Pai Gow Poker rules

Pai Gow Poker is a combination of the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow and the game of Poker. It is a rather simple game but is offers many strategic options. You can either go for the fast way and the quick win or play conservatively for little money and maximize your playing time. It is hard to win a lot of money in Pai Gow but on the other hand it is also hard to lose a lot of it.

The game is played with a deck of 52 cards, including one joker. This joker is a wild card but it can only be used as an Ace or to complete a Straight, Straight Flush or Royal Flush. Ranks and values of the hands are the same as in basic Poker. After you place your bet, simply done by placing a chip in front of you on the table, each player and the dealer will get seven cards. Now you have to split up your seven cards into two hands. One hand with five cards and one with two cards. The only thing you always have to consider when splitting up your hand is: the five card hand must always outrank the two card hand.

For instance: You have a pair of fives and a pair of sevens in your original hand. The pair of fives must go into the two card hand and the sevens have to be in the five card hand. If your two card hand ranks higher than your five cards you automatically lose the game. Once all the players have arranged their cards the dealer will turn over his cards and split them up as well. He must also arrange them in the same way you just did, with the five cards higher than the two. The objective of the game is for both of the players hands to rank higher than both of the dealers hands. After the dealer has split up his cards he starts to compare his cards with the players hands in turn.

The Pai Gow player's two-card (low) must now beat the dealer's two-card hand and the player's five cards (high) must also beat the dealers five card hand. Only then you win. If your low-card beats the dealers low-card and loses on the high-card, or reversed, it is considered a push. In case of a push, which very often happens, no money will be exchanged and the hand is over. If either one of your hands rank the same as the dealer's it is called a tie. The dealer wins all the ties.

Since in this system lots of hands end up with a push, especially with low-cards, the casino does not make so much money out of it as it would like. So the casino charges a 5% commission on any winning bet. No commission is charged on a push or a lost bet. Most casinos want the commission right away. This means in case you win your game you have to throw the dealer a quarter on a five dollar win. You will only win $4.75. Other casinos keep track of the money you owe and you can settle up when you leave the table.

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