Pai Gow Poker is a popular poker card game based on the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow, which is played with dominoes. Pai Gow Poker is a relatively simple casino game that uses a standard 52 card deck, in addition to a single joker, and a table of six players. In Pai Gow Poker, players compete against the dealer instead of each other. In order to succeed in this popular casino game, it’s important to have a firm understanding of Pai Gow Poker rules.
Starting a Pai Gow Poker Game
In order to begin a game of Pai Gow Poker, the player must first make a wager. Next, each player receives seven cards. The first player to receive cards is decided at random, usually with a random number generator or dice roll.
Arranging Hands in Pai Gow Poker Rules
Next, each player must arrange his hand into a two-card hand and a five-card hand. The five-card hand is ranked just as in a standard poker game. However, there is one exception to standard poker hand rankings in Pai Gow Poker. In many casinos, A-2-3-4-5 is treated as the second best straight, in between a king-high straight and an ace-high straight. Be sure to check the Pai Gow Poker rules of your chosen casino to determine how straights are ordered.
The two card hand is ranked similarly, with pairs beating singletons and singletons being ranked according to their face value. Therefore, the best two card Pai Gow Poker hand is A-A, while the worst is 2-3.
The value of the 2-card hand may not exceed that of the 5-card hand. Because of this, you cannot use your best two cards to form a premium 2-card hand at the expense of creating a garbage 5-card hand in order to secure a push.
The Joker in Pai Gow Poker Rules
The joker is unique in Pai Gow Poker, as it is not a true wild card. By default, the joker is treated as an Ace. However, it can be used as a wild card for the purposes of completing a flush, straight or straight flush. In the two-card hand, the joker is always an Ace.
The Dealer’s Hand in Pai Gow Poker Rules
After all players have finished arranging their hands, the dealer must arrange his own 7-card hand in according with predetermined rules, aka the “house way.” Next, the dealer compares his hand with each player’s hand. If the dealer has a better 5-card hand and 2-card hand, the player loses his entire wager. If both of the player’s hands are better than the dealer’s hands, the player wins at a 1:1 payout ratio. In the case of an exact tie, the banker wins. If the player wins one of his hands but loses the other, the wager is a push.