Pai Gow Poker is inspired by “Pai Gow” which is a Chinese domino game. Although the original Pai Gow is played with dominos, Pai Gow Poker is a slightly different game as it is
played using cards.
This game is very easy to learn and poker players consider this game “exciting and relaxing” at the same time.
This is one of the reasons this game is highly popular in casinos. There are just a few simple rules and a basic understanding of 5-card hands related to traditional poker. Once you learn these things, you can easily play Pai Gow Poker.
Let us go through some basics to understand this game. Hopefully, after reading this article you will understand this game and how it is played.
Part 1: Let us Learn the Basics
Firstly, you must learn the 10 basic 5-card hands in the traditional poker card game. Because Pai Gow Poker is a slightly different variation of poker, it uses the same basics as traditional poker.
However, in Pai Gow Poker, players do not play against themselves but against the dealer. In order to understand Pai Gow Poker let us understand the basics of 5-card poker hands.
- A Royal flush is when one has Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and a 10 of the same suit.
- A Straight flush is when one has 5 consecutive cards of the same suit like ace, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of clubs.
- 4 of the same kind is when one has 4 of the same cards, but different suits.
- A full house is when one has 3 cards of the same rank plus 2 cards of the same rank.
- A flush is when one has 5 cards of the same suit.
- A straight is when one has 5 cards in sequence but can be from different suits, like 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
- 3 of a kind is when one has 3 of the same cards.
- 2 pairs are when 2 matching cards of the same ranking and 2 matching cards of another rank.
- A pair is when one has 2 matching cards.
- A High card is when one has the highest-ranking card in the hand.
You have to make 2 best hands out of the cards that you’re dealt each round. 7 cards are dealt in each round of Pai Gow Poker.
After getting your cards you have to arrange the best 5-card hand and 2-card hand that you have. Above all, your 5-card hand should be better than your 2-card hand. The best you can get for your 2-card hand is a pair.
- It is not necessary for every one of the 5 cards to be a part of your hand. For instance, if you have 3-of-a-kind cards, the 2 cards that are remaining can simply form the rest of your 5-card hand.
You must try to beat both of the dealer’s hands in order to win the round. This is because of the same reason we mentioned earlier, you are not playing against the other players at the table.
In order to win the round, your 5-card hand and 2-card hand both must beat the dealer. By winning the round you double the bet that you placed earlier.
If you lose both of our hands, you lose the bet you placed. And now what if the dealer wins just 1 hand and I win the other? Well, then the round ends in a push and there is no winner.
- In case both of your hands tie the dealer, then the dealer wins that round.
Part 2: Let Us See How To Play a Round
Firstly, choose the dealer for every round. Or you can take turns being the dealer or banker in case you are not playing in the casino. This way you can take turns being the dealer while playing Pai Gow Poker.
You must place your bet before the dealer deals out 7 cards to each player. And choose an amount between the minimum and maximum bet amount.
You can check out different tables as some tables at casinos will have different minimum and maximum amounts. It will be helpful for you to choose a table that you are comfortable playing with.
After placing the bets, the dealer will deal each player at the table with 7 cards. And then the players will start to form their 2 hands.
After that, the dealer will deal 7 cards for themselves, face up and arrange their cards. Then you will take a look through your 7 cards and form them into 2 hands. After that, you will place your face up on the table.
- All the players at the table, including the dealer, will be able to see everyone’s hands.
Then lastly you have to look through your cards and form your 5-card hand with your best cards. In addition, you have to form your 2-card hand with the best cards that you have left.
- Do not forget, your 5-card hand must be better than your 2-card hand.
Part 3: Scoring in a Round
Now you have to compare your 2-card hand to the dealer’s 2-card hand. Once everyone at the table is done arranging their 2 hands, the dealer will deal their 7 cards and form their 1-card and 2-card hands.
Lastly, you have to compare your 2-card hand to the dealer’s hand to check if yours is better.
- If you both have a pair then the higher pair wins.
In case there are no pairs, the highest card of one hand beats the highest card of the other hand. But if the 2 highest numbers match, then the highest number on the second card is the winner.
Make sure you match your 5-card hand against the dealer’s 5-card hand. As to win that round you only need to beat the dealer’s hand. So after you’ve done comparing your 2-card hand to theirs, next is to check their 5-card hand to check how it stacks up next to yours.
Don’t forget the basic 5-card hands game and check to see if you have a better rank than the dealer’s hand
- The dealer wins even if your hand ties the dealer’s hand.
To win and double the amount of money, make sure you defeat both hands of the dealer.
But in case you lose both of your hands against the dealer’s hands, you lose the money as well.
- This is a risky but quick way to win money which is the reason gambling can be extremely addictive. It is wise to limit your betting to a healthy amount.
You have to score a push to advance to the next round. If you and the dealer wins 1 round each, then the round ends as a tie. This means you have to play another round to decide the winner.
And this is how you play Pai Gow Poker. After reading this article we hope that now you have grasped the concept of how this game is played.
We hope you have fun and gamble responsibly. For more such informative articles on gambling and poker games, please check out our website.