How to Play Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow poker is a variation of five-card poker played at most casinos. In Pai Gow, six players compete against the dealer using a single card deck with one joker. Each player is dealt seven cards. The players must have two high hands for every round, one hand consisting of five cards and the other consisting of two cards.

How do you Play Pai Gow Poker?

In Pai Gow, the dealer deals seven cards face down to himself and the players. Each player arranges their cards in to one five card hand and one two card hand. The goal of Pai Gow poker is for the player to have the highest two card hand and five card hand. However, the two card hand can not go higher then the five card hand.

Once the cards are arranged, the players compare their hands to the banker. Traditionally, the dealer serves as the banker for the table, but a player can also serve as the banker. If both hands in the player’s deck beat both hands in the banker’s deck the player wins the hand. If only one of the player’s hands beats the banker, then the player must push and get their bet back. If none of the player’s hands beat the banker, the player loses their bet. In the event of a tie, all bets go to the banker.

How Does Betting Work in Pai Gow Poker?

Betting in Pai Gow is similar to traditional five-card poker. Each player must place an Ante bet. Often the ante bet will have a minimum and maximum limit set by the casino. While there are two hands in Pai Gow poker, betting is only paid out as one hand. The Ante bet is placed before any cards are dealt to the players. Once the cards have been dealt, players can raise their bet up to the casino’s maximum.

In some casinos, players are allowed to play as the banker in Pai Gow poker. Acting as the banker greatly increases the player’s winning odds, as any bets on tie hands are given to the banker.

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