Pai Gow Poker Rules

Overview and History of Pai Gow

Pai Gow Poker is a fascinating poker game that is played frequently in American casinos and online casino places. The game was invented by Fred Wolf, who was a Casino Manager in the 1980’s in America. It is a popular American version of Pai Gow Tiles, which is an ancient game that is played in China. The Chinese version of Pai Gow is played with dominoes. The game is very popular in China. In fact, knowing Pai Gow Poker and Pai Gow Tiles is a great way to meet Chinese players. Chinese casino goers take great pride in playing these games. They have an entire story that goes along with Pai Gow Tiles that outlines the creation of the universe. It is a beautiful and poetic set of rules for scoring the game. If you find Pai Gow Poker interesting, then you may very well enjoy Pai Gow Tiles.

The American version of Pai Gow is called Pai Gow Poker. It is typically played with a deck of 52 cards. There are many variations of Pai Gow Poker. This article will give a general description of how to play most versions of Pai Gow Poker. The variations between the versions of Pai Gow Poker are slight, so if the game you are playing is different, the differences will be hard to notice. Ask the casino any questions you have if you notice some variations. Many variations include side bets and differences in how the side bets work. Watching the game before playing it may shed some light on what these differences are and how to adjust strategy around them.

It is common for casinos to have Pai Gow Poker in slot machine form. The virtual slot machine form of Pai Gow Poker is very entertaining. It incorporates some of the elements of Pai Gow Poker and the rules listed here. The only difference is that it is in slot machine form, so there is less user control.

How To Play Pai Gow Poker

In this wonderfully fascinating take on an ancient game, players are dealt seven cards each. Each player must make two hands out of the seven cards. They must make one hand of two cards. The other hand will be made of the five remaining cards, of course. When the cards are first dealt, they are usually dealt face down to every player. There are normally four cards that are put in the discard pile at the beginning of the game.

Much of the gambling in this game is not around who wins the hand. The game is won by placing bets on which hand will win. At the start of the game there is always a banker. Then, going counter clockwise around the table from the banker, each player is given a betting order. The betting order is sometimes decided by the roll of a dice or by a random number generator.

If there are empty seats at the table, the cards are still dealt to those empty seats. Those empty seat hands are placed in the discard pile. Some casinos allow players to bet on the empty seat hands. Other casinos even have a special empty hand set up at every table. These online casinos allow players to make bets on the special hand. This hand is usually called a Dragon Hand.


One of the most important rules that players new to Pai Gow should take note of is that the five card hand they are dealt must be higher than the two card hand they are dealt. There are several names for the two card hand that are important to note, in case the casino uses these names during game play. The two card hand is often called the front hand, the hand on top, the small hand, the lower hand, the minor hand or the hair. Knowing this bit of jargon will help players sound more professional at the table and in the online game chats and forums.

The five card hand is the hand that player’s usually place the most value over because it must be the highest hand. It has its own set of interesting nicknames that are good to know. This hand is often referred to as the bottom hand, the hand behind, the high hand, the big hand and other names.

The two card hand only has a few possible combinations. The only combinations for the small hand is a pair or a high card. Any player who is familiar with poker hands will have little trouble understanding this game. It will be easy for a poker player to start playing Pai Gow Poker. The five card hand’s cards are used to make any combination of typical poker hands. The most common winning hands in the five card hand are straights and flushes. They are the best winning hands to have. Remember, the game is won by placing accurate bets, however.

Many casinos and online casinos will use the Joker cards in Pai Gow Poker. The Joker cards are called a bug card. They can be used to complete a straight or a flush if it is used in the five card hand. If it is not part of the five card hand’s straight or flush, then it will count as an Ace. If it is part of the two card hand, then it will count as an Ace for a pair or a high card. It is important to note that there are some casinos in California and some online casinos that play the Joker differently. The consistency with playing the Joker differently would allow it to be played completely wild. This variation adds more options to the game.

Winning Pai Gow Poker

In order to win the bet and make money on the game, the player must have both of his hands beat both of the banker’s hands. The player ties with the banker if only one of his hands wins against the banker. In the case of a tie he does not win money or lose money. If the player loses both hands against the banker’s hands, then he will lose his bet altogether. Ties on each hand will go to the banker. This is why the banker has a small advantage in Pai Gow Poker. Here is an example to illustrate this: the player wins one hand, the other hand ties, so the banker wins the seconds hand because of the tie.

Play responsibly, and enjoy Pai Gow Poker!