How to Play Pai Gow Poker | Pai Gow Poker Rules

While a game of skill, most hands are obvious how to play, and it is not difficult to learn proper strategy for the rest of them. Check with each local casino to see what their House Way is. In casino-banked games, the banker is generally required to set his hand in a pre-specified manner, called the "house way", so that the dealer does not have to implement any strategy in order to beat the players. The idea for the game came to Torosian after being told about the game Pusoy by an elderly Filipino customer. This is because the player has already seen 7 cards their original hand which could affect the way they would set the dragon hand. The game is played with a standard card deck , plus a single joker. Find the best poker sites to start your online poker quest.

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Introduction

If you're dealt the joker yes, the joker is included in the deck for Pai Gow Poker play it can be used to substitute for a card in 3 ways:. The only rule for separating your two Pai Gow hands is simple: The five-card hand MUST outrank the two-card hand. As you can see the big hand has a pair while the small hand has only ace high.

Doing it the other way around putting the two 8s in the small hand would not be allowed since the small hand would outrank the big hand. If you do mess up and make your small hand outrank your big hand, it's called "fouling your hand" and you lose your bet. So don't do it! Your 5-card hand is ranked according to the standard Poker Hand Rankings with one notable exception in some casinos:. It's a weird rule and a lot of casinos have dropped it now but many still hold true with it.

Check with your local house rules to be sure. Because you can't lose your money if just one of your hands is better than the dealer, it's common strategy to split your hand in a way which gives you the strongest possible two-card hand without outranking your five-card hand. The exception to this strategy is if you're able to make a very strong five-card hand such as a straight or better. In that scenario your five-card hand is almost sure to be a winner allowing you to freeroll on any two card hand you play.

When playing hands with no pairs ie a totally unconnected set of 7 cards the commonly accepted method is to:. In every casino Pai Gow game the dealer is required to set his or her Pai Gow hand in specific ways. This is called the "House Way. This varies from casino to casino but is listed in every casino's gaming guide.

Check with each local casino to see what their House Way is. Once all hands are set you must compare your two hands to the corresponding two hands of the dealer. In Pai Gow ties go to the dealer so if you have the exact same hand eg a pair of 88s in your low hand the dealer wins that hand. The house edge in Pau Gow is pretty low to begin with and can be reduced even more about 2. With no House commission the banker has a 1. Now that you know the rules and simple strategy to reduce the house edge, your next step is to take a shot at a few free Pai Gow games online.

Check our toplist above for casinos that offer Pai Gow Poker. If you want to try it out before dropping down any real money they all have free or play-money versions you can likely try to get used to the rules and play.

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The first player to accept the dragon hand receives it; this player is effectively playing two separate hands. Rules vary from casino to casino, but generally the dealer turns over the dragon hand and sets it using the house way. This is because the player has already seen 7 cards their original hand which could affect the way they would set the dragon hand.

Five-card hands use standard poker hand rankings with one exception: At most casinos in California and Michigan this rule doesn't apply, and A is the lowest possible straight.

The joker plays as a bug , that is, in the five-card hand it can be used to complete a straight or flush if possible; otherwise it is an ace. In the two-card hand it always plays as an ace, except in several southern Californian casinos where the joker is wild.

If each of the player's hands beats each of the banker's corresponding hands, then he wins the bet. If only one of his hands beats the banker then he pushes ties in which case neither he nor the banker wins the bet. If both of his hands lose to the banker then he loses.

On each hand, ties go to the banker for example, if a player's five-card hand loses to the banker and his two-card hand ties the banker then the player loses ; this gives the banker a small advantage. If the player fouls his hand, meaning that his two-card hand outranks his five-card hand, or that there are an incorrect number of cards in each hand, there will usually be a penalty: In casino-banked games, the banker is generally required to set his hand in a pre-specified manner, called the "house way", so that the dealer does not have to implement any strategy in order to beat the players.

When a player is banking, he is free to set the hand however he chooses; however, players have the option of "co-banking" with the house, and if this option is chosen then the player's hand must also be set in the house way. Californian casinos typically charge a flat fee per hand such as 5 cents or one dollar to play, win or lose. There are a number of variations of Pai Gow poker that are popular in casinos today. These variations were mainly formulated in - Pai Gow Mania was the first variation to be created which allows for two side bets instead of the traditional one side bet per hand.

Fortune Pai Gow is another variation which allows players to make a side bet on a poker hand ranking of trips or better. This is one of the most popular variations. Similar to Fortune Pai Gow is Emperors Challenge, which also allows a side bet on a 7 card pai gow no hand.

Shuffle Master introduced a variation of the game in , adding a progressive jackpot side bet, named Progressive Fortune Pai Gow. Part or all of the jackpot may be won by placing a side bet and landing one of the hands specified on the payout table. Advantage play refers to legal methods used to gain an advantage while gambling. In pai gow poker, a player may be able to gain an advantage in certain circumstances by banking as often as possible, taking advantage of unskilled players while banking, and dealer errors when not banking.

The idea for the game came to Torosian after being told about the game Pusoy by an elderly Filipino customer. He figured that the 13 card game with players arranging 3 hands would be too slow, but a simplified 2 hand version with only 7 cards would be faster and easier for players to learn. The game quickly became popular and by the late s was being played on the Las Vegas strip, and eventually worldwide.

Torosian famously failed to patent the game he invented after being given bad advice by an attorney he consulted, and noted poker author Mike Caro , both of whom told him that the game was not patentable.

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