Pai Gow Poker

How to Play

Pai Gow poker is a game derived from China that was originally played with chinese dominoes. The modified North American version uses a 52 deck of cards plus the joker. A poker table will typically seat up to 6 players plus the dealer. The game itself is complex, slow and takes some time to master. The object of the game is to make 2 poker hands out of 7 cards dealt, a 5 card hand known as the “hi” or “behind” and a 2 card hand called the “front” or “lo”. Each player will use these hands to try to defeat the banker or house.

Playing the game

First of all seven cards are dealt to each player face down. From there betting begins (betting is only done once in the game) it starts with the player acting as banker and goes counter clockwise from there to the remainder of players (7 in all). The dealer is chosen radomly by rolling a dice which numbers correspond with the positions 1 thru 7 (players at the table.

Five card hands use standard poker rankings with the exception of the hand A,2,3,4,5 which ranks higher than A,K,Q,J,10. The two card hand can only be a pair or high cards and the joker is used as a wild card in the game.

In order to win both of the players hands must beat the bankers. If only one hand wins then he pushes. Logically if both hands are beaten by the banker her loses. If a player ties the banker that too is a lose as ties always go to the house. If a players low hand is stronger than his high hand he also loses by forfeit. When a player wins he will receive even money.

The players aim should be to have a high 2 card hand (ex: A-K or Pair) and a medium to high 5 card hand,

Examples of hands to play

-If a player receives A-J-10-8-7-3-2 he should play it J-10 and A-8-7-3-2

-If the player has a pair such as K-J-J-8-5-4-3 the cards should be played K-8 and J-J-5-4-3

-When a player has 3 of a kind it is better to play the cards Q-Q-Q-10-8-7-4 as Q-10 and Q-Q-8-7-4

-If the player gets a straight such as Q-10-9-8-7-6-5 the best play is Q-10 and 9-8-7-6-5

-For a full house 7-7-7-5-5-A-J it should be played A-J and 7-7-7-5-5

-With 4 of a kind 9-9-9-9-Q-K-7 should be played K-Q and 9-9-9-9-7

The best way to learn the strategy is to gain it from the experience of playing the game.

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