Pai Gow Poker

If you thought keeping track of one poker hand was tough, then try it with two!

In This Game Overview

  • About Pai Gow Poker 
  • Pai Gow Poker Game 

About Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow poker is played with a standard pack of 52 playing cards and one joker card used as an ace, which can only be used to complete a flush, a straight, or a straight flush. The playing area resembles a blackjack table with places for players to square off against the dealer. Interestingly enough, this game enables the players to act as dealers themselves. 

Pai Gow Poker Game

The game begins with each player posting a table minimum ante. The cards are shuffled by the dealer who then deals out seven cards to each player. This is done even if there are less than the maximum of six players sitting at the table. The player to receive first deal is determined by the banker either electronically or manually using dice, counting clockwise a number of steps corresponding to the total number of spots on three dice. 

Each player examines their seven cards and arrays them into one five-card hand, and a second two-card hand. This is more complicated than it sounds because there are a number of possible hand displays for each set of seven cards. Once the player has decided on his two hands, he places them on the table in special places marked for this purpose - the two-card hand is placed in front, with the five-card hand behind. 

The object of the game is to beat both of the dealer's hands. The following outcomes are possible: 

  • Both player's hands beat the dealer's - Player wins
  • One of player's hands beats dealer's - "Push" - nobody wins
  • One of player's hands equals dealer's - "Copy" - at tie, dealer wins
  • Both dealer's hands beat player's - Dealer wins

One further rule is that each player's five-card hand must have a higher value than his two-card hand. For example, a player cannot show an ace-high hand with his five-card hand, and a pair in his two-card hand. If the player makes an error in this regard, the dealer calls a foul and the player loses the hand.

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