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How to Play Pai Gow Poker-A Comprehensive Guide

How to Play Pai Gow Poker-A Comprehensive Guide


How to Play Pai Gow Poker-A Comprehensive Guide

How to Play Pai Gow Poker-A Comprehensive Guide

Poker has many variants and all of them including Pai Gow is popular. In this article, you will learn how to play pai gow poker.

Poker is one of those casino games that have many types and it somehow shows its popularity; why? Because each of its variants comes from one part of the world and that is how poker and its popularity have dominated our globe. One of these variants is Pai Gow poker (also known as double-hand poker) which is pretty popular among poker players. This article of the teaches you how to play pai gow poker.

How to Play Pai Gow Poker-All You Have To Know

Those who have learned how to play seven card stud poker might also become interested in learning how to play double hand poker because learning a complex concept sometimes encourages pursuing another one. If you have such a passion, this passage is for you.

What Is Pai Gow Poker?

What Is Pai Gow Poker?


Before we get into the details of our tutorial to play pai gow poker, how about we investigate what this poker game is. This club game is best explained as a mix of Chinese dominoes and poker. Created in 1985, it’s filled in prevalence throughout the years and is currently mainstream around the world, especially in the USA and Asia. Pai Gow Poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and one joker.

History Of Pai Gow Poker

It’s difficult to say if pai gow (literally “make nine” or “card nine”) is without a doubt the world’s most established casino game – because we don’t know precisely when they first began playing. Pai gow has been around for quite a long time, possibly millennia; it’s a round of dominoes, otherwise called tiles, where every player gets one stack of four and has to part it into two “hands,” each containing two tiles.

At that point the hands are contrasted with the Dealer’s; if one wins both hands, one wins the bet. Poker is a newer Western innovation, although it has roots following back to Eastern games like As-Nas. Chances are you’re acquainted with it; the 52-card play deck contains four suits (spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds), and 13 cards for each suit: Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Tens through Twos (otherwise known as Deuces).

The Ace counts as the highest or lowest card in the deck. The object in poker is to make the best five-card hand conceivable utilizing the standard poker hand rankings, with the Royal Flush (Ace-King-Queen-Jack-Ten of the same suit) being the most grounded.

So how did these two casino games meet up? In 1985, at the California Bell Club right outside of Los Angeles, proprietor Sam Torosian was searching for an approach to bring customers into his striving card room. Pai gow games were getting some activity, yet very little – it’s a to some degree hard game to learn, and not extremely well known outside the Asian community.

Poker had yet to experience the Moneymaker Era. So Torosian joined the two, utilizing a Chinese card game called pusoy (otherwise known as “Chinese Poker”) as a rule. The rest is club-playing history. Now that you have an answer to the question of “what is Pai Gow poker?” and know about its history, lets check pai gow poker rules.

Basic Rules Of Pai Gow Poker

Basic Rules Of Pai Gow Poker


In this part of our guide to play pai gow poker, pai gow poker rules are explained to you. The motive of the game is for the player to beat the dealer/banker hand with two sets of higher ranking poker hands in the form of a five-card hand set and a two-card hand set. An imperative is that the Joker card can be utilized in the game to fill in for an Ace or can be utilized to complete a straight, a flush, or a straight flush.

The game is played as definite underneath:

The player is dealt seven cards with which he/she must arrange them into two separate hands.

o         The two-card hand follows the accompanying ranking framework: two Aces is the most ideal result, trailed by lower numbered pairs, trailed by higher valued cards which are not paired.

o         The five-card hand follows the same ranking framework as customary poker rankings, with some exceptions. First, a straight of Ace – 2 – 3 – 4 and 5 is the second highest straight you can achieve, being ranked in between the Ace – King – Queen – Jack – 10 and King – Queen – Jack – 10 – 9 flushes. The most ideal combination is five aces (for example four aces and a Joker) which ranks over the straight flush.

Critical to note is that the five-card hand must consistently be of a more prominent worth than the two-card hand. Once forming their combinations, the player at that point puts their two hands face down on the table, with the dealer at that point exposing their seven cards after which the player is no longer permitted to change their arrangement.

The dealer arrange their cards into a five-card hand and a two-card hand, the same combination as the player. Then, the players’ cards are exposed, with the bet reliant upon the outcome between the player’s five-card hand and the dealer’s five-card hand and the player’s two-card hand with the dealer’s two-card hand.

The pai gow poker payouts are resolved as follows:

o         If both of the player’s hands win, the dealer pays out the sum bet by the player, for example, odds of 1:1.

o         If the dealer wins one hand and the player wins the other hand, no cash changes hands in what is known as a ‘push’.

o         If both hands are won by the dealer, the player loses his/her bet.

