The High Hand payouts usually involve rewarding an individual player for having the high hand in the poker room during a certain timeframe – the average being an hour or two in most casinos in an effort to keep the interest of the players.
One type of a high hand payout would include paying off a certain hand if it hits – for example a Royal Flush or some other combination hand-picked by the casino. Another type would be a payout for the highest ranked hand during a certain time period. While there are other types of payouts, these are the most common throughout the Black Hawk / Central City poker rooms.
Interestingly enough, I do not believe I had ever hit a High Hand before becoming involved in one the other day. I found that while leading the High Hand Sweepstakes was interesting; fun; and possibly profitable – it’s also very stressful and distracting.
I was playing $2 – $5 / $100 Hold em at the Ameristar Casino poker room last Thursday. The room has a $500 High Hand payout every two hours Monday – Thursday and it had just reset at 6 p.m.
I looked down to a pair of black 3’s while in middle position. There was a raise to $25 with four callers in front of me so I called and a total of six players saw the flop of 3h – Jd – 3d hit the table.
Wow – a dream flop giving me quad 3’s!
Even better, the big blind quickly bet out $40 and one player had called when the bet came to me. After I just called, two more players called and four of us saw a Js hit the turn.
So, with a board of 3h – Jd – 3d – Js the big blind checked and the original better bet out $60. I thought about it for a moment and just called with the rest of the players folding.
The river brought a 9h and my opponent quickly bet out $60 again. I raised to $120 and he just called with a shake of his head. When I showed my 3’s for quads he flashed a J and tossed his cards into the muck.
Thus, the quad 3’s with a J was the high hand for the two-hour time period that had just begun and the dealer immediately yelled out at the top of his lungs “High Hand” with the floor person concurring.
While I won a good pile of chips on the hand, I was also in line for a $500 payday at 8 p.m. for the High Hand if no other player could beat my quad 3’s and it was now … 6:20 p.m.
I didn’t think about it until just after 7 p.m. when the floor person came over to do change, looked at me and said, “Less than an hour.” At that point I looked down and saw I was up nearly $300 for the day.
And … it’s always a mistake for a poker player to count chips and think “it’s a good day” because being satisfied leads to playing complacently which does not lead to winning – it usually leads to calling and folding … which is exactly what I did.
Over the next 50 minutes I laid down hands I would usually raise with based on my position such as Ah – QH, As – Js, and a pair of Q’s. In each case, I lost a just a little bit – not a lot, but did not win either. This is not a mistake I will make again!! Going forward if I am not playing “my game” I’ll get up and walk!
Also over those same 50 minutes I heard comments from almost everyone – floor people; players; and both dealers who were in the box – like “Will it hold?”, “It’s gonna make it” and almost every five minutes someone would mention there were only so many minutes to go.
Jeez – talk about distracting!
Finally at 7:56 p.m., I heard a shout “Royal Flush” and the entire table looked over to the floor man with the dealer asking “High Hand?” The floor person shook his head yes – the new high hand was a Royal Flush and it beat my quad 3’s with four minutes to go.
Bummer! I missed out on the $500 High Hand payout but did cash out a few minutes later up $190 for the day – still feeling a bit disappointed even though I won overall.
Oh well – I got to enjoy the anticipation of the High Hand; won a bit for the day; learned a valuable lesson; and am looking forward to being involved in my next High Hand!
Remember – play your game!