High Card Flush made its debut at Harrah’s Laughlin in the summer of 2011. In February 2013 it found another placement at the M in Las Vegas. The game follows a fold or call structure, like Caribbean Stud Poker and Three-Card Poker. Where it differs is in the hand ranking, which is all about making the highest possible flush out of seven cards.
High Card Flush is played with a standard 52-card deck of playing cards.
To begin play, each player makes the mandatory ante wager, and if desired, the optional bonus wager.
The player and dealer each receive seven cards face-down.
Hands are evaluated in the following fashion:
- The first ranking criteria is the greatest number of cards in any one suit. This is referred to as the “maximum flush.” For instance, any hand with a maximum four-card flush beats any hand with a maximum three-card flush, but loses to any hand with a maximum five-card flush.
- The second ranking criteria is the standard poker rankings for flushes; that is, a hand with a maximum four-card flush of K-Q-J-T would beat a hand with a maximum four-card flush of K-Q-J-9, but lose to a hand with a maximum four-card flush of A-4-3-2.
Each player then decides upon one of the following options:
- Fold, and surrender the ante.
- Call, placing a second bet equal to at least the ante. The maximum amount of the call wager depends on the rank of the player’s hand:
- With a two-, three- or four-card flush, the maximum call wager is equal to the ante wager.
- With a five-card flush, the maximum call wager is double the ante wager.
- With a six- or seven-card flush, the maximum call wager is triple the ante wager.
Once all players have decided, the dealer turns over his seven cards and evaluates his hand as described above.
If the dealer does not have at least a three-card flush, nine-high, all remaining players have their antes paid, and the call bets are pushed.
If the dealer has at least a three-card flush, nine-high, his hand is compared to each other player:
- All players with a higher-ranking hand win, and have their ante and call wagers paid at even money.
- All players with a lower-ranking hand lose, and have their ante and call wagers collected.
- Players whose hands share the exact same ranking as the dealer push both their ante and call wagers.
Finally, any player who made the bonus wager has his hand evaluated against the bonus pay table, and the bonus wager is either paid or collected as necessary.