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High Card Flush

9 January 2022

Several weeks ago, I answered a reader's question about automatic shufflers. One of the games he mentioned was High Card Flush.

In the intervening weeks, several readers emailed me to ask about High Card Flush. They'd never heard of the game and wanted to know if it was something they should look for.

I first wrote about it after the 2015 Global Gaming Expo where it was displayed by American Gaming Systems. AGS is a full-service casino supplier with slot machines, table games, shufflers, management systems and more.

High Card Flush is fairly widespread in Las Vegas and while less common elsewhere, has been spotted in Atlantic City. I don't have a complete list, but it is listed on the Caesars Atlantic City website.

It's dealt from a single 52-card deck. Players start with a mandatory ante and they have the option of making a Bonus side bet.

Players and the dealer each receive seven cards face down. Note that with seven cards, all hands will include at least two of the same suit. That's important after you've seen your cards and must decide on your next bet.

After seeing their cards, players have the option of folding and forfeiting the ante or raising by making a bet at least equal to the ante.

The maximum raise depends on how many cards you have in your flush:

  • With two, three or four cards of the same suit, your raise must equal your ante.
  • With a five-card flush, you may raise up to double your ante.
  • With a six- or seven-card flush, you may raise up to three times your ante.

After all players have either raised or folded, the dealer turns cards face up and settles bets.

As in many poker-based games, there is a minimum qualifying hand for the dealer. If the dealer doesn't have at least a three-card flush, 9-high, the hand doesn't qualify. Player antes are paid even money and raises push. All dealer flushes of four or more cards qualify.

If the dealer hand qualifies, there is a two-tier evaluation for determining whether you beat the dealer.

The first factor is the length of your flush. If there are more cards in your flush, you beat the dealer regardless of card ranks. If the dealer has more cards in a flush, then you lose.

If your flush has the same number of cards as the dealer's, then normal poker ranks come into play. If you each have three-card flushes and yours is King-high while the dealer's is 10-high, then you win. If the dealer's is 10-high and yours is only 8-high, you lose.

Imagine you and the dealer each have four-card Queen-high flushes. The next factor is the second-highest card, so your Queen-10 high flush would beat a dealer's Queen-9 high flush.

If you beat a qualifying dealer hand, you win even money on both antes and raises. If there is an exact tie, both bets push.

At wizardofodds.com, Michael Shackelford lists several strategies. His optimal strategy calls for folding with 9-7-4 or lower and making maximum raises with Jack-9-6 or higher. That leaves a gray area from 9-7-5 to Jack-9-5, where the site says, "you're on your own." The house edge is approximately 2.64 percent.

The optional bonus bet pays on flushes of four or more cards. Per unit wagered, one version pays 300 for a seven card flush, 100 for six cards, 10 for five cards and 1 for four cards. House edge is 7.8 percent. Another also pays 300 for seven cards, but 75 for six, 5 for five and 2 for four for a house edge of 7.5 percent.
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski