What is Hi-Lo and How is it Played?

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If you’re wondering “What is Hi Lo?” then this page aims to answer all your questions. Hi-Lo is a popular casino game that’s been enjoyed for more than a decade by players, and it’s a simple game that’s easy to learn, easy to play, and exciting. On this page, we look at how to play the game, where it originated from, and a basic strategy guide to help you begin playing.

An Intro to The High Low Card Game

Hi-Lo is a very simple game to pick up and begin playing; the game revolves around betting on whether a card will be higher or lower than the current card shown face-up on the table. There’s a wide variety of betting options available, while elements of skill creep into the game, it’s largely down to luck. Let’s begin by looking at how to play Hi-Lo.

How to Play High Low

Playing Hi-Lo is very simple; as the player, you need to bet on whether the next card to be drawn from the deck will be higher or lower than the current card. You can also bet on the card being the same value as the current card – which is known as a tie. Hi-Lo (usually) is played with a standard 52-card deck, and the value of all the cards is determined by their rank; for example, Ace is always high, while two is the lowest-possible value.

Basic Rules of the Game

If you’d like to know how to play High-Low, then you’re in the right place; the game is simple to learn, easy to play, and fun – and firstly, you’ll need to place a bet on whether the next card drawn will be higher or lower than the current card. As noted earlier, you can also bet on a tie. Once you’ve placed your bets, the dealer will reveal the next card.

Most Hi-Lo casino games use one deck of cards, and there aren’t really any other rules to be aware of; standard casino game etiquette applies, meaning you’ll need to have placed your bets before the dealer announces “no more bets, please.”

Betting Process

Depending on whether you’re playing real money casino games like Hi-Lo at an online casino or a land-based casino, the betting process can differ slightly; when playing online, you will usually have more betting options. For example, some game developers have incorporated side bets, which are optional bets for players to try and win more money.

When you place your bet, you will notice that the odds are visible to you; the odds change, depending on what the current card is. For example, if the current card is a seven or an eight, the odds for “higher” and “lower” will be roughly the same – around even money. However, if the current card is a three, the odds for “lower” will be very high – as the only card you can win with is 2.

Once you’ve placed your bet, the dealer will draw the next card, and if you guessed correctly, you will be paid out accordingly; we’ll look at this in more depth, below.

Possible Outcomes and Odds

There are only three possible outcomes in Hi-Lo (unless you’re playing an optional side bet). Win, lose, and tie. If you guess correctly, you will win – and be paid out at the odds displayed to you at the beginning of the round. If you lose, your entire stake is lost, and you must wait for the next round to begin.

If you placed a bet on the “tie” option, your bet will be a winner if the next card drawn is the same value as the current face-up card. Some online casinos offer enhanced payouts if the cards are exact matches – two cards of the same value and the same suit – but this only applies when the game is played with multiple decks.

Hi-Lo Strategy

The Hi Lo card game is very easy to play; generally speaking, there is no skill involved, aside from common sense. However, there is some basic strategy that you can follow to improve your chances of winning. In the table below, we’ll show you some tips and tricks to keep in mind while playing the game.

Pay Attention to Cards DealtIt’s important to pay attention to the cards that have already been dealt if you’re playing a version of the game that isn’t shuffled frequently. This is because it allows you to get a better idea of which cards have already been dealt; for example, if many low cards have already been drawn, it’s more likely a high card will be drawn next.
Avoid Betting on TiesLike with most casino games, the tie bet offers poor true odds to players. While the odds may look tempting (most Hi-Lo games offer 8/1 for a tie bet) the house edge is high. A tie is quite a rare occurrence, meaning it’s going to end up costing you more money in the long run than conventional bets.
Avoid SidebetsSide bets may look appealing, but they’re designed to earn the casinos more money. You should generally avoid side bets where possible; it’s fine to have a bet every now and again, but the true odds don’t reflect the paid odds, making this a sucker’s bet.
Pros of Playing Hi-Lo

There are several advantages of playing the Hi Lo casino game, and the first is that the game is very simple and easy to play. Just like when you play blackjack online the rules are incredibly straightforward, so, unlike casino games like Craps, there’s no learning curve involved. This also makes it well-suited to new gamblers who don’t want to deal with the complexities involved with other casino table games like Blackjack, for example.

