Five Quick Tips — How to Play a High Card

GLOBAL POKER’S
FIVE QUICK TIPS

HOW TO PLAY A HIGH CARD IN POKER

Playing a high card in poker is never ideal; you literally can’t get any lower in the rankings. However, eventually, for whatever reason, you may find yourself daring to try. Maybe you’ve been watching your stack steadily decline and need a quick chip up to stay in the game, or you are keen to try a sneaky manoeuvre and trick your opponents into folding. Either way, here are five quick tips if you are trying to play a high card in poker.

1. DON’T LIMP IN

If you are not betting or raising, fold. Don’t just call with a high card and limp into pots.

2. ONLY PLAY A FEW HANDS, AND PLAY THEM AGGRESSIVELY

Playing a high card should be done sparingly, but aggressively; you always want to be raising. If you find yourself playing a high card more than three times in a row, it might be time to start folding a few. Constantly playing such a low-ranked hand might pay off initially, especially if you are aggressive, but eventually, someone will call your bet.

3. TARGET WEAK PLAYERS AND BUILD A STACK

When playing a high card, a good strategy is to find the weak players; the people who play every hand, but fold when the betting is raised. These are the players you want to target, and bleed dry to build up your stack. Winning a round in poker doesn't always require having the best-ranked hand on the table. Identify the weak players, try to get into pots against them, then make a big enough bet to scare them away.

4. PLAY POSITION

Playing in position is always a good strategy. Avoid playing a high card unless you are first or last to act. When you are first to act, make a bet at least six times the big blind; it sets an aggressive tone and can sometimes force everyone else out of the pot and earn you some quick chips. However, be aware; if someone calls or re-raises, you need to decide how many chips you are willing to risk on this strategy. Know when you are beaten.

Late position is always the best spot to play a high card. Ultimately, you can see what everyone else does first, providing crucial information that can help make well-informed decisions and achieve the best possible outcome. If everyone is making small bets, you can make a large wager to steal the pot; if the betting is getting high, fold and live to play another day.

5. FOLD

When you're playing poker, you need to watch what your opponents are doing at all times and look for tells, even more so when you're playing with only a high card. Think carefully about your opponent's cards, watch their betting, posture and general demeanour for clues. Regardless of how well you bluff, play position or bet aggressively, there will come a time when another player won't back down, and in this instance, you only have one option left—fold. Going to the river with a high card should be avoided at all costs.