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How To Play Pai Gow

pai gowPai Gow poker can be an intimidating game for players that don’t understand how to play the game properly. It looks difficult to learn at first glance, but in all reality learning how to play pai gow poker isn’t all that difficult. In addition to reading this general overview of pai gow poker, you should probably practice some before you begin to play for real money.

Pai Gow Basics:

To begin the hand of pai gow, all players at the table will place their wagers. You are betting that you will beat the dealer, not the other players at the table. After all bets are placed, the cards are then dealt out to the players, with each player and the dealer receiving 7 cards. After looking at your cards, you then form your two best hands. You will make one five card hand and one two card hand, with the only catch being that your 5 card hand must always beat your two card hand.

After forming your hands, you will place them in front of you face down and the dealer (or banker – who is the dealer for the hand) will form his hands. The hands are then compared to see who has beaten the dealer and who hasn’t. You are actually playing against the dealer twice, once with your 5 card hand, and once with your 2 card hand. If you win both, then you win 1-1 on your bet for the hand. If you lose both, then the dealer wins your bet on the hand. If you win 1 hand and the dealer wins 1 hand it is considered a push, and all monies are returned to the player.

Pai Gow Tips:

The best tip for pai gow poker is to be the banker if it all possible, and most casinos will allow the player to be the banker every other hand. This greatly reduces the house advantage, the main advantage being that the banker wins on all ties. Another good tip for pai gow is to build your best two card hand possible. Many players don’t understand how to play pai gow properly, and they will build a great 5 card hand and virtually forget about their 2 card hand. You will learn that this is a very costly mistake.