How to Play Pai Gow: Setup and Rules

By gaining proficiency in these advanced techniques and integrating them with a solid basic strategy, you can notably enhance your prospects of success in Pai Gow Poker. With practice and dedication, you can become a formidable player at the table and enjoy the thrilling challenge this game has to offer. If you need help in arranging your hand, the dealer will be happy to assist you in setting your hand according to the house way, but is not responsible for wins or losses. Once a player is satisfied with their arrangement of the low and high hands, they place them each face down in designated areas on the table layout. Likewise, you can read up about all the rules of any side bets your favorite online casino might feature in its Pai Gow offering.

  • Getting familiar with the table layout can affect the smoothness and enjoyment of your fun game experience.
  • Each seat is numbered one to seven beginning with whoever the banker is.
  • The House Hand will always be set according to the “House Way.” The House Hand will be placed parallel to the Bankroll Rack in descending order of value from left to right.
  • The banker is often the dealer but it can also be a player or at some venues a player/dealer team.
  • After the cards have been dealt, players must set their two Pai Gow hands according to specific rules, ensuring that their five-card hand outranks their two-card hand.

If one hand wins but the other hand loses, the result is a “Push” or a standoff, in which case the wager is not acted upon. For those who prefer the convenience of online gaming, almost all US online casinos offer Pai Gow Poker with various features and return-to-player (RTP) rates. Some popular online casinos provide more exciting bonuses, promotions, and tournaments than others to enhance your gaming experience. Feel free to ask him/her about the rules, setting your hands, playing as the Banker, etc. The player wins one hand and loses the other, this is considered a "Push" or a standoff, and no one wins or loses the bet (no money exchanges hands).

Learning the Basics

For example, if the player has an Ace-7 in the low hand and the dealer has an Ace-7 in the low hand, the dealer would win the low hand. Both the player’s High hand and the Low hand are ranked higher than the dealer’s High and Low hand, the player wins the bet (less a 5% commission collected by the house on all winning wagers). The house way is a pre-determined setting of the dealer’s hands depending on which cards they have received.

A number is randomly chosen to decide who gets dealt cards first, and the dealer hands out the cards in a counter-clockwise direction. This website encourages you to play responsibly by betting within your limits and by recognizing that over time the house will come out ahead. Both the dealer’s High hand and Low hand are higher than the player’s. The experts at Odds Shark have scoured the internet searching for the best places for you to play Pai Gow online. Arranging Pai Gow Poker hands becomes intuitive with a little practice. Still, you’ll need to keep a few idiosyncratic rules in mind while playing at first. For example, being dealt a 4♦5♣6♠7♥8♥2♠2♣ hand plays itself out with a straight going on the bottom high hand and the pair of deuces going on top for the low hand.

Pai Gow Poker “House Way”

If this requirement is not satisfied, the hand is declared a “foul hand” and the wager is automatically forfeited. 1 The dealer shuffles his deck and then proceeds to deal seven hands in a line in front of the dealer’s tray, one card at a time, face down, until seven hands of seven cards each are dealt. The dealer then checks that exactly four cards are left over, then places those cards in the discard rack. In Pai Gow Poker, you build a traditional 5-card poker hand, then also build a competitive 2-card poker hand. The catch is half of the bet is on one hand and the other half of the bet is on the other hand. Once your cards are dealt, you must arrange your hands into a big hand of 5 cards, and a small hand of 2 cards.

The fundamental game plan for Pai Gow Poker involves setting your hands optimally to maximize your odds of winning. By following some simple rules, such as not splitting low pairs, keeping high pairs together, and avoiding side bets, you can improve your gameplay and increase your chances of success. As you examine your cards and strategize, consider the various combinations and hand rankings that can be achieved with a particular hand. Carefully setting your two-card hand can significantly impact your odds of winning and avoiding a foul, making it a crucial aspect of the game. These have much higher payouts than the main bet, though they tend to have a higher house edge.

