Total Gaming Science, the game can be played very close to optimally by using just one basic rule:
- Call for the maximum amount when holding at least a three-card flush 10 8 6 or better.
Try to always make the Call bet for the maximum amount with all four cards, five-card, six-card, and seven-card flush. When you have a three-card flush, the threshold you need to make the Call bet is 10 8 6 high. A hand like 10 8 7 would be a Call, while something like 10 8 5 would be a Fold. Any three-card flush of jack high or better would be a Call, and all three-card flushes of nine high or worse would be a Fold.
By sticking to this simple baseline for your Call hands, you’ll create game conditions that offer a house edge of 2.71%.
Alternate Optimal Strategy
Players should adhere to the following rules to achieve optimal play:
- Call for the maximum amount when holding a three-card flush ranked J 9 6 high or better.
- Fold all three-card flushes of 9 7 4 or worse.
- Use your instincts on all three-card flushes between 9 7 5 high and J 9 5 high.
High Card Flush Game History
Mike Pertgen created High Card Flush around 2010. Pertgen’s vision was a simple player versus dealer affair. The game initially gained little traction among casino players. The game manufacturer Galaxy Gaming acquired Red Card Gaming in September of 2012, a merger that included ownership over High Card Flush.
After a few slight modifications to the gameplay structure, High Card Flush was named by Casino Journal as the “Best New Table Game of 2012.” The game has climbed to the top of a crowded table game marketplace to become a staple in brick and mortar casinos throughout North America and worldwide.
Test Your Poker Skills With High Card Flush
Whichever way you approach High Card Flush, the game is always considered a great bet from a strategic standpoint. The low house edge of 2.71% puts it among the most favorable hybrid table games, so you’ll be facing decent odds throughout each session.
Of course, this assumes you strictly avoid both of the optional side bets found on the High Card Flush table, as each one carries a high enough house edge to be considered a “sucker bet” for savvy players to steer clear from.