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How to Play Pai Gow Poker

how-to-play-pai-gowUS players eager to discover how to play Pai Gow Poker have come to the right place.  Players may shy away from learning how to play Pai Gow because of its difference from regular poker. The casino card game was adopted from the Chinese Pai Gow game, and instead of using Pai Gows or Chinese dominoes, it uses cards. Pai Gow’s gameplay is a bit more complicated than other poker games and is a game of skill. The poker variation is perfect for players with a rather small bankroll as it is affordable and there is a 40% chance of the hands being played will end in a push returning the players bet.

Once you learn all the rules, how the hands are dealt and have gone through our essential Pai Gow guide playing free Pai Gow is next. Before placing any real money bets, visit the best online casinos USA that offer Pai Gow games and use our guide to play and win.

Top Pai Gow Poker Casino Site

BestUSACasinoSites First

$4000 BONUS

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How to Play Pai Gow Poker- Rules

  1. The standard 53 card deck is used, and in Pai Gow, the joker is also used. The joker can be used to complete a straight, flush or it can be used as an ace.
  2. The regular poker hand ranks apply.
  3. Before being dealt any cards players will make their bets
  4. Players have to split their seven cards into a two-card hand and a five-card hand. The two-card hand is the low, front or small hand. The five-card hand is known as the high, back or big hand.
  5. The high hand has to beat the low hand, or you may lose your bet
  6. The aim is to beat the dealer. In online Pai, Gow players play against the dealer and not the other players as in a casino.
  7. Once you have set your card, the dealer will reveal the banker’s hand. There are only three outcomes. The dealer can win both hands, the player can win both hands, or the dealer wins one hand, and the player wins the other which is referred to as push. Players will lose their bet if the dealer wins. Of the outcome is a push there are no money exchanges.
  8. Should the player and the dealer have the same hand, the dealer wins the hand.

Dealing Pai Gow Hand

The cards in Pai Gow Poker are dealt excitingly. Once the 53 cards are shuffled, the dealer will place seven piles consisting of seven cards on the table. That is one pile for each player, and the seventh pile is the dealers. The cards placed face down. The four remaining cards go in the muck or discard pile.

The Showdown

The showdown is how players have to place their cards once they have set their poker hands. The two-card hands have to be placed in front and the five-card hand at the back. If the player’s hand is set incorrectly, the hand will be abandoned and will be set according to the house rules or will be forfeited.

The house way refers to how the dealer is required to set their Pai Gow hand. The house way varies in different casinos.

pai gow how to play

Pai Gow House Edge

The Pai Gow house usually ranges between 2.5% and 2.9%, which is higher than most casino games.  Should the player win both hands, the bet will payout 1:1 and minus a 5% commission. In terms of a push, the player will receive their bet back. Using a Pai Gow strategy can help with lowering the house edge to 2.5%

Pai Gow Payouts

Pai Gow Poker offers player side bets with fantastic advantage payouts. Players who make bonus wagers stand to win big when they hit a big hand. The Pai Gow poker bonus is based on the size of their bet and the hand they are dealt with. See the payout chart below

Seven-card straight flush8000 to 1
Royal flush with an additional pair of 2s2000 to 1
Seven-card straight flush plus a joker1000 to 1
Five Ace Cards (four aces plus a joker)140 to 1
Royal Flush150 to 1
Straight Flush50 to 1
Four of a kind25 to 1
Full House5 to 1
Flush4 to 1
Three of a kind3 to 1
Straight2 to 1


Pai Gow as a few side bets which are used to characterize Pai Gow Variants. The side bets on add or take away from the initial bet on the hand. The side bets are players betting a little extra on the hand they think they will receive. the popular side bets include

  • Fortune Pai Gow
  • Pai Gow Mania
  • Emperors Challenge

Once you have Learnt how to play Pai Gow it is a step closer to learning how to play fortune Pai Gow poker for a few extra dollars.
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