Pai Gow Poker - Rules

Pai Gow Poker, though it appears to be a Poker variant, actually evolved from a Chinese domino game. Up to 6 players can participate; all are betting against the dealer. While the dealer is most frequently the house, many casinos allow for players to take turns as the banker.
Pai Gow Poker is played with a 53-card deck, a standard 52-card deck plus a joker. The joker can be used as an ace or to complete a Straight, a Flush or a Straight Flush. While the ranking of hands is in the main consistent with that of standard Poker, there are some differences to be noted; the highest hand is 5 aces and furthermore, A-2-3-4-5 is the second highest type of flush, above K-Q-J-10-9 and below A-K-Q-J-10.

Before cards are dealt, all players must make a wager. Each player and the dealer then receive 7 cards, from which they each must form a 5-card hand and a 2-card hand. The 2-card hand may be either a pair or unlike cards; it must be lower than the 5-card hand. By way of example; if a hand contains A-A-2-9-7-5-8, the 2 aces may not be used in the 2-card hand. If anybody does present a 2-card hand higher than their 5-card hand, it is a foul and they lose their bet. As regards the rankings for the 2-card hand, any pair beats any 2 unlike cards. The highest 2-card hand is A-A, the lowest 2-3.

The players put their 2 hands face down and then the dealer exposes his 2 hands. Now the player’s cards are exposed and each player's 5-card hand is compared to the dealer's just as each player's 2-card hand is compared to the dealer's.

  1. When a player wins both hands, the dealer pays out the amount wagered by that player.

  2. When the dealer wins both hands, the dealer wins the player's wager.

  3. When the dealer wins one hand and the player wins the other, the wager is returned as a push.

  4. When the dealer wins one hand and the other is tied, or if both hands are tied, the dealer wins.

  5. When the player wins one hand and the other is tied, the wager is returned as a push.
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