Nonetheless, if either hand is tied between the player and the dealer, the dealer wins that specific hand – a move that builds pai gow poker house edge and in this manner diminishes your odds of getting a collect. After all wagers have been paid out, the game rehashes. Now you know about the pai gow poker rules, but ho they differ from the rules of standard poker? Check the next part.

Pai Gow Poker Rules – How Is The Game Different To Poker?

As we’ve already expressed on our guide about how to play pai gow poker, this game meshes several aspects of Poker and the Chinese domino game, Pai Gow. What’s more, albeit the game’s name recommends that it’s a kind of Poker and the hand rankings are equivalent to that of the base hand, the pai gow poker rules make it different. Underneath we mention what’s different between the two gambling club games.

Pai Gow Poker Rules versus Standard Poker’s Rules:

  • Players are given a 7-card hand instead of a 2-card hand which must be parted into a bottom hand and a front hand;
  • The deck utilized in the game commonly comprises 52 cards in addition to 1 Joker instead of the 2 that are utilized in Poker;
  • Pai Gow Poker doesn’t permit bluffing as Poker does;
  • Gamblers clash against the dealer rather than other players.

Pai Gow Bonus Payout Chart

Pai Gow Bonus Payout Chart


In this part of our article about how to play double hand poker, you are provided with the pai gow poker payouts in terms of bonuses.

  • 7-Card Straight Flush (no Joker) pays 8,000-1
  • Royal Flush in addition to two 2s pays 2,000-1
  • 7-Card Straight Flush with joker pays 1,000-1
  • Five aces pay 400-1
  • Royal flush pays 150-1
  • Straight flush pays 50-1
  • Four of a sort pays 25-1
  • Full house pays 5-1
  • Flush pays 4-1
  • Three of a sort pays 3-1
  • Straight pays 2-1

The House Edge

So what is the pai gow poker house edge? The house edge in Pai-Gow Poker relies upon if you’re banking. At the point when you are banking and you play by the house way, you’re playing with no house edge. However, when you’re not banking, the house edge is about 2.9%. On the off chance that the house permits co-banking, the house edge comes out to about 1.46%.

Pai Gow Poker Odds

Pai Gow Poker Odds


As mentioned above, pai gow poker house edge is 1.46%. That number implies that (given a limitless measure of bets throughout an endless time-frame) bettors expect to lose 1.46% of their bankroll. It additionally gives you some thought of the amount you ought to expect to lose, but we doubt you have limitless measures of time and cash.

Here’s an illustration of what those pai gow poker odds may mean for your bankroll. At an average of 180 hands 60 minutes, an online Pai Gow Poker player wagering $1 per hand ought to expect losses of $2.52 for every hour of play. Recollect that this figure assumes that you play as indicated by ideal methodology.

Pai Gow Poker Hand Rankings

As you probably have found out, your performance in Pai Gow version of poker depends on pai gow poker hand rankings. In this section of our tutorial to play pai gow poker, you are given the related details.

  1. 5 Aces: Four Aces and a Joker
  2. Royal Flush: An Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit.
  3. Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit in consecutive ranking. Note: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 is the most noteworthy Straight Flush.
  4. 4 of a Kind: Four cards of the same.
  5. Full House: 3 of a Kind and a Pair.
  6. Flush: Five cards of the same suit.
  7. Straight: Five cards of successive rank paying little heed to suit. Note: 10, J, Q, K, Ace is the most noteworthy Straight. Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 is the second most elevated Straight.
  8. 3 of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank.
  9. 2 Pair: Two sets of Pairs of various ranks.
  10. One Pair: Two cards of the same rank paying little mind to suit.
  11. High Card: The highest rank single card. On the off chance that both the Player’s hand and Banker’s hand have the same High Card, the following highest card is counted in conjunction with the most elevated card to determine a winner. Note: If the Player’s low or high hand is identical in rank to the Banker’s corresponding hand, it is known as a “copy” hand. The Banker wins all copy hands.

The Joker In Pai Gow Poker

The Joker In Pai Gow Poker


Rather than going about as a whatever-card-you-want wild card, the joker in Pai Gow is called as a “bug.” It goes about as an ace except if it can be utilized to round out a straight or a flush. This additionally implies that you can have five aces, which is the best conceivable five-card hand in Pai Gow.


After shuffling, the cards are served in seven piles with seven cards, each pile facing downwards. The excess four cards are kept untouched paying little mind to the players in question. Every player is allotted a number from 1-7 as their wagering position, beginning from the dealer and going clockwise above the counter.

