If you’re interested in learning about the game of pai gow poker, you’ve come to the right place because the pai gow poker rules page of our pai gow poker free website is dedicated to helping you learn how to play pai gow poker as quickly and as easily as possible. In an effort to make the information on this page simple to follow, we have divided it into sections based on the different stages you’ll encounter while playing a hand of pai gow poker.
The game of pai gow poker and online pai gow poker in particular is played between two people; the player (you) and the dealer. Play begins with both the player and the dealer being dealt 7 cards each from a deck of 53 cards. The deck of 53 cards is comprised of 52 standard playing cards as well as a single joker that acts as a wild card. The joker can be used to complete either a straight, a flush, or it can represent an ace.
After the cards have been dealt, both the player and the dealer must divide their cards into two different poker hands; one consisting of 5 cards and the other consisting of the remaining 2 cards. The dealer must use the house way to determine how their cards are divided, but the player is free to divide their cards however they’d like. The only rule to remember is that the hand consisting of 5 cards must rank higher than the hand consisting of 2 cards based on traditional poker hand rankings. For more information about arranging your hands, including advanced strategies that can increase your chances of winning, we strongly encourage you to visit the pai gow poker strategy page of our website.
Before you continue reading through the rules of pai gow poker below, take a break and use what you’ve already learned to practice playing pai gow poker for free right here on our website.
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The pai gow poker hand rankings, in order from highest to lowest, are as follows; 5-of-a-kind, royal flush, straight flush, 4-of-a-kind, full house, straight, 3-of-a-kind, two pair, and one pair. With regards to straights, it’s important to note that in the game of pai gow poker, an A-5 straight is the second highest straight (behind the A-10 straight). If you are unable to achieve any of these rankings in either of your hands, the rank of your hand(s) will be determined based on the highest card. If you’re interested in learning what your chances are of obtaining a certain hand ranking, we encourage you to visit our pai gow poker odds page, which features information about various probabilities related to the game of pai gow poker.
Determining the winner of a hand of pai gow poker is relatively straightforward. The player wins if both of their hands beat both of the dealer’s hands and the dealer wins if both of their hands beat both of the player’s hands. The dealer also wins if one their hands ties one of the player’s hands and their other hand beats that of the player’s. A push occurs when one of the player’s hands beats one of the dealer’s hands and one of the dealer’s hands beats one of the player’s hands. It’s important to remember that when it’s time to compare hands, the player’s hand with 2 cards is compared to the dealer’s hand with 2 cards and the player’s hand with 5 cards is compared to the dealer’s hand with 5 cards.
Traditional pai gow poker payouts are very easy to understand. If the player is determined to be the winner, they will receive a payout of even money less a small commission that goes to the house. If the dealer is determined to be the winner, the player must forfeit their wager. If a push occurs, meaning the player and the dealer tie, the player’s wager is returned. In some variants of pai gow poker, such as fortune pai gow poker and bonus pai gow poker, there are special bonus payouts for obtaining certain hands. However, these types of games are more commonly found at land-based casinos than they are at online casinos.
Although online casinos featuring variants of pai gow poker with bonus payouts are rare, there’s no shortage of online casinos featuring bonuses that you can use to play online pai gow poker, so be sure to browse through our pai gow poker bonuses page to see some of the best bonuses currently available online.