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Pai Gow Poker


This popular table card game is also known as 'Double Hand Poker'
This popular table card game is also known as ‘Double Hand Poker’

Pai Gow Poker is an exciting and easy-to-play casino card game that
has made a smooth transition from land casinos to online casinos. Sometimes also
called ‘Double Hand Poker’, Pai Gow Poker is a game that is played with a
regular 52-card (with the addition of a single Joker that can substitute for any
other card) and uses traditional poker hand values to determine the winner. For
your convenience, we have compiled the Pai Gow Poker rules below.

Unlike in traditional poker, in Pai Gow Poker you only play against the dealer
and not the other players, and your objective is to beat the dealer’s hand. At
the start of each hand you must place a bet. The size of your bet will depend on
the table limit of the particular Pai Gow Poker game you are playing. Once you
have placed your bet, you will be dealt 7 cards, all face up. Now you must
divide your hand into your ‘Highest’ hand, which must always contain 5 cards,
and your ‘2nd Highest’ hand, which must always contain 2 cards. It is important
to remember that your 2nd Highest hand can never be equal to or exceed your
Highest hand.

Once you have chosen your two hands, click ‘Done’ and the dealer will reveal his
Highest and the 2nd Highest hand. Now the idea is to beat the dealer by having
both the Highest and the 2nd Highest hand. If you do, you’ll be paid 1:1
(usually minus a standard 5 percent online casino commission). So if you bet
$10, you’ll win $20 back minus the casino commission. If one of your hands is
higher and the other is lower than that of the dealer, the hand is considered a
‘Push’ or a tie and you’ll get your original bet back. But if both of the
dealer’s hands are higher than yours, you’ll lose your bet.

Here are the standard poker hand rankings from highest to lowest that are
applicable in Pai Gow Poker:

Five of a Kind (e.g. 4 Aces + Joker)
Royal Flush (e.g. 10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit)
Straight Flush (e.g. 2,3,4,5,6 etc of same suit)
Four of a Kind (e.g. 4 Sevens)
Full House (e.g. 3 Jacks + 2 Fours)
Flush (e.g. 2, 6, 8, 10, Queen of same suit)
Straight (e.g. 5,6,7,8,9 of same suit)
Three of a Kind (e.g. 3 Sixes)
Two Pairs (e.g. 2 Eights + 2 Kings)
One Pair (e.g. 2 Fives)
High Card (e.g. Ace King beats Ace Queen)

Many online casino versions of Pai Gow Poker now also give you the option of a
‘House Way’ button, which can be a big help. By clicking this button, the game
will automatically separate your cards for you into the optimum Highest hand and
2nd Highest hand. Of course, as you become a pro at Pai Gow Poker, you’ll soon
be able to pick the optimum hands for yourself.

In terms of Pai Gow Poker strategy, here are a few helpful hints that should
help keep you winning:

1. If you are dealt no pairs, straights or flushes, allocate your second and
third highest cards for your 2nd Highest hand and keep the rest for your Highest
hand.
2. If you are dealt one pair, keep it in your Highest hand and allocate the two
remaining highest cards for your 2nd Highest hand.
3. If you are dealt two pairs, either keep the higher pair for your Highest hand
and allocate the lower for your 2nd Highest hand, or keep both pairs in your
Highest hand and allocate your next two highest cards for your 2nd Highest hand.
4. If you are dealt three pairs, allocate the highest pair for your 2nd Highest
hand and keep the remaining pairs for your Highest hand.
5. If you are dealt three of a kind, leave them for your Highest hand and
allocate your two remaining highest cards for your 2nd Highest hand.
6. If you are dealt a full house, keep the three of a kind for your Highest hand
and allocate the pair for your 2nd Highest hand.
7. If you are dealt two three of a kinds, allocate the highest pair for your 2nd
Highest hand and keep the rest for your Highest hand.
8. If you are dealt four of a kind, keep the higher pair for your Highest hand
and allocate the lower for your 2nd Highest hand.

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