Pai Gow Poker is a game where players must create two sets of hands from seven cards – one two-card hand and one five-card hand. The player must then beat the dealer’s corresponding hands to win the main bet. The five-card hand must outrank the two-card hand, and both of the player’s hands must exceed the rank of the dealer’s. Being aware of the house edge and the commissions that casinos charge is key in reducing losses and enhancing your winning probability. Knowing this information can help you make informed decisions when placing bets, setting your hands, and managing your bankroll effectively. Once players have set their two poker hands, they place their hands in front of them, the two-card hand in front, and the five-card in the back (hence those nicknames). All the players at the table are playing to win both hands against the "banker." The banker can be the dealer, or one of the players at the table, like in Baccarat.

About the Joker in Pai Gow Poker

The game pits players against the house, but is a game of chance with strategy elements. These bets can often be lucrative in the short run, especially those with progressive jackpots, but in general should be avoided as they boast a higher house edge than the base game. Also in the case both the player and the banker have the same hand, the rank of that hand would be used to potentially break a tie. For example, if a player’s 9x8x7x6x5x straight would be stronger than the dealer’s 8x7x6x5x4x3x and a player’s 7x7x one pair would be better than a dealer’s 5x5x one pair.

The house way can vary from one Las Vegas casino to another, but must be clearly posted for all players to see. In Pai Gow poker online you place your bet before receiving any cards. It must be within the minimum and maximum betting limits of your table. In some cases, you may also be able to make a “bonus” bet on whether or not you’ll be able to make a premium hand. Many online casinos offer other bonuses on Pai Gow poker, so be sure to see what yours offers.

The Objective of Pai Gow Poker

The small hand must always rank lower than the big hand, otherwise you foul and lose your bet. If you’re dealt this card, it can be used to substitute another card to complete a straight, a flush (any suit) or as an ace. If the joker cannot be used to complete a straight or a flush, it must be used as an ace. Pai Gow Poker offers unconventional strategy challenges for poker, because it requires players to build two hands.

All cards must remain above the table and in full view of the Dealer at all times. Pai Gow Poker is relatively easy to learn, as it involves no bluffing and uses a 53-card deck with the standard 52 cards and one joker. Envy Bonuses are another feature in Fortune Pai Gow Poker, allowing players to bet that another player at the table will get a premium hand. Additionally, consider co-banking with the dealer whenever possible, as this gives you the advantage of going last and potentially gaining the upper hand over other players. Recognizing the right moment to leave the game is also vital, as persisting in play despite poor decision-making can result in considerable losses. A Low hand is the three-card hand that is formed from the seven cards dealt. Play three of a kind on your five-card hand unless they’re triple aces, in which case play the high ace in the two-card hand and the other two in the five-card hand.

An Ace, 2, 3, 4 and 5 is the highest ranking Straight Flush in Pai Gow Poker. A King, Queen, Jack, 10 and 9 is the second highest ranking Straight Flush, and 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2 is the lowest ranking Straight Flush. Among other things, visitors will find a daily dose Pelican Casino of articles with the latest poker news, live reporting from tournaments, exclusive videos, podcasts, reviews and bonuses and so much more. The first hand would almost guarantee a push but it might not be the best option even if it is at first the most intuitive.

This also means that you can have five aces, which is the best possible five-card hand in Pai Gow. In most cases, the casino takes a commission out of the player’s winnings—typically 5%. Other casinos charge a flat fee per hand depending on the amount bet. If the casino/dealer is the banker, then the cards must be set according to house rules. However, if a player is the banker for a particular hand, that player is free to set their hand however they choose. If a player co-banks with the dealer, the player must set their hand the according to house rules.

The object of pai gow poker is to create a five-card poker hand and a two-card poker hand from seven cards that beat both of the bank’s hands. For the two-card hand, its only possible to make pairs and high cards. It is important that the five-card hand outranks the two-card hand. For example, if the two-card hand consists of a pair of aces, the five-card hand must be better than two-pair.

Pai Gow is played with 53 cards—the regular 52-card deck plus one joker. Dealing a hand in Pai Gow is a bit different than other poker-style games. The banker places their hand into a high and low hand as well via house rules which can differ between venue and online. Players can also ask the house for advice on how to set their hand the house way if they so choose at most if not all casinos. Instead, the player is betting extra on whether they get three-of-a-kind, a full house, four-of-a-kind, a straight flush, or a royal flush. A Player may request that his hand be set according to the “House Way” which is a predetermined method of setting the hands. In this case, the Player will place their hand face down in the “High Hand” area.

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