Pai Gow Poker Rules...split your deck and win both hands

Paigow is played with a standard deck, plus one wild card (ie 53 cards).  The game begins with the player placing a bet.  Both the dealer and player (s) are then dealt 7 cards...the dealers are face down, the player's are face up.

The player must then split their 7 card hand into 2 hands as follows:

  • one hand of 5 cards, called "the highest hand", and

  • one hand of 2 cards called "the second highest hand"

The highest hand must always rank higher (in poker terms) than the second highest hand. So if the 7 card hand contains a pair, it must remain in the highest hand;  if there are two pair the highest pair must remain in the highest hand, and so on.

In order to win your bet you must beat both the dealers highest and second highest hand.  In this case, you receive "even money" on your bet (i.e. 1 to 1), less a bank 5% commission.  If you win only one of the hands, there is a standoff.  If you lose both hands you lose your bet.

Some other rules to note:

  • The wild card, or joker, may be used only as a single ace; or to complete a flush, straight, or a straight flush.

  • When the player and the dealer compare hands that have the same rank, that hand is referred to as a "copy hand." Unlike in blackjack, where a copy hand results in a push; the dealer wins the copy hand in Pai Gow

    Pai Gow Hand Ranking

    1:  5 Aces
    2:  Royal Flush
    3:  Straight Flush
    4:  4 of a kind
    5:  Full House
    6:  Flush
    7:  Straight
    8:  3 of a kind
    9:  2 pairs
    10:1 pair
    11: High card

    The only difference between the system of ranking hands in Pai Gow poker and in other poker games is that A-K-Q-J-10 ranks as the highest straight, A-2-3-4-5 ranks as the second highest straight, followed by K-Q-J-10-9.

That's enough to get you started.  Play for free for a while and you should soon get the idea.

For a more comprehensive guide to Pai Gow Poker, check out Pai Gow Poker .net

Good luck!


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