Pai Gow Poker Guide
Pai Gow Poker is a combination of the ancient Chinese tile game Pai Gow, and western poker.
It is played with a deck of 52 regular cards plus one joker. To begin play, click on the chip(s) you wish to wager. You will then be given an option to play a second hand. If you wish to play a second hand, after you are finished making the wager for your first hand, click the ‘Second Hand’ button. Then click the chips you wish to wager on your second hand. Each hand and the dealer’s hand will be dealt 7 cards. You will then divide these seven cards into two poker hands, one of five cards and one of two cards. The primary rule of Pai Gow is that the five-card hand must be a higher ranking poker hand than the two-card hand. If it is not, the game will not let you continue until you fix the hands.
When valuating the five-card hand all normal poker hands may be used, from highest card to 5 Aces (higher in rank than a Royal Flush), and the rankings for these hands are the same as regular poker. For the two-card hand, only high cards and pairs will be used, there cannot be any two-card straights or flushes. After setting your hand, click the ‘Done’ button and the dealer will set his. Then, your five-card hand will be compared to the dealer’s five-card hand, and your two-card hand will be compared to the dealer’s two-card hand. If both of your hands win, you win the round. If both of the dealer’s hands win, the dealer wins the round. If each side wins one of the hands, the round is a push. If you win, you will be paid even money, minus a 5% commission. If you lose, the dealer takes your bet, and if you push, no money changes hands.
Pai Gow Poker also uses a Joker. The Joker may be used in either the two-card or five-card hand. It can be used as an Ace, or to complete a straight or a flush. For example if your hand has a 4,5,10, K of hearts, a 2 of clubs, an 8 of spades, and the Joker, you may use the Joker as the 5th heart. The 8 and the 2 would then be your two card hand.
Two other notes to remember about Pai Gow Poker; if at any time one of your hands is identical to one of the dealer’s hands, that hand will count as being won by the dealer. So if you and the dealer both have a pair of Aces as your two-card hand, the dealer wins the two-card hand. The five-card hand plays out like normal. Also remember that in Pai Gow the A-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight behind the 10-J-Q-K-A.