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Pai Gow Poker Game Rules

Pai Gow Poker is a game that has its roots in the ancient Chinese game, Pai Gow. However, it combined with American Poker and has evolved into the modern game of pai gow poker. Part of the appeal of pai gow poker is that you can play the game at a land-based or online casino for a long time without losing substantial amounts of money.



Article Highlights:

Basic Gameplay   |   Scoring   |   Payoffs

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Basic Gameplay

Pai Gow is played with a 53-card deck consisting of a standard 52-card deck with 1 wild card. The object of the game is to split your hand into a five-card hand and a two-card hand with both hands beating the dealer's two hands to win. The wild card is not a true wild card and has specific rules. The card only acts as an Ace or the fifth card in either a flush or a straight. It cannot be used to make a pair of 10s or Queens.

After you receive your seven cards you must split them into two hands, a five-card hand and a two-card hand. The five-card hand must always rank higher than the two-card hand. When playing Pai Gow at online casinos, to do this, move the mouse pointer over the cards you want to make your two-card hand. Click on the two cards one at a time and they will split out of the deck. Notice that once you have chosen an eligible two-card hand (not better than your five-card hand) the split button becomes available. If you are happy with your choice click on this split button and you will have your two playing hands. If you are not satisfied with your choices click on the card or cards which you want to change and they will go back into your seven-card hand. Now choose the new cards you wish to play with. You may do this until you press the split button at which point your hands are locked-in. The dealer will then split his hand and the game will play itself out.




Each five-card hand is ranked according to the standard poker hand hierarchy. Remember that because of the wild card, you have the potential to have five Aces, which beats a royal flush. Your two-card hand can either be a pair or no pair, therefore, your highest possible two-card hand would be a pair of Aces. The wild card can function in several ways. It can act as an Ace in any hand or the fifth card in a straight, a flush, a straight flush, or a royal flush.




The only way for the player to win is to win both hands outright. The house wins if the dealer wins both hands outright or wins one hand and the other hand is a draw. Any other combination results in a push. This will lead to many draws, so there will be a 5% commission on all player wins, which is automatically deducted from the player's credits. Apart from the commission, all winning wagers are paid out at even money (1 to 1).


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