Beginners Guide to Pai Gow Poker

If you’ve grown tired of your weekly Hold’em game you won’t find a better game to transition into than Pai Gow Poker.

Pai Gow Poker is an Americanized version of Pai Gow, a Chinese gambling game played with a set of dominoes. The biggest similarity it has to the Chinese version is that it stretches your bankroll more than almost any other casino game, making it a great game to sit back and enjoy.

The game is played with a 53-card deck consisting of 52 cards and a Joker. The Joker can only be used to complete straights or flushes; otherwise it counts as an Ace.

How the game works

The way the game works is the player receives seven cards, which then must be split into one five-card hand and one two-card hand that is better than the dealer’s five-card and two-card hand. This is done by the player selecting two cards for one hand then clicking the “Split” button. Keep in mind the five-card hand must exceed the two-card hand.

Where this game displays its longevity is that if the dealer wins the five-card hand and you (the player) wins the two-card hand, or vice versa, it’s a push and the wager is returned. You can go quite a few hands without losing or gaining anything. Some would find that annoying, but if you’re someone who would likes to spend a couple of hours gaming you won’t find a better game of cards.

The hands are ranked according to standard poker rules with one exception: the Ace-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. Straights rank, from highest to lowest: Ace-K-Q-J-10, Ace-2-3-4-5, K-Q-J-10-9, 6-5-4-3-2. Also, keep in mind that the best two-card hand is a pair of aces; the two-card hand cannot have a flush (since a flush requires five cards).

The chart for every hand in Pai Gow Poker is located in the Pai Gow Poker casino school section.

Standard Texas Hold’em can drain your wallet pretty fast unless you’ve been playing for a while. If you’re looking for some bang for your buck Pai Gow Poker is a perfect place to start.