Secondly, the High Low card game offers fast-paced action. The game moves very quickly, and players make predictions in just a few seconds; the dealer only needs to reveal one additional card, and there’s no further betting action, so it’s common to see more than one round per minute.

Another major benefit of playing Hi Lo is that you’re able to choose how much risk you want to take. For example, if the current card is a 4, you have a fairly good chance of winning if you place the “higher” bet; however, if you want to take more risk, placing the “lower” bet can award large payouts – much bigger than the 1/1 you’ll find at the Blackjack table.

Cons of Playing Hi-Lo

As you’d expect, Hi-Lo also comes with several disadvantages. Most importantly is the house edge; like many novelty casino games, Hi-Lo has a high house edge which means the casino can expect to make more profit from it than other casino table games like Roulette and Baccarat. A high house edge means you’re more likely to lose money in the long-run, although short-term sessions shouldn’t be overly affected.

A second disadvantage is that the Hi-Lo card game can be very volatile. Large swings are common, and if you’re not careful, this can lead to quick and significant losses. The speed at which the game is played means these losses can accumulate quickly.

Another downside of playing Hi-Lo is that there’s very limited strategy involved. For example, while players can utilize some basic strategies to improve their chances of winning the game, it’s all still largely based on luck – and this means you’re limited in the amount of strategy you can input into the game. This is a stark contrast from, say, Blackjack, where there are substantial advantages to those utilizing a math-derived strategy.

At the end of the day, whether the advantages/disadvantages of the Hi-Lo card game outweigh one another will depend on the specific player and their preferences. Some gamblers may be attracted to the simplicity and fast-paced action of the game, while others may be turned off by the high house edge and potential for large losses over a short period of time.

History of Hi-Lo

If you’re still asking “What is Hi Lo?” then you should head to the top of this page where we cover the basics of playing. In this section, we’re going to look at the history and origins of the game – although, as is the case with many casino table games, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact date or location the game was created. Most gambling experts agree Hi-Lo was derived from other card games – although it’s unclear what card games these are.

Hi-Lo was, back in the day, seen as a novelty game offered largely at online casinos; due to the odds changing on each hand, it’s tough to offer the game in land-based casinos unless it’s played electronically. While the casino game maintained a low profile in the online gambling world, it rose to fame when well-known game developer Evolution started to offer a live dealer casino version.

A live version of the game allowed players to immerse themselves in the action from the comfort of their home – and many claim the live variation of the game to be a lot more authentic than a virtual version of the game. Many players see Hi-Lo as nothing more than a bit of fun, but there is some decent win potential to be found, especially if you’re willing to take bigger risks.

More Information About Hi-Lo

The High Low card game is available at most reputable online casinos, and it’s easy to play – making it perfect for beginners. In this guide we covered some of the basics surrounding the game – and now we’ll answer a few frequently asked questions.

Can you play Hi-Lo online?

Yes; Hi-Lo is available at most online casinos, in both a virtual and live format. Similarly, to when you play Blackjack online  you will be able to choose what table limits you want – and at some online casinos, you can even change the dealer!

Can you try Hi-Lo for free?

Yes! If you’d like to try real money casino games  like Hi-Lo for free, without risking your own cash, you will be pleased to learn that most online casinos allow you to play the game in “demo” mode before spending any of your own money. However, free play for live games is not available.

How to play High-Low?

If you’re wondering how to play Hi-Lo you’ll be pleased to learn it’s a very easy game; simply choose whether you think the next card will be higher, lower, or equal, select how much to bet, and wait for the dealer to reveal the next card!

What is the tie bet?

The tie bet in Hi Lo is a bet that’s placed by players who believe the next card to be drawn will be the same value as the current face-up card. For example, if the current card is two, and the next card drawn is also a two, this would be a tie.

Is there a Hi-Lo strategy?

Unlike Blackjack, Hi-Lo doesn’t have a math-based strategy. However, there are some Hi Lo tips and tricks you can follow to slightly improve your chances of winning – such as avoiding betting on the tie – although the game still revolves heavily around luck, so keep this in mind.

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