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How To Play Pai Gow Poker:

It's hard to win a lot of money in Pai Gow, but on the other hand it is also hard to lose a lot of it! The game is played with a Deck of 52 cards, including one Joker. This Joker is a Wild Card, but it can only be used as an Ace or to complete a Straight, Straight Flush or Royal Flush. Ranks and Values of the hands are the same as in basic Poker. After you place your bet, simply done by placing a chip in front of you on the table, each Player and the Dealer will get Seven cards. Now you have to Split up your Seven cards into Two hands.

One hand with Five cards and one with Two cards. The only thing you always have to consider when Splitting up your hand is: the Five card hand must always outrank the Two card hand.

For Example

You have a pair of Fives and a pair of Sevens in your original hand. The pair of Fives must go into the Two card hand and the Sevens have to be in the Five card hand. If your Two card hand ranks higher than your Five cards you automatically lose the game. Once all the players have arranged their cards the Dealer will turn over his cards and split them up as well. He must also arrange them in the same way you just did, with the Five cards higher than the Two. The objective of the game is for Both of the Players hands to Rank Higher than Both of the Dealers hands.

After the Dealer has split up his cards, he starts to compare his cards with the Players hands in turn. The Pai Gow Players Two-card (low) must now Beat the Dealers Two-card hand, and the Players Five cards (high) must also Beat the Dealers Five card hand. Only then will you Win. If your Low-card beats the Dealers Low-card and loses on the High-card, or reversed, it is considered a Push. In the case of a Push, which happens often, no money will be exchanged and the hand is over. If either one of your hands rank the same as the Dealers, it is called a Tie. The Dealer Wins all the Ties.

Since in this system lots of hands end up with a Push, especially with Low-cards, the casino does not make so much money out of it as it would like.

So the casino charges a 5% Commission on any Winning Bet. No commission is charged on a Push or a Lost bet. Most casinos want the commission right away. This means, in case you win your game, you have to throw the Dealer a Quarter on a Five Dollar win. You will only win $4.75. Other casinos keep track of the money you owe and you can settle up when you leave the table.

Pai Gow Tips

"I prefer setting my own Hands in Pai Gow Poker, What are some of the Strategies that I can use to Set my Hands?" In setting your Hands, always bear in mind that you need both hands to win in order to make a profit. As a result, we advise that it is better to set Two Average Hands, rather than a powerful ‘High Hand’ and mediocre ‘low Hand’. This way both Hands have a better chance of Winning.

Let’s look at a few Hand Set Decisions: You have No Pairs, Straights or Flushes We suggest that you use the Second and Third Highest card as the ‘Low Hand’. Use the remaining cards as the ‘High Hand’. You have 1 Pair: Use the Two Highest Un-paired hands as the ‘Low Hand’. Using the remaining cards as the ‘High Hand’. You have a Straight: Use the Straight as the ‘High Hand’ and the remaining cards as the ‘Low Hand’.

Five Aces (4 Aces and a Joker): Use two Aces in the ‘Low Hand’ and the remaining 3 in the ‘High Hand’. I hope that I was able to assist and that my suggestions - although not foolproof - will bring you the Best of Luck on the Pai Gow Poker Table.

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Last Updated 5 July 2016
How to Play Pai Gow Poker

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