High Hand


High Hand

Pinside Rating

This game received 30 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.740 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #145 in the Pinside EM Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.793

Artwork: 7.848

Sounds/Music: 2.779

Other Aspects: 7.767

Pinside staff rating

None of the Pinside.com staff have rated this game. Sorry, no rating from us.

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Found 18 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 18 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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1 year ago
16 drop targets with a pop bumper in the middle makes for a fun layout. Love the color theme, lots of red. Cool backglass with an outer space poker theme is right up my alley. People complain about it being too easy since the targets don't reset until it's game over and I agree so I keep mine on 3 ball to add some challenge. This gets more plays at my house more than some of my newer pins, simple rules and lots to shoot at keeps the 'just one more game' factor going. If you see one play it! If one's for sale buy it!
1 year ago
Not quite as good as Capt. Card, but still a fun target shooter's game.
2 years ago
A classic Gottlieb drop target game I really like. Had one for 10 years.
3 years ago
High Hand is a game that I have owned twice. I enjoy the simple play of the game, but it just didn't last for me. Wide open playfield makes it more fun.

I lean towards Captain Card (the AAB version) but have never gotten one at a decent price. High Hand is a good all around game for those getting into EMs.
4 years ago
High Hand is a shooters paradise. The angled drop target banks are positioned to allow a player to shoot for a particular target on one side, and rebound in a straight line to the other (much like a bankshot on a billiards table). Incredible feature when you consider it.

Set this one to a challenging angle, and keep it waxed and fast. Hitting all targets should be quite rare at that difficulty, and scoring specials for massive bonuses will be a real treat!

Absolutely phenomenal BG artwork.

[[edit]] I'm updating my Game rules ranking, as I have added a mod to mine which resets the drops on max bonus collect, and then increases the drop target scoring to 5k on the second pass. Very challenging. LOVE IT!
5 years ago
Looks can be deceiving. On 5 Balls, getting all 16 drop targets down is not a sure thing. A bounce the wrong way and this game can be a drain monster. There is no Extra Ball Feature, so to roll the game in 5 balls, requires hitting that Bonus Collect Saucer many times.

This Sci-Fi Card themed pin makes a great companion game. Just wouldn't want it as your only pin. For a first pin to purchase its fairly simple to maintain and work on.
6 years ago
Am i missing something? Once all drop targets are down they do not reset? Loser, Bought and sold in the same week.
6 years ago
Not many points out there . Pretty good E M machine. What I started on .
7 years ago
Great 16 drop target wedge head. Can be brutal, as center drain does not award bonus at all.
Only downside is that drop targets do not reset once you hit all of them. Good pin!
8 years ago
Tough old game. I remember putting a lot of quarters into this one. It wasn't easy to get all those targets or reach that kicker hole.
I'm restoring one with my son right now. He likes the excellent back glass (great pop art).
Psychedelic poker?...why not! Good 70'S Gottlieb wedge head.
8 years ago
This is one of the best and most challenging em pinball machines. People go on and on about the targets not resetting...I like it the way it is as most of the time you don't get them all in a game and if you do, the challenge of getting the bonus hole is enough for me. I love the sound of the chimes when you get all the targets and the four lots of bonuses score. These machines were really popular when they were on site 'back in the day' and made good money for the operators...one of whom recently bought my machine off me because he remembered it so fondly. It will be missed.
8 years ago
It feels like yesterday i was playing this game on location back in 1973. Here's a game that requires a EM wedgehead player to use all of his skill and experience to beat it good.Knocking down all four drop target banks isn't so hard to do. A player must know the shot from the ball shooter rod into both center top arch rollovers to get a good chance at knocking down the red Jack of diamonds or the black Ace of spades which are the harder drop targets to knock down,which in turn gives a player a chance at knocking down the other diamond/spade top arch drop targets with the pop bumper action.I like the playfield artwork with the four suits of cards in a circle directly in view of the player and looks real nice when they are all lit up.Attractive black and red colored drop targets with sparkling gold colored lettering really brings out the eye catching vibrant colors of the playfield too. The cabinet with the red/black spade,diamond,club and heart symbols stand out nicely on the white base coat with the webbing design flowing throughout.Making the kick out hole for SPECIAL or points can be made many different ways and not just with a flipper shot, but requires a skilled EM wedgehead player with many games under his belt to accomplish getting the ball in that kick out hole.There are those not so friendly side out Special rollover lanes that a player has to beware of, if not can cause some sour low scoring games without much ball play.The High Hand in my collection has been converted to play like a ADD A BALL game. The backbox credit wheel which has an added switch to the wiring and the ball count unit is rewired differently too will count free balls on the credit wheel instead of replays. Yes, that's right a player is awarded free balls(up to 15 free balls)through the credit wheel instead of a replay. I have had some thrilling, long lasting, great playing games having my High Hand play like an ADD A BALL reaching a high score of over 400,00 points and countless free balls which isn't easy to do and only occurs once in awhile for even the better EM players. I have been thinking of converting back to its original state as a replay game but doesn't look like i will be doing so anytime soon. This is a must wedgehead for any EM pinball collector that is very good player and likes a challenging game to beat by score or SPECIAL.
9 years ago
This is an EM which attracts much criticism particularly when compared to its AAB soul mate Captain Card because the drop downs do not reset during gameplay. I reckon it is a fabulous machine. Playfield & backglass look great (cabinet not so good)and whilst the play may be frustrating, because of centre drains, it is nevertheless a machine to be played and entices use to keep on coming back for more-high scores are rare-low scores are common!!
10 years ago
I like this game the 16 drop targets are tough to get the center hole is good the skill shot to hit the top right or left targets to send into the hole is a good shot
over all this is a good old player
10 years ago
Another Gottlieb wedgehead with stunning artwork and playability. Card theme that is bang on. Not the toughest of the era but very addicting to work on lighting the special. All around good fun and looks great.
10 years ago
I love the backglass on this table. Playfield art is serviceable, but nothing that stands out from other card themes.

The drop target placement looks deceptively simple, but getting those last one or two is where all the challenge is. The saucer in the middle is a cool idea, but it feels like you hit it more out of luck than skill. I wish the drop target banks would reset after clearing, but it's still a good time.
11 years ago
I really wanted to like this game, but it just had too many flaws. It's got 16 drop targets, but that's about where the positives end. There are just to many places on the playfield where there is no scoring, seems very hap hazard in the way the playfield was put together, just not a cohesive design.
The bonus hole, which is so crucial to doing well in the game, is virtually unshootable, it's just more luck than anything else if you get it. Lastly, the drops don't reset, something Gottleib did on a few games, just can't figure out why??
11 years ago
High Hand is one of those games that takes some time to get used to. But when you know what to do... it's a great game to challenge yourself with.

The Pros:
16 drops that make you work for every shot. The key is the saucer in the middle of the PF. Collect bonus here (or out the outlanes). Just remember that collecting a "hand" increases the bonus from hundreds to thousands for those 4 targets. Sniper like aim is required for the diamond and spade targets. Surreal artwork on the BG is fantastic.

The Cons:
The saucer feels like a luck rather than a skilled shot at times. The game can feel "dead" once all the drops are down.

The Takeaway:
A great player that will keep you coming back. I wish I had bought one when I had my chance. I would have converted it to an Add-a-ball if given the chance.
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