A number is chosen from that 1-7 assigned before – basically by dice or electronically – and afterward starts the deal counter clockwise. If a spot is empty, it is as yet assigned yet on the discard pile with the four untouched cards.

How To Play Pai Gow Poker?

How To Play Pai Gow Poker?


A round of Pai Gow poker starts with the players putting down wagers before getting any cards. In this game, just this one bet is made, and it must be inside the base and maximum limitations of the table. At the point when every one of the wagers is put, the players can get their cards – 7 cards each, including the house/the dealer (these cards are placed face-down).

Whenever you have the cards, it is your task to organize them into two poker hands, a standard 5-card hand and a 2-card hand. For the best outcomes, attempt to part the hand in a way that gives you the most grounded potential hands. Your 2-card hand ought to likewise be solid, yet it must not outrank your big hand. The dealer’s hand (the hand of the house) is parted by the House Way, which may marginally vary from one venue to the next.

When the hands are rearranged and set, the players’ backhand is contrasted with the house’s backhand and the front to the front. The rankings, as clarified above in our guide to play pai gow poker, apply and the hands are assessed. On the off chance that both of your hands are better compared to both of the dealer’s hands, you win and get paid your bet at 1:1 odds.

If just one of the two beats the dealer’s hand, the round is viewed as a push. For this situation, some clubs will return your bet, while in some this will be considered a win for the house. If the house presents stronger hands, both of them, you lose.

How To Play Online Pai Gow Poker?

Pai Gow Poker games utilize the same deck as standard poker, yet with a Joker included, making it a 53-card game. After one puts down one’s play bet at an online club utilizing the virtual chips givn, one will get seven cards, face-up, while the gambling club Dealer’s seven cards will be face-down.

Now, one divides one’s cards into two hands; the “high” hand will have five cards, and the “low” hand will have two. Whenever you’ve settled on your choice, the gambling club Dealer will do likewise, utilizing a predetermined technique known as the “house way,” and the hands will be compared to see who wins.

Pai Gow Showdown

Pai Gow Showdown


Whenever players have set their hands, they place the two-card hand in front and the five-card hand in back. That is why the five card-hand is alluded to as the “bottom,” “high,” “behind,” or “big” hand while the two-card hand is customarily called “on top,” “small,” “minor,” “in front,” or “low.”

On the off chance that a hand is set incorrectly, for example, having the two-card hand outranking the five-card hand—at that point the hand is fouled and is either reset based on the house rules or forfeited, contingent upon the club.

Assuming the club/dealer is the banker, the cards must be set based on the house rules. However, if a player is the banker for a specific hand, that player is allowed to set their hand in any way they want. On the off chance that a player co-banks with the dealer, the player must set their hand as per house rules.

Banking In Pai Gow Poker

At Pai Gow Poker tables in land-based clubs, the dealer will occasionally ask players as to whether they wish to be the “banker”. This implies a player can play their hand against their adversaries just as the dealer’s. Albeit this may sound risky, it can shift the pai gow poker odds in support of yourself.

As the banker, you win “ties”, so when you and your adversaries have one higher hand each, you win. It lessens the pai gow poker house edge to just 1.46% during any “banker” hands. It’s something to remember once you improve your skills and want to increase your income.

Side Bets In Pai Gow Poker

Side Bets In Pai Gow Poker


Contingent upon the club — and how fortunate you’re feeling — there might be the following side bets in pai gow poker you can make:

  • Tiger 9: You are wagering that the dealer has a 9 high in the two-card low hand (35:1);
  • Queen’s Dragon: You are wagering that the dealer will have a Queen high (50:1);
  • Pai Gow Insurance: You are wagering that the dealer will not have a pair or better (player’s wager gets paid double);
  • Pai gow progressive bonus: All gambling clubs in San Diego have this $1 bet where the jackpot for hitting a seven-card straight flush is normally more than $100,000.

Examples Of House-Way Rules

When you have learned how to play pai gow poker, while playing, you might be given the chance to be the banker. In this case, you have to part cards into two hands based on the way clarified by the house. In this position, you have the following options:

Two pairs, Joker’s Wild: When the highest pair is …

  • Aces, Kings or Queens, consistently split into two pairs.
  • Jacks, 10s, or 9s, split except if you have an Ace to play in the low hand.
  • 8s, 7s, or 6s, split except if you have a King or higher to play in the low hand.
  • 5s or lower, split except if you have a Queen or higher to play in the low hand.

Two pairs, Vegas-Style: If your hand is …

  • Without an Ace or Joker, split just on the off chance that one pair is 7s or higher.
  • With an Ace or Joker, split just on the off chance that one pair is 7s or higher and the other pair is Jacks or higher.

