Pai Gow Poker is a card game played with a 53-card deck—a standard deck of 52 cards and one Joker. In this version of Pai Gow Poker, the banker (or house) always plays as the dealer and covers all bets, and the player only competes against the dealer. The player receives seven cards, which must then be "set" or split into two poker hands: a five-card hand and a two-card hand. Once split, the player's two hands are compared with the dealer's two hands to determine the winner. The bank pays the winner—minus a 5% commission—and the game ends.
For each game, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals out seven cards into each hand—the dealer's cards remain unknown. The player must then "set" or split their seven cards into two poker hands: a five-card hand and a two-card hand.
Splitting cards and rules on the Joker
Pai Gow Poker places only one restriction upon splitting the initial seven cards: the five-card hand must have a higher poker rank than the two-card hand. The only other twist during the game is how to play the Joker. The Joker can be used to complete a five-card flush, straight, or straight flush. Otherwise, the Joker counts as an ace.
Ranking The Hands
The hands are ranked according to standard poker rules with one exception: the Ace-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. Straights rank, from highest to lowest: Ace-K-Q-J-10, Ace-2-3-4-5, K-Q-J-10-9 … 6-5-4-3-2. Also, keep in mind that the best two-card hand is a pair of aces; the two-card hand cannot have a flush (since a flush requires five cards).
Determining The Winner
The player's two hands are compared with the dealer's two hands to determine the winner. If both the player's five-card hand and two-card hand has a higher poker rank than both the dealer's hands (5 card and 2 card), the player wins. If both of the dealer's hands beat both of the player's hands, the dealer wins. If either the player or the dealer wins only one of the two hands, the game is a push and neither the dealer nor the player wins. When either the five-card hands or the two-card hands rank exactly the same, the equal hands are called "copies" of each other. The dealer wins all copy hands. For example, if the player beats the dealer in the five-card hand but copies the dealer with the two-card hand, the game is a push.
When the player's two hands beat the dealer's two hands, the player wins an amount equal to the original bet minus a 5% commission. When the dealer's two hands beat the player's two hands, the banker wins the player's original bet. Finally, when the game ends in a push, neither player nor dealer wins, and the player keeps the original bet.
PAI GOW POKER DIFFERENCES - PHYSICAL VS ONLINE
|Physical:||Players may play more than one hand when sitting at a Pai Gow table with fewer players than hands. The extra hands are called "dragon" hands.|
|Online:||The player may play only one hand; dragon hands are not supported.|
|Physical:||A player may choose to be the banker and must cover all winning bets.|
|Online:||The dealer is always the banker.|
|Physical:||Splitting the seven-card hand incorrectly so the two-card hand has a higher poker rank than the five-card hand forfeits the game.|
|Online:||The player may re-split the hand. The game only continues when the five-card hand has a higher poker rank than the two-card hand.|
|Physical:||The player can ask the house for help when deciding how to split the hand. The house would then show how it would split the hand.|
|Online:||The online version does not support asking the house for help.|
PAI GOW HAND RANKS (HIGHEST TO LOWEST)
The hands are ranked according to standard poker rules with one exception: the Ace-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. Straights rank, from highest to lowest: Ace-K-Q-J-10, Ace-2-3-4-5, K-Q-J-10-9 … 6-5-4-3-2. The best two-card hand is a pair of aces; the two-card hand cannot have a flush (since a flush requires five cards).
|Five of a Kind||4 aces plus the Joker||AS, AH, AD, AC, Joker|
|Royal Flush||10, J, Q, K, A of same suit||10H, JH, QH, KH, AH|
|Straight Flush||In sequence, 5 cards of same suit||3S, 4S, 5S, 6S, 7S|
|Four of a Kind||4 cards of same rank||6D, 6S, 6C, 6H|
|Full House||3 of a kind, plus a pair||2H, 2D, 2S, 3H, 3S|
|Flush||5 cards of same suit||2D, 4D, 6D, 8D, 9D|
|Straight||5 cards in sequence||3H, 4C, 5H, 6S, 7D|
|Three of a Kind||3 cards of same rank||7H, 7S, 7D|
|Two Pair||2 pairs of different rank||4H, 4S, 6D, 6S|
|One Pair||1 pair (2 cards) of same rank||KD, KH|
|High Card||5 cards of different ranks and suits||AH, KS, 10D, 5C, 2|
PAI GOW POKER INTERFACE
Clicking on the deal button after placing the initial bet starts a new game.
After selecting two cards to place into the two-card hand, clicking the split button arranges the seven cards into two hands—a five-card hand and a two-card hand—and continues the game.
To better see all possible ways to split the initial seven cards, re-arrange the hand by dragging cards to different locations.