The first thing you should know about playing Pai Gow Poker is this: get yourself a comfortable chair. Really. Pai Gow Poker while fun, is one of the slowest paced casino games and you’re going to be doing a lot of sitting and waiting around.
Now that you’re comfortable, lets begin…
Here is an example of a Pai Gow Poker game in action at a casino:
And here is an example of Pai Gow Poker at an online casino:
That screenshot is courtesy of Rushmore Casino, and we will be using their casino to demonstrate how to play Pai Gow Poker.
So the object of Pai Gow Poker is simple: you have to beat the dealer. You get dealt seven cards, and have to make up two poker hands to beat the dealer. Lets play out a hand so you see how to actually play Pai Gow Poker.
The first thing you do is place a bet. We’ve placed a $50 bet on this next hand. There’s no crazy betting when it comes to Pai Gow Poker – it’s as simple as placing a bet like this:
Once the bet has been placed, the dealer will deal out 7 cards to every player, and 7 cards to themselves. This is shown below:
So now we get to split the seven cards into two hands, with one hand being 5 cards, and the other hand consisting of 2 cards. You can split it however you like. The only thing you must remember is that the high hand(which consists of 5 cards) MUST be higher than the 2nd highest hand.
Now note in this hand that we have a joker. A joker is not a wild card – it can be used either to COMPLETE a straight or a flush, or as an ace. That’s it. We can’t use it with the pair of tens to make triple tens for example. So we will split our hands like this:
:10s::10d::4c::3d::2c: | :as::7d:
(We don’t actually have the ace of spades; we are just substituting our joker for an ace)
So that’s how we split our hands. The first hand we have a pair of tens, and in the second hand we have Ace high, with a 7 kicker. The results of the hand?
In this instance, we won the second hand however lost the first hand, so this is considered a push, meaning we don’t actually lose any money. How to win in Pai Gow Poker is simple: win both hands! And more importantly – don’t lose both hands!
Additional Pai Gow Poker for Dummies Questions:
The answer to the question How Do You Play Pai Gow Poker? is also applicable for the following questions: