How to Play Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker has been one of the most played online usa casino games in more recent times and is growing in popularity. Pai Gow Poker can be found in both online usa casinos as well as in land based casinos. The game originates from Asia and the name comes from Pai Gow which means “makes nine” The game in Asia is traditionally played with dominoes, the game was then paired with poker and Pai Gow Poker was born!
In Pai Gow Poker, the players wager against the house and is played with a deck of 52 cards and a joker. The goal in this game is for the player to hold two hands of cards that rank higher than the bankers two hands of cards. In casinos the game of Pai Gow Poker typically seats about six players plus the dealer who is also known as the banker. The player on the left of the dealer starts the game which will move clockwise from there. The game also usually starts with the dealer as the banker, after each round a new banker is selected starting with the player to the left of the dealer, then the dealer becomes just another player who plays for the house. Some might feel this task is a bit intimidating so they are able to decline this role as they would like.
The cards are shuffled to begin the game. Of course you might be wondering how the joker is used in this game, the joker is used as a wild card to make the best straights, flushes, and straight flushes. Of course the joker can be used as an Ace as well. The dealer will make stacks of seven cards using the whole deck, four cards will be left over and are not used during the game. Players are then asked to place their bets and the dice are then rolled by the dealer. The game consists of three dice which are placed into a cup and are then rolled out onto the table, this is used to determine which player gets the first stack of cards. Basically how this works, the dealer will count the numbers on the dice and then count around the table, each player including himself whichever person it lands on, will be the first player. After that, card stacks are handed out in a clockwise fashion. The players will then make their poker hands one hand will be a five card poker hand, and the other hand will be a two card poker hand one will be the high hand, and the other the low hand.
Hand Rankings are a bit different in this game they are as follows;
1 Five Aces: Five aces and a joker
2 Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, 10 all of same suit
3 Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit in sequence
4 4 of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank
5 Full House: 3 of a Kind and a Pair
6 Flush: Five cards of the same suit
7 Straight: Five cards in sequence
8 3 of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank
9 2 Pair: Two cards of one rank, plus two of another
10 1 Pair: Two cards of the same rank
The low hand wins if it has a pair, if it does not, it loses. The highest rank in this hand is of course, a pair of aces. Keep in mind, the low hand cannot exceed the player’s high hand, if this happens it is considered a foul in the game of Pai Gow Poker where the player will lose their bet. From there the banker will turn over their cards and has time to set up their high hand and their low hand. The game continues around the table clockwise to determine who has the best hands! In Pai Gow there are things called copies, this is where the dealer wins if the player’s hands equal the same value.
For the highest chance at a payout, the player will actually want to be the banker because they have their own hands to play with and they win all copies!