Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker
Obtain a five-card hand and a two-card hand of higher rank than the designated Banker’s corresponding hands.
Good to know
Before playing your first game of Pai Gow Poker, you might benefit from learning about certain notions of the game. These helpful tips and basic rules will give you a sense of what to expect before you get to the casino. Once you are at the table, don’t hesitate to ask the dealer any questions you may have. Helping you understand how the game is played is part of their job.
Taking a seat at the table
Pai Gow Poker tables can be easily identified by their blue playing surface.
First, find a spot that isn’t already occupied. A special marker is used to indicate spots reserved for players who have temporarily left the table. These spots may be used until the absent player returns.
The initial bet
Place your money on the table. Never hand it to the dealer. The dealer will exchange your money for value chips and you may place your bet in the betting spot indicated on the table before the first card is dealt. Initial bets cannot be made, changed or withdrawn after that point.
When the dealer is the Bank, you must respect the minimum and maximum limits indicated at the table. However, the maximum bet does not apply to players when anothyer player is the Bank.
Pai Gow Poker is played with one standard deck of 52 cards and a Joker. The ranking of the cards, in decreasing order, is Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2. An Ace may be used to complete an Ace-2-3-4-5 straight or straight flush. The Joker has the same rank as an Ace but it may also be used to replace any card to complete a straight, a flush, a straight flush or a royal flush.
An electronic random-number generator usually determines the position of the first hand dealt for each game. Cards are dealt face down, seven at a time, clockwise from the starting point and at each playing position, even if empty, including the dealer’s position.
Using the seven cards he received, each player forms a five-card hand called the high hand, and a two-card hand called the low hand. The rank of the five-card hand must be higher than or equal to that of the two-card hand. Any player’s hand that is set incorrectly automatically loses. You are responsible for arranging your hands. Once you have set your hands, you must place your cards face down on the designated area on the layout. You are not authorized to show your cards nor to discuss them with other players.
Once all players have placed their cards on the layout, the dealer exposes his cards and sets his high hand and his low hand according to the house strategy. He then exposes each player’s two hands in turn and compares them with the Banker’s hands. You may surrender your wager prior to the dealer revealing your hands. In such a case, your cards are not exposed to the other players.
For the first hand dealt, only the dealer may be the Banker. Each player who took part in the game when the dealer last held the bank is then, in turn, given the option of being the Banker. To be the Banker, the player must have enough chips to be able to pay all wagers at the table during this game, otherwise the dealer holds the bank during this game. The house places a wager against the Player/Banker in an amount equal to the Player/Banker’s last wager against the house. The Player/Banker may request a lesser wager or no wager at all by the house. A player may not act as the Banker for two consecutive hands.
The combinations in decreasing order
Five Aces: four Aces and a Joker.
Royal flush: Ace-King-Queen-Jack-10 of the same suit.
Straight flush: five cards of the same suit in consecutive order.
Four of a kind: four cards of the same rank.
Full house: three of a kind and a pair.
Flush: five cards of the same suit.
Straight: five cards in consecutive order, regardless of suit.
Three of a kind: three cards of the same rank.
Two pair: two sets of two cards of the same rank.
Pair: two cards of the same rank.
Winning and losing hands
If both of your hands are higher in rank than the Banker’s corresponding hands, your bet wins.
If one of your hands is higher in rank than the Banker’s corresponding hand and your second hand is lower in rank or equal to the Banker’s corresponding hand, it is considered a push and your bet neither wins nor loses.
In all other cases, your bet loses.
Some games enable you to place additional bets. Ask the dealer about your options.
The house collects a 5% commission on winning bets and all Player/Banker net winnings. If the amount of the winning bet or of the net winnings is not a multiple of 10, the commission is calculated on the next higher multiple of 10.
This text gives a summary of the main rules regarding Pai Gow Poker. For more detailed information, please consult Québec’s By-law respecting casino games. In case of a discrepancy between the rules in this text and those in the By-law, the rules in the By-law prevail.
Paï Gow Poker is a proprietary game and trademark used under license from SHFL entertainment, Inc.