How To Play Pai Gow Poker

Sat, 07 Jun 2008 19:38

How To Play Pai Gow Poker

A look at how to play the game.

Pai Gow Poker, as the name suggests, is an ingenious fusion of the Pai Gow elements, a game which uses domino-like tiles and the American poker. This game dates back to the ancient Chinese times. It employs the traditional 52-card deck and a joker, which is only equivalent to an ace. The joker can also be used as a finishing touch on a straight, a flush, or a straight flush, the hand ranks being clear spin-offs of poker hands.

Here, the players are up strategy against strategy with the dealer (or the banker). Mostly, casinos act as the dealer but players have the option of banking if they want to. A player who wants to act as the dealer/banker should be able to cover all the other players' bets or wagers.

Here is a step by step guide on how to play Pai Gow poker:

Step 1
Look for a Pai Gow Poker table which best suits you. In case the betting range of a table is too high, you should, of course, look for another. Keep in mind that you should only choose one which fits your bankroll. Never bite off more than you can chew or else you will be easily cash-strapped and will probably end up treading the exit door of the casino way too early.

Step 2
Place your bet after finding the perfect Pai Gow Poker table. The amount of bet is determined by the range set by the dealer on the table. A very commonsensical tip: Establish a relaxed betting pace as much as possible. Don't place bets like the bullet trains go. Keep it the way the turtle goes: slow but definitely sure.
Step 3
The dealer will shuffle the cards and will deal out seven stacks of seven cards regardless of the number of players. The dealer will then roll three dice to signal the game's commencement. The turn-out will determine the player who gets the first stack of cards. You should make two hands at the same time, which comprise of a high hand and a second high hand.

Step 4
Lay your hands in the appointed place on the table. The dealer can assist you if needed and can even explain the rankings to you. However, the dealer does not take responsibility if you win or lose. The concept of Pai Gow poker is for you to arrange your hands in such a way that your five-card hand has the edge over your two-card hand. You win when your hands are superior than the banker's and you lose when it is the other way around or when you committed a "foul".

A foul happens when your two-card hand is higher than your five-card hand. When only one of your hand is higher than the banker's, (called a "push") no one wins between the two of you. When your hands equal those of the banker's, a tie happens (popularly known as "copy"). In this case, the banker is the winner.
Hint: In case the house or the casino is the banker, fashion your hands according to their rules (called the "house way"). You can simply ask the banker how the rules go. In this manner, you can avoid committing costly mistakes and losing your dear money.

Step 5
Collect your pot when you are declared a winner. The payoffs are even money and a five percent commission will go to the house on every winning wager.