Full house, Joker’s Wild: Pair in the low hand; trips (three-of-a-sort) in the high hand.

Full House, Vegas-Style: Always split it up, unless you have a pair of 2s and also an Ace and King to play in the low hand.

How To Arrange Your Pai Gow Hand

How To Arrange Your Pai Gow Hand


The second way you can diminish the house edge is to properly arrange your Pai Gow hand in each game. If you don’t adhere to the principles underneath, you will give up cash in each hand. To utilize the following guide, find your hand and follow the advice provided. Big hand alludes to the five-card hand, and small hand alludes to the two-card hand.

  • No Pair: Put the highest card in small hand, and the following two highest cards in the big hand.
  • One Pair: Put the pair in small hand.
  • Two Pair: Use the accompanying terms in the info beneath – pair of twos-sixes is a small pair, pair of sevens-tens is a medium pair, and pair of Jacks-Kings is a big pair:

Two small pairs – Split except if you have a king or higher – assuming this is the case, put both pairs in big hand.

Small pair and medium pair – Split except if you have a king or higher – provided that this is true, put both pairs in big hand.

Small pair and big pair – Split except if you have an ace – if so put both pairs in big hand.

Two medium pairs – Split except if you have an ace – if so put both pairs in big hand.

Medium pair and high pair – Split.

Two high pairs – Split.

*Pair of Aces with any other pair – Split.

  • Three Pair: Put the highest pair in big hand.
  • Three of a Kind: Put three of a king in big hand except if they are aces – assuming this is the case, put two aces in big hand and one ace in small hand.
  • Three of a Kind (twice): Put high pair in small hand, low three of a kind in big hand.
  • Straights, Flushes, Straight Flushes, and Royal Flush: follow leads underneath:

No pair – If you are choosing whether to play a straight, flush, or straight flush, play whatever permits you to place the highest two cards in the small hand.

With extra sixth or seventh card(s) – Play the lower straight/flush in the big hand so you can place the highest cards in the small hand.

With one pair – Play pair in the small hand just if you still can play the straight, flush, or royal flush in the big hand.

With two pairs – Follow the guidance for two pairs, mentioned previously.

With three pairs – Follow the guidance for three pairs, mentioned previously.

With three of a kind – Play the pair in the small hand.

With full house – Follow the guidance for full houses, mentioned underneath.

  • Full House: Split, except if the pair is twos and you additionally have an ace and a king to place in your small hand.
  • Full House with an Additional Pair: Put the highest pair in your small hand.
  • Full House with an Additional Three of a Kind: Put the highest pair in your small hand.
  • Four of a Kind: Follow the guidelines beneath:

Twos-Sixes – Play four of a kind in big hand.

Sevens-Tens – Split except if you have a King or Ace to place in the small hand.

Jacks-Kings – Split except if you have an Ace to place in the small hand.

Aces – Split.

  • Four of a Kind and Pair: Put pair in small hand.
  • Four of a Kind and Three of a Kind: Put pair from three of a kind in the small hand.
  • Five Aces: Put three aces in the big hand and two aces in the small hand, except if you have a pair of kings – at that point play five aces in the big hand and the pair of kings in the small hand.

Pai Gow Poker Types

Now that you know how to play pai gow poker, you are better to become familiar with pai gow poker types which are as follow:

  • Bonus/Fortune Pai Gow Poker

Bonus Pai Gow Poker (at times called Fortune Pai Gow) is played in the very same way as typical Pai Gow Poker, except that you’re given a bonus payout of up to 8000 times your bet if you put down a bonus bet and your seven cards hand contains a winning combination – paying little heed to how you set the front and back.

The reasons that Bonus/Fortune Pai Gow poker is more fit to higher-risk players are:

  1. a) you’re wagering twice as much per game (the bet and the bonus bet) and
  2. b) in case of a tie, the bonus bet isn’t gotten back to you.

Be that as it may, if, for instance, your seven cards contained four of a kind, you would get a bonus payment of 25 times your bonus bet, paying little mind to your bonuses in the ‘typical’ play. The odds against getting these hands are bigger than the payouts, giving a subsequently higher house edge, yet the conceivable payouts suit the individuals who appreciate taking more of a risk.

  • Commission-Free Pai Gow Poker

Some clubs offer a commission-free pai gow poker where the winning wagers pay even money. The house edge for these games is just 1.30%. Commission free games are rare because the gambling club just brings in cash on losing wagers and side wagers.

