A case card in poker is the last card of a certain rank remaining in the deck. This means that the other three cards of that rank have either been dealt or exposed at some point earlier in the hand. 

For example, imagine we hold an Ace on a AAx flop in Hold’em. There is only one ace left in the deck that can give us quads, the case Ace

In this guide we’ll learn the following - 

What Does it Mean to Draw to a Case Card in Poker?

If we are drawing to a case card it essentially means that we only have one out left in the deck that can complete our draw. Drawing to case cards is a bad thing because it means we are going to miss in the vast majority of cases.

A common example is having a dominated three of a kind and needing to hit the last remaining card of a certain rank to make quads and win the pot.

Will we Always Know if We are Drawing to the Case Card?

Sometimes we might think we have two outs to improve (for example we hold two aces and need to improve to three of a kind) but it turns out that another player folded one of our outs earlier on in the hand.

We are technically drawing to the case ace but have no way of knowing there aren’t still two aces in the deck. In televised poker, the commentators may have seen that the ace was folded earlier in the hand and correctly realise that a player is drawing to the case ace even though the player himself has no idea.

What Does it Mean to ‘Catch the Case Ace’ in Poker?

Catching the case Ace means we hit the last available ace in the deck. For example, we hold three of a kind aces in Hold’em but are currently losing to a full house. If we hit the last remaining ace in the deck to make quads this is known as ‘catching the case ace’.

How Likely is it to Catch a Case Card?

Catching a case card is very unlikely in Hold’em. From flop to turn 2.1% of the time. From turn to river 2.2% of the time. And from flop to river 4.3% of the time. Basically, don’t count on it, it’s probably not going to happen.


Drawing to case cards is usually not favorable since we are extremely unlikely to hit. As poker players we should always be aware of when it is worth drawing and when it is not. Chasing unlikely events is a good way to lose a lot of chips.

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