Pai Gow Poker Strategy and Rules

Pai Gow Poker Strategy.

Pai Gow poker hands are ranked according to standard poker rules with one exception, the A-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight:

  1. Five of a Kind (4 Aces plus Joker)
  2. Royal Flush
  3. Straight Flush
  4. Four of a Kind
  5. Full House
  6. Flush
  7. Straight
  8. Three of a Kind
  9. Two Pair
  10. One Pair
  11. High Card

The best two card hand is a pair of Aces. The two card hand cannot be a straight or flush since these hands require five cards.

One of the most important strategies in Pai Gow is how well you arrange your cards. Some software offers an option called the House Way. If you click on House Way, the software will divide your hands into groups using the same strategy as the Dealer's hand is divided.

The House Way is a safe strategy and unless you are a mathematical wizard it is hard to improve upon the results. If the House Way is not an option, carefully consider the strength of the two hands and make your divisions based on those strengths.

Pai Gow Poker Rules.

Pai Gow Poker is a card game played with a fifty-three card deck consisting of a standard deck of fifty-two cards plus a Joker. The Player and the Dealer receives seven cards which must then be divided into two hands (high hand with five cards, low hand with two cards). These hands are compared with the Dealer's two hands to determine the winner.

The basic rules of Pai Gow Poker are.

  • The five card hand must rank higher than the two card hand.
  • The cards are ranked like a standard poker hand using standard poker rules.
  • A Joker can only be used to complete a straight, a flush, or a straight flush.  Otherwise it counts as an Ace.
  • The Dealer wins any copied hand.

The Player wins if both the High and Low hands outrank the dealer's hands.

The Player loses if the Dealer's High hand and Low hand outranks the player OR the Dealer outranks either one of the two hands and the other hand is a copy.

It is considered a 'push' if the Player wins one hand and the Dealer wins one hand.

The payout is 1:1 however winnings paid to the Player are minus a 5% commission. If you win the High hand and the Dealer wins the Low hand your bet amount would be returned to you minus 5%. If you won both hands, you would be paid your original bet amount plus a matching payout of the bet amount but the matching payout would be minus the 5% commission.

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