Pai Gow Poker Rules and Instructions

Pai Gow Poker, also known as Double-hand poker, is the so-called Americanized version of the game Pai Gow. Pai Gow Poker is played with common 52-card deck with one additional joker at the table for six players and the dealer. This poker variation is the competition between the player and dealer.

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The objective of Pai Gow Poker is to get two hands out of seven cards dealt to each player. The value of the first five card hand (also the hand "behind", "bottom" or "big") must exceed the value of the second two card hand (also the hand "in front", "on top", or the "small"), otherwise there is the “foul” and according to Pai Gow poker rules the player loses automatically.

The Deal

At the beginning of the game the players make the bets according to the table minimum and every player and the dealer receive seven cards and the round of betting follows. At last the card hands are revealed on the special place at the table. In case two player’s hands beat the dealer’s hands the player is winner. If one of the player’s hands beats the dealer’s one and the other doesn’t it is the push and there are no winners. As Pai Gow poker rules state if it happens that the player has any hand of exactly the same value as the dealer’s hand it is the tie which is also called the “copy” and in this case the dealer wins the hand.

Hand rankings

One pair and High card are the only possible winning two card hands.

The five card hands are ranked according to the standard poker rules with some exceptions in particular casinos. The joker can be used only to complete a flush or straight, in all other cases it is counted as an Ace. In two card hand it is counted as an Ace only.