How To Play Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow poker is a great casino game that's easy to learn, so how to play Pai Gow poker is a snap. It's a favorite casino game for players who are looking to gamble, drink, and enjoy themselves, as the nature of the game tends to let you get a lot of play out of your gambling dollars.
- Pai Gow poker rules. Pai Gow poker uses basic poker rules plus a few twists, so it's very easy to learn how to play Pai Gow poker. Pai gow poker uses a standard 52-card deck plus one joker and the same basic rules of poker as far as hand rankings and what beats what. Each player in Pai Gow poker is dealt seven cards and their goal is to make two hands, one with five cards and the other with two cards. Players compete against the dealer, who also receives seven cards and must make two different hands.
- Rules for setting hands. Making your two Pai Gow poker hands is called "setting" your hands. There are a few unique features in how to play Pai Gow poker in relation to setting your hands. The five card hand must be a better hand than the two card hand; you can't have a pair of aces in the two card hand and just a pair of 2s in the five card hand. The joker plays as a bug, which means that in the five card hand it can complete straights or flushes but is otherwise an ace; in the two card hand it's always an ace. In most casinos in Las Vegas, a straight with A 2 3 4 5 is the second best possible straight, only beaten by a better straight of 10 J Q K A.
- Determining a winner. Players start a hand of Pai Gow poker by putting their wager out. Once they set their hands the dealer will set her hand as well, and each player's hand is compared to the dealer's. If both the player's five card and two card hands are better than the dealer's, the player wins an amount equal to their initial bet. If the player wins one hand and the dealer wins another, it's a tie and no money is won or lost. If the dealer wins both hands, the player loses their original bet.
- Strategy for Pai Gow poker. How to play Pai Gow poker well does depend on how you set your hands. One of the easiest ways to play good Pai Gow strategy is to simply have the dealer set your hand using the "house way." The dealer must use a set strategy for setting her hand in order to prevent cheating, and that method uses one of the best Pai Gow strategies, so having the dealer set your hand for you means you'll be playing the same good strategy.
- Have fun. One of the great things about learning how to play Pai Gow poker is that it's a great casino game to play if you want to enjoy free drinks, play some cards, and stretch your gambling dollars as far as possible. Due to the nature of the game there are a lot of ties where the dealer and player each win one hand, which means that you'll get to play more hands and lose less often than at other casino card games like blackjack.