In the unique Poker game of Pai Gow, you only have 1 chance to bet. So there is no chance to arrange your hand into a better one. Once you bet, you and the Dealer are dealt 7 cards each after your bet is placed. You must set these cards into 2 hands, which you hope will beat out the Dealer’s 2 hands. If they do, you win. Sounds pretty simple right? Not so fast. Let’s break it down a bit more.
The 2 hands that are set, must be separated into a 2-card hand and a 5-card hand. The 2-card hand must consist of a Pair or 2 individual cards. The highest 2-card hand is a pair of Aces. The lowest 2-card hand is a 2/3 card combination. The 5-card hand must make up a traditional Poker hand and must be of a higher value than the 2-card hand. You can divide your hand yourself, or let the computer do it for you, using the “House Way” method. It is very common and even more advised for new Players to use this method. Learning how to separate your cards into winning hands is the most challenging part of the game and it takes a bit of practice. However, if you utilize the House Way feature and have some basic knowledge about Poker, learning will be that much easier. If you’re looking for a fast-paced Poker game, you probably should venture outside the realm of Pai Gow Poker which tends to be a slow-paced game.
An Ace,2,3,4,5 card Straight is the 2nd highest Straight and outranks a King-high Straight. The Joker card can be used to complete a Straight, Flush, or a Straight Flush. In any other instances, it is treated as an Ace. If it is in the 2-card hand, it is considered an Ace ALWAYS.
Before we take a look at the Rules in detail, let’s quickly look at the Pai Gow Poker hand rank from highest to lowest:
- 5 Aces – includes 5 Aces and a Joker
- Royal Flush – includes Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10; all of same suit
- Straight Flush – 5 cards of the same suit in sequence
- 4 of a Kind – 4 cards of the same rank
- Full House – 3 of a Kind and a Pair
- Flush – 5 cards of the same suit
- Straight – 5 cards in sequence
- 3 of a Kind – 3 cards of the same rank
- 2 Pairs – 2 cards of one rank, plus 2 cards of another rank
- A Pair – 2 cards of the same rank
We have included the Rules you should follow if both you and the Dealer use the House Way feature to play Pai Gow:
The hand rank of the 2-card hand is simpler. As we learned earlier, the 2-card hand must consist of a Pair, with a pair of Aces being the highest. The rank of subsequent Pairs falls in order from Kings down to 2s, and the same ranking order applies to single cards. When you finish setting your cards, the Dealer will turn his cards face up and arrange the hand into a 2-card and 5-card winning combination. In order for you to win, your hands must beat the Dealer’s. If both you and the Dealer have 2-card hands of equal Poker value, known as copies, the Dealer wins. If one of your hands beats the Dealer but not the other, the result is a Tie and no money is lost.
Winnings paid to the Player are even minus a 5% commission. So, if you risked $50, the winning hand would return the risk amount plus an additional $45. Normally, the game will round up to the next $0.25 when taking commissions.
Pai Gow Poker Tip: In order to break even, taking into account the 5% House commission, you need to bank 6 to 14 times as many dollars as you bet. Want to learn more Pai Gow Poker Tips and Strategies?