How to Play Pai Gow Poker – Game Rules Explained

Pai Gow Poker

One of the most fun casino games is Pai Gow Poker, although learning the game might be tricky at first.

It’s important to know the basic rules and playing options. If you wish to enjoy playing online or live Pai Gow Poker. 

How to Play Pai Gow Poker?

A normal deck of 52 cards plus one joker is used in Pai Gow Poker. There can be up to six players at the table in addition to the dealer.

To defeat the banker is the game’s simple goal. The player acting as the banker can be the dealer, another player at the table, or a player-dealer “team.”

With the seven cards dealt you create two poker hands with the goal of this:

  •  A “high” hand of five cards (also known as the “back-hand” or “big hand”)
  • A “low” hand of two cards (sometimes called the front hand or little hand)

The high hand has to win over the bottom hand. For example, your high hand must be higher than a pair of fives if your bottom hand is a pair of fives.

The dealer shows your hands together with the banker’s hands after you’ve already set them. The following 3 outcomes are thus possible:

  • The player doubles their bet and wins both hands.
  • Both hands are won by the dealer, and the player loses their bet.
  • When the dealer wins one hand and the player the other. The hand is a push, and no money is exchanged (except the commission; more on this later).

In Pai Gow Poker, the dealer decides on ties. For instance, the dealer wins the hand if both you and the dealer have the low hand A-K.

Dealing with the cards in the game

A unique deal structure exists in Pai Gow Poker. Seven face-down piles are created by the dealer using the deck of cards. Each consists of seven cards: one for the dealer, one for each player. And four additional cards that are in the discard pile, or muck.

Fun fact: Before the creation of card shufflers. The dealer put the cards into piles, giving each one a head, body, and tail to resemble a dragon.

One through seven are assigned to each seat, starting with the banker. To figure out who receives cards first. A number is chosen at random, and the dealer distributes the cards counterclockwise.

Your Pai Gow hand setup

Only pairs and high cards can be made with a two-card hand. The five-card hand follows the same poker hand rankings as other hands. It’s important that the five-card hand beats the two-card hand in value. For example, the five-card hand must be better than a two-pair if the two-card hand contains a pair of aces.

Only flushes and straights can be completed using the joker. In the absence of either of these factors, the Joker must be an ace. This is by far the most typical Joker rule (other casinos may have others, though.)

If a player is dealt Q-9-7-6-5-3-2 and cannot produce a pair or better with those cards. That is referred to as a pai gow or non-hand.

Game Rules

Below is a quick summary of the general rules:

  • Players should place the Small Hand on top of the Big Hand while showing their hand.
  • It is never advisable for players to let their small hand outrank their big hand. This is referred to as fouling. And it results in a push at more liberal casinos but the loss of the entire bet in stricter settings.
  • Many casinos treat Pai Gow Poker as a friendlier. A more laid-back game where luck plays a bigger role than skills. As a result, many Dealers and Bankers are willing to help a player in setting their hands. Ask your Dealer if they’ll help you in setting your hand for the Showdown.
  • Before the cards are dealt, all bets and side bets must be placed.
  • A player has what is referred to as “Pai Gow,” or the “non-hand.” If they are unable to create a combination of cards in either hand.

Conclusion

Pai Gow Poker is a simple and fun game. Once you know the basics of its basic principles, which may take some time. Although it doesn’t involve complex strategic thinking. It is still difficult enough to keep you interested and entertained.

Also, you tend to receive more playing time than you might in other games like Blackjack. Because of the frequent pushes (remember that happens when you win both the high or low hand. and the dealer wins the other).

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