In a traditional Pai Gow Poker game, each player receives seven cards which he or she must split into a 5-card hand and a 2-card hand. The dealer must then do the same with his or her seven cards. Next, the hands are compared against one another in order to determine a winner. There are several Pai Gow Poker game variations which involve side bets, pushes and various other rule changes.
No Push Pai Gow Poker Game Variation
No Push Pai Gow Poker is a Pai Gow Poker game variation that you’ll find at several live casinos and a few online casinos. No Push Pai Gow Poker uses the same rules as traditional Pai Gow Poker with a few key exceptions.
First, the dealer must always act as the banker. Second, No Push Pai Gow Poker does not charge players a 5% commission on each win, which is standard practice for normal Pai Gow Poker.
The most important rule change, however, deals with the way in which pushes (extremely common in standard Pai Gow Poker) are eliminated from the game. As in any Pai Gow Poker game, four cards will be left over after the dealer distributes seven hands. The first of these leftover cards is placed on a marked area for the players. The second leftover card is placed in an area for the dealer. The dealer turns these cards over after arranging his hands.
In the event of a tie between a player’s 5-card and 2-card hands with the dealer’s hands, the tiebreaker cards are used. If the dealer’s tiebreaker card is equal to or greater than the player’s tiebreaker card, the dealer wins. Jokers are always treated as Aces when they are tiebreaker cards.
Pai Gow Poker Mania
Pai Gow Poker Mania is an interesting Pai Gow Poker game variation in which two side bets are available to players. The side bets are available on the first three cards received by the player, as well as the full seven card hand. Players may look at their first three cards in order to determine whether to make the first side bet, and the same is true after all seven cards are dealt.
Examples of payout ratios for the 3-card side bet include:
- Natural Straight Flush – 40:1
- Three of a Kind – 30:1
- Wild Straight Flush – 5:1
- Straight – 4:1
- Flush – 3:1
- Pair – 1:1
Payout ratios for the 7-card side bet include:
- Five Aces – 500:1
- Royal Flush – 250:1
- Straight Flush – 50:1
- Four of a Kind – 25:1
- Full House – 5:1
- Flush – 4:1
- Three of a Kind – 3:1
- Straight – 2:1
All hands below a straight count as a loss for the 7-card site bet in the Pai Gow Poker Mania game variation.