Pai Gow poker explained

Pai Gow Poker brings it’s readers the best sites where you can play online pai gow poker! Enjoy our explanation of the rules of pai gow as well as our shortlist of recommended places to play!

Pai Gow Poker – Rules

This is a casino game based on the Chinese Domino game Pai Gow but played with cards rather than Domino’s. It can be played by up to seven players.

A pack of 52 cards plus one joker is used. The joker is a wild card which can be used only as an ace, or to complete a straight, a flush or a straight flush.

This is a casino game where each player plays against the house or dealer. Prior to the deal each player places a bet.

The Deal

When this game is played, an elaborate method of dealing is used. Seven hands of seven cards are dealt and the remaining four cards are discarded unseen. The dealer then throws three dice and counts around the players at the table counter-clockwise, starting with himself, up to the dice total to determine who gets the first hand which was dealt. The following hands go to the other players, in counter-clockwise rotation.

Seven cards are dealt to each player. All players other than the dealer look at their cards and divide them to form two hands – a two card hand and a five card hand. The values of the five card hands are the same as in poker, with only one exception; A-2-3-4-5 is the second highest type of straight or straight flush, ranking between A-K-Q-J-10 and K-Q-J-10-9. The best possible hand is five aces, beating a straight flush.

The Two Card Hand

Any pair beats any two unmatched cards, but no other combinations are possible.

The player must arrange the cards so that the five card hand is higher than the two card hand (so if the two cards were a pair of kings, the five card hand would have to contain a pair of aces or better). Players are not allowed to discuss their hands at any stage except with the dealer.

The players place their two hands face down, and when all are ready, the dealer then turns over and exposes the seven cards in her hand. The other players may not change or touch their cards from this point on. The dealer forms the seven exposed cards into a five and a two in the same way as the players.

Pai Gow Poker Casino

Then all the players’ cards are exposed. The result between the dealer and each player is determined by comparing the player’s 5 card hand with the dealer’s 5 card hand and the player’s 2 card hand with the dealer’s 2 card hand:

  • If the player wins both hands ( the five and the two) the dealer pays out the amount bet by the player.
  • If the dealer wins one hand and the player wins the other that is a push(no money changes hands).
  • If the dealer wins both hands the dealer wins the player’s bet.

If either hand is tied, the dealer wins that particular hand. So if the dealer wins one hand while the other is tied, or if both hands are tied, the dealer wins. If one hand is tied and the player wins the other it is a push.

Dealer’s Advantage

The dealer obviously has an advantage (winning tied hands).