Pai Gow Poker Rules
Pai Gow poker has become increasingly popular over the last few years & seems to be popping up in casinos everywhere! The name Pai Gow comes from Asia and means “makes nine” Combining the American game of poker with a little twist, you have Pai Gow Poker!
In Pai Gow, players are to wager against the house vs. wagering against eachother. The game Pai Gow in Asia is actually played with dominoes, here of course it is played with a deck of 52 and a joker. In the game the players objective is to hold two hands of cards that rank higher than the bankers two hands. The game usually seats six players and a dealer who represents the bank and the banker. The game typically starts with the player to the left of the dealer and moves around the table that way. After the dealer has had his turn as the banker, the next player in line will be the banker and the initial dealer at the table will become a player, playing for the house. Any player is allowed to decline this role as they please.
To begin the game the deck is shuffled. The joker in the game serves as a wild card in straights, flushes and straight flushes as well as it can be used as an Ace. After the cards are shuffled the dealer will create stacks of seven cards and discards the remaining four cards as they are not used. The players will then place their bets and the dice are rolled by the dealer. There are three dice which are placed into a teacup and then rolled out into the table to decide which player gets the first stack of cards. This is done when the dealer totals up the amounts on the dice and goes around the table starting with himself & counts each player clockwise until the first hand is given out. The remaining cards are then given out to the players in a clockwise motion.
Once the players have their cards they divide their hands into two piles one set of five cards, the other set of two cards. The low hand and the high hand. The hands in Pai Gow are different than traditional poker and are as follows.
1 Five Aces: Five aces and a joker
2 Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, 10 all of same suit
3 Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit in sequence
4 4 of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank
5 Full House: 3 of a Kind and a Pair
6 Flush: Five cards of the same suit
7 Straight: Five cards in sequence
8 3 of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank
9 2 Pair: Two cards of one rank, plus two of another
10 1 Pair: Two cards of the same rank
When it comes to the low hand, that hand wins if it’s a pair and loses if it is not. The highest rank is of course, a pair of Aces and heads down the ladder from there. If the player’s two card hand ends up being higher than the five card hand, this is considered a foul in the game of Pai Gow which will lose the player their bet.
Once all of the players have their cards in order the banker then turns over the dealer’s cards. The banker will then have the opportunity to set up their high hand & low hands. The game then continues around the table clockwise to determine who has the best hands starting with the player who received the first stack. In this game to win, the player’s hands must beat both of the banker’s hands. In Pai Gow, hands that equal the same value are called copies which the banker wins in all cases. Once the player has won the game, the dealer uses the bankers money to make the payout. If the player’s lose the momey is awarded to the banker and the house receives 5% commission for each winning bet.
For the highest chance of a payout you’ll want to become the banker because aside from having a huge chance at winning with your own poker hands, you also win all copies so you have that edge over the other players.