How to Play Paigow Poker
In Pai Gow Poker, the object is to divide your seven card hand into a five-card (“Highest”) and a two-card hand (“2nd Highest”). The five-card hand must always outrank the two-card hand (hence the names “Highest” and “2nd Highest”).
The five-card hand is ranked as in Poker, except that an A-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. The two-card hand can be either a pair or individual cards. The highest two-card hand is a pair of aces and the lowest is a 2-3.
Pai Gow Poker is played using a standard 53 card deck, including a Joker. The joker can only be used to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush, otherwise it is treated as an ace
After you place a bet You receive seven cards. Leave five of them in the “Highest” hand and select two that go to the “2nd Highest” hand. The five-card hand (or the “Highest”) must always outrank the two-card hand (or the “2nd Highest”).
The dealer’s cards are revealed. If both the dealer’s hands are higher than yours, you lose your bet. If one of you hands is higher and the other is lower, the round results as a push and your bet is returned. If both your hands are higher, you win even money on your bet (1 to 1) minus 5% bank commission.
In case of an exact match between hands (called a copy) the tie goes to the banker.
Playing Tips and Strategies
The House Way is a set of rules that describes how the dealer arranges his hand. By using the same strategy as the dealer you have a good chance of keeping the house advantage to the minimum.
Straights, flushes, straight flushes, and royal flushes:
Always play straight or flush in the high hand.
Five aces: Split unless pair of kings can be played in two card hand
Aces: Split unless a pair of 7's or higher can be played in two card hand
2 through 6: Always keep together.
7 through 10: Split unless an ace or better can be played in two card hand.
Jack through king: Split unless hand also contains a pair of 10's or higher.
Four of a kind: Play according to the rank of the four of a kind
Three of a kind twice: Always play highest pair in two card hand
Full house: Split except with pair of 2's and an ace/king can be played in two card.
Three of a kind: Always play three of a kind in 5 card except break up three aces.
Three pair: Always play highest pair in two card hand
Two pair: Play two pair in 5 card hand
Pair: Place the pair in 5 card and the next two highest cards in the two card hand
No pair: Place the highest card in the 5 card and the next two highest in the 2 card.