Pai Gow Poker is a game that combines luck and strategic thinking. You don’t need your poker face for this one—you simply place a bet before the deal, and then set up your cards into two hands to beat the house.
How to Play Pai Gow Poker
The game is played with a standard 52-card deck, plus one Joker. The Joker can only be used as an Ace, or to complete a Straight, a Flush or a Straight Flush.
Each player, including the dealer, gets seven cards and must make two poker hands out of these: a two-card “low hand” and a five card “high hand”.
The player is solely responsible for ensuring that his high hand is better than his low hand.
- The game begins with players placing their bets on the table.
- The dealer shakes the dice to determine where the deal begins.
- There are six spots for players on the table, with the dealer as the seventh. Cards are dealt face down to all seven spots. The remaining four cards are discarded.
- If there are unoccupied player spots, the dealer takes the cards from these and places them on the discard pile.
- All players, except the dealer, look at their cards and set up their high hands and low hands.
- After arranging their cards, the players put their hands face down on the table.
- The dealer exposes his cards and sets up his own high hand and low hand. The players may not touch their cards at this point.
- All the players’ hands are exposed. The dealer’s hands are compared to those of each player to determine the winner.
- The player wins even money, less 5% commission, if both his hands are higher than the dealer’s.
- If the dealer wins one hand and the player wins the other, it’s a tie, or a “push”. The player’s bet is returned.
- If the dealer’s two hands are higher than the player’s, the player loses and the dealer collects his bet.
- If either hand is tied, the dealer’s is considered higher.
- Players may also bet on the Progressive Jackpot. Different jackpot hands have different payouts.