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How is Pai Gow Poker played?
What is Pai Gow Poker ?
What are the rules of Pai Gow Poker?

Dec 27th, 2007 02:14
Hanery Ford, Marc Twin, Peter Jonsson, Joseph Martin, http://www.NCAASportsBlog.com http://www.skillgamesportal.com http://www.skillgamesearch.com


Pai-gow poker is a banking poker game played in Las Vegas and some of
the California card clubs. The object of pai-gow poker is to make two
poker hands that beat the banker's hands. The player is dealt 7 cards
that he makes into a five card hand (high hand) and a two card hand (low
hand). The hands are played and ranked as traditional poker hands (with
one exception: A2345 is the second highest straight), and the 5 card
hand must be higher than the 2 card hand. If both hands are better than
the banker's hand, you win, if both lose, you lose, otherwise it's a
push. The banker wins absolute ties (i.e. K Q vs K Q).
The game is played with a 52 cards plus one joker. The joker can be used
as an Ace or to complete a flush or straight. The table layout has 7
spots one in front of the dealer and 6 for players, like this:
             Dealer
               7 
         1	    6
           2      5
             3  4 
Each player spot has spaces for a bet, low hand, high hand and sometimes
the house commission. The dealer deals 7 7-card hands in front of the
chip tray. The banker can be a player, but is usually the house. The
banker designates which hands go to which player by shaking a dice cup
with three dice; the banker's position is either 1, 8 or 15 and the
hands are passed out counterclockwise. So, if the dealer is the bank and
the dice total to 6, player 5 gets the first hand, player 6 gets the
second, the dealer gets the third and so on. The dice mumbo-jumbo
appears to be ritual stuff you don't need to worry about anything
until you get your hand.
In pai-gow poker, the only strategic decisions are how much to bet and
how to set your hand. The simple basic strategy for setting your hand is
to make the highest 2-card hand that is less than your five card hand.
If you can't figure out what to do, you can show your hand to the dealer
and they will tell you how the house would set it. Since pairs generally
win the 2-card hands, and two-pair wins the 5-card hands, the only
difficult decisions are when to split two pairs. The house rules at the
Four Queens were not to split low pairs (<= 6) and not to split pairs <=
10 if there was a Ace high two card hand. So the house would set
     A 10 10 6 6 5 3 =>  A 5 / 10 10 6 6 3
     K Q 10 10 6 6 3 =>  6 6 / 10 10 K Q 3
A ``Pai-gow'' is a hand with no pairs, such as Q J / K 7 8 6 2.
Things get a little weird if a player wants to be the bank. To quote
from the IP house rules: ``The House Dealer or the player may be the
``BANKER.'' The Bank wagers against all players. The bank will alternate
between the house and the player (the House Dealer will at least take
the bank every other hand). The BANKER will be signified by a white
plastic marker. A Bank Player must either cover half or all wagers
against him/her. The House will co-bank at 50/50 only at the Bank
Player's request. The hand will be set according to house way and the
table limit will apply if the House acts as a co-banker. In order to
bank, a player must have played the previous hand against the House. The
House will wager a sum equal to that player's wager against the house
the previous hand. The player may request that a smaller amount be
wagered. A Banker must be bank at the same spot of the hand he
previously played against the house.'' Got that??
In the CA card clubs, all wagering is between players, so the option to
be the bank rotates among the active players. The rule differences from
the IP rules are that the Joker is wild, and the house commission is a
flat $1 per hand ($10 minimum bet).
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