PAI GOW RULES
The game of pai gow poker arrived in Nevada in the late l980s, having gained popularity in California, where it is known as Asian Poker and Double Hand Poker. The Asian population is very fond of the game. The game seems to have originated in the Philippines and is a combination of Chinese dominoes (Pai Gow) and American poker.
To begin, the house dealer shakes a cup containing three dice and then rolls the dice on the table. The number on the dice determines where the play begins. (A button is used to signify this.)
The house dealer then gives each player seven cards at once (starting with the button). Each player must then "set" those cards into two separate hands � a five-card and two-card poker hand. The five-card hand must have a higher value in poker than the two-card hand. To win, the low hand must beat the low hand of the house. The high hand must beat the high hand of the house also.
If you do win, you will be paid about 95% of the amount you bet. (A 5% commission is charged on all winning wagers, which is similar to the game of baccarat.) Note, however, that if you beat only one of the dealer's hands, it is considered a tie and no money will change hands. However if the house beats both of your hands, you lose.
It's extremely important to know how to set your hands. If you set them incorrectly, you will lose automatically. If the dealer sets his hand incorrectly, the house loses. And, because of the complexity of hand setting, the dealer can (and does) make mistakes.
Pai Gow Poker has a few unusual twists you may wish to remember. Yes, there is a joker in the deck -- but only one. In your mind it might be a completely wild joker, but it's not. Remember it can be used only as An ace in a flush or a straight. And too -- this joker automatically assumes the highest rank possible to fill the hands.
As in a straight where you had a 6-clubs; 7-diamonds; 8-diamonds; 9-clubs, the joker would immediately fill in for the l0, not the five. And too -- the joker never helps form pairs, triplets, four-of-a-kind or five-of-a-kind with any other cards except Aces.
|Pai Gow Poker Rankings
Four of a kind
A-2-3-4-5 is 2nd highest
Three of a Kind
PAI GOW WINNING SYSTEMS
As with blackjack, pai gow poker has some basic strategy guidelines to follow. This is a strategy that might be used by a typical player. It is not suggested for long term play; but could be used by a beginner until he/she gets used to the game. For each possible seven card hand, advice is given on how to split the cards into five card and two card hands.
if you hold: no pairs, no straight, no flush
play your hand this way: 2- use your second and third highest card; 5- use your highest card
if you hold: a pair, no pairs, no flush
play your hand this way: 2- use your two highest single cards; 5- use the pair
if you hold: two pair
play your hand this way: if you have a single ace, use the ace in the two-card hand and keep the pairs together in the five-card hand. Otherwise split the pairs as follows:
2- use the lower pair
5- use the higher pair
if you hold: three pair
play your hand this way: 2- use the highest pair
5- use the second and third highest pairs
if you hold: straight and two pair
play your hand this way: play as two pair, ignore the straight
if you hold: five-card straight
play your hand this way: 2- use the two cards not in the straight;5- use the straight
if you hold: six-card straight
play your hand this way: 2- use the two highest cards that you can; 5- use the remaining straight
if you hold: flush and two pair
play your hand this way: play as two pair, ignore the flush
if you hold: other flush
play your hand this way: 2- play the highest cards in this hand without breaking up the flush; 5- flush
if you hold: full house
play your hand this way: 2- use the pair; 5- use the three of a kind
The best way to get an edge in pai gow poker is to be the banker. This is due to the fact that the banker wins all copies. Player's are usually allowed to bank for one or two consecutive hands before passing the role on to the next player. The amount of money that the banker will be risking is limited to what the banker places on the table. The banker may be expected to place enough money on the table to cover all of the player bets, or the banker may be allowed to risk less than what the players in total wish to bet.
hint: to break even when the house takes a commission of five percent, you need to bank 6 to 14 times as many dollars as you bet when you are a player.