All that you wanted to know about Pai Gow Poker

About Pai Gow Poker Rules

Pai Gow Poker is a highly popular banking poker game that’s played in many casinos and card clubs throughout the world. The primary objective of this game is to make two different poker hands and beat the hands dealt to the banker/house. Let’s go over some of its important rules as follows:

- Pai Gow Poker is played using a standard 52 card deck, and a joker. The players can use the joker the semi-wild way, as an ace, or for completing a straight, flush, a straight flush or a royal flush.

- A total of seven hands are dealt, including the dealer’s.

- When the players take over the banking role, the banker’s position usually rotates in counterclockwise direction around the table. However, in some casinos it may also zigzag between players and the dealer. The players can usually decline the banking role, in which case the option is passed on to the dealer or the next player.

- Unlike a large majority of casino games, the Pai Gow Poker players are normally free to bet against the dealer as well as other players on the table. This is referred to as banking.

- Every player gets seven cards, which he/she must use for making a two-card hand (called low- hand) and a five-card hand (called high-hand).

- The five-card hands are ranked and played using the conventional poker rules, with the slight exception that the A 2 3 4 5 straight (also referred to as ‘the wheel’) is sometimes treated as the second-highest straight. However, many casinos and card clubs have dropped this rule, while some continue with it.

- The two-card hands can be either a pair or a no pair. In case of the latter, the individual cards come into play, determining the hand’s value.

- The player must make his/her five-card hand higher/better than his/her two-card hand.

- Once the players are done setting their hands, the dealer turns over his/her cards and sets his/her hand based on the house rules, or the ‘house way.’

- The dealer compares his/her hands against the players’ hands, one by one, in counterclockwise direction, around the table. S/he goes to every player and takes, pays or knocks.

- The player wins if both his/her hands are better compared to the banker/dealer’s, and vice versa. In the event that both the player and dealer win one hand each, the bet is considered tied or pushed. Any absolute ties are considered won by the banker.

- The bets won by the players are paid out on even money basis after subtracting a 5% casino commission.

- Every player’s spot at the table has a space for placing his/her high hand, low hand and bet. The banker can be the house or any of the players.

- The hands are dealt in counterclockwise direction and their placement is normally decided by shaking three dice.

- In most casinos and card clubs, the players can seek assistance of the dealer for setting their cards. The dealers are allowed to guide the players based on the house way.

- Usually, the term ‘Pai Gow’ is used to refer to a hand that consist of no pairs at all, for instance – 9 8 6 A 5 / K Q.