How to Play Pai Gow Poker

While the traditional Chinese Pai Gow uses Chinese dominoes, the American Pai Gow Poker is a combination of poker and Pai Gow. That means its rules are borrowed from poker and pai gow to create a hybrid kind of poker. 

The rule of 52 cards and a joker applies, but the joker, in this case, is only applied as an ace. Players can only use it for completing a royal flush, a straight, a flush, or a straight flush. If you understand poker rules, it’s easy to understand pai gow poker rules. This is how it’s played.  

Where to play Pai Gow Poker

Poker has various versions such as video poker for real money, five-card draw, and seven-card stud. Pai Gow Poker has different variants too that you can access and play online or live on tables. 

It is a game of odds that restricts you to win a single hand for every deal. This gives you a lower-risk deal, unlike other types of card games. The player or group of players play against a banker. 

Setting the table

The first thing is to identify who the banker is. At any one time, the banker is mostly the dealer. They could also be another player or team of players. Since technology in daily life has made everything accessible online, the banker in an online Pai Gow Poker will only be the dealer. 

You may choose to play the game alone, but to add fun to win, play the game in a group. According to the rules, each table cannot have more than six players at a time. The deal involves seven cards – five in one hand and two in the other. 

The high and the low hand

If you want to make quick money in Pai Gow Poker, you must understand the terms high and low hand. The high hand means the hand with the five cards, and the low hand means the hand with the two cards. 

Immediately you set your high and low hands. It is time for the banker to reveal them together with his hands. Here are the likely outcomes:

You might win both hands, which means you win your bet

The banker might win both hands, which means you lose your bet

You might win only one hand, and the banker wins the other. Since this is a balanced win or what you might call a draw, the bet becomes a push bet. In this case, no money will move on their side. However, if your hand and the banker’s hand are low hands (A-K), the winner, in this case, is the banker. When setting your cards, the 5-card hand must outrank the 2-card hand. The rules of poker hand rankings can be used at this point.