  • EZ Pai Gow Poker

EZ Pai Gow Poker is also a free commission rendition of pai gow poker. Notwithstanding, to compensate for the loss of the commission, there are extra hands that end in a push rather than a win. For instance, if the dealer has a queen-high as their five-card hand, the hand consequently pushes, regardless of what hand the player has.

  • No-Push Pai Gow Poker

No-push pai gow poker games are rare and are ordinarily just found in Station Casinos in Las Vegas. They don’t offer banking for this variation, and there is no commission. Push hands are not permitted, either. If the dealer ties with one of the player’s hands, they will take two of the four remaining cards to determine the tie-breaker.

The dealer and player each get one card face-down. As long as the dealer’s card is equivalent to or higher than the player’s card, the dealer wins. The player wins when their tie-breaking card is higher than the dealer’s card.

  • Emperors Challenge Pai Gow Poker

Emperors Challenge Pai Gow Poker is another common variety of Pai Gow Poker found in clubs. This variety also doesn’t charge a commission. They added a third accessible side bonus bet in this game called the Pai Gow Insurance Bonus. To the extent we know, there are no online adaptations of this game to play. It is just found inside land-based clubs.

The Emperors Challenge Bonus payouts are very similar to the Fortune Bonus payouts. In addition to the payouts for a straight or better, the bonus likewise pays for a pai gow hand with a jack high or lower. To make up for this expansion, the top bonus payout was lowered and the royal flush with royal match category was eliminated. Since a pai gow hand is considerably more common than both of those hands, it appears to be a decent trade-off.

  • Pai Gow Mania Poker

Pai Gow Mania Poker plays precisely the same as customary Pai Gow Poker, other than the expansion of two side bonus wagers. One side bonus is the normal 7-card best hand bonus that numerous other varieties offer. The payouts are somewhat different. It depends on any combination of cards in your hand.

The other bonus is a fun mash up of two gambling club table games: Pai Gow Poker and Three Card Poker. When the dealer deals the Pai Gow Poker Mania cards, they are dealt in two separate batches. The primary deal is 3 cards. If you are betting the optional Three Card Bonus bet, your payout is determined by the primary set of cards dealt to you.

You will at that point get your payout if qualified. From that point forward, the other four excess cards are deat to the players, and the rest of the Pai Gow Poker game is played. This side bonus has a house advantage of just 3.86%. In addition to the fact that this is a decent percentage for an extra bonus game, yet additionally it adds an entire other game to your ordinarily sluggish Pai Gow Poker Game. This variety is extremely popular for this reason.

  • Face Up Pai Gow Poker

Face Up Pai Gow Poker is a pai gow poker variation played with a 53-card deck, comprising of a standard 52 card deck and one joker. This joker acts as a bug, may either complete a straight, flush, straight flush or act as an Ace. It plays like ordinary pai gow poker, except in which all the dealer cards are exposed first. On the off chance that the dealer has precisely an ACE-high hand “pai gow”, the hand will automatically resolve in a push.

  • Dragon Hand

Dragon hand pai gow poker is somewhat different. It’s not a particular game that you can find, rather a choice some clubs will offer, while others won’t. It is just an option in a land-based gambling club. The dragon hand is an additional hand that is dealt to a vacant seat at the card table. A player can decide to play this hand beside their own hand.

How this choice is given changes between gambling clubs. Some will let all players at the table choose to wager on one dragon hand. Others will have a dragon hand button that is passed around the table. Just the player who currently holds the dragon hand button is permitted to wager on it.

On the off chance that the bet is offered to all players at the table, the player will not set the cards. They will be set by the dealer under the house way rules. If the dragon hand is only accessible to one player, they are ordinarily permitted to take a gander at it and set it themselves. The dragon hand is constantly played after you have set your standard hand.

Bottom Line

Bottom line


That should cover all you require to know about how to play pai gow poker. The game may feel like it requires a ton of exertion to learn, but it doesn’t. The principles sound considerably more mind-boggling than they actually are. After a short learning period, very little thought must be given to play the game.

If you haven’t tried double hand Poker and are searching for a new game to try, it should be toward the top spot on your list. It’s an original and fun game, offering the opportunity for a major jackpot payout.

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Pai Gow Poker

  • How would you win in Pai Gow Poker?

You win in Pai Gow Poker when both your two-card and five-card poker hands beat the banker’s two-card and five-card hands.

  • What are the odds of hitting a seven-card straight flush in Pai Gow?

The odds of hitting a seven-card straight flush are 5,000,000:1 without the benefit of a joker and 800,000:1 with a joker.

  • What is the bonus bet in Pai Gow Poker?

A bonus bet is a side wager you can put on what cards will be dealt. It is independent of how the hands are split and pays out paying little mind to who wins the round.

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