OBJECTIVE OF PAI GOW POKER: Create two poker hands (1 five-card and 1 two-card) that beats both of the dealer’s corresponding hands.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-7 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52-card decks + 1 Joker
RANK OF CARDS: A,K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2
TYPE OF GAME: Poker
INTRODUCTION TO PAI GOW POKER
Pai Gow Poker, or Double-hand poker, is a westernized version of Pai Gow, a Chinese domino game. The game was created in 1865 by Sam Torosian of the Bell Card Club. Players play against the dealer.
THE DEAL & THE PLAY
Before the deal, each player (excluding the dealer) puts up a stake.
The deal is Pai Gow is more sophisticated than other poker games:
The dealer deals seven hands of seven cards, discarding the remaining four cards. Each card is dealt one at a time, face-down. The dealer rolls three dice then counts the players at the table, starting with themselves and moving clockwise, up to the number rolled by the dice. The player who the dealer ends on gets the first hand dealt, and other hands are received counter-clockwise.
Players examine their cards and split them into two hands- a five-card hand and a two-card hand. Poker hand rankings are sustained, with one exception, A-2-3-4-5 is the second highest straight or straight flush. Five aces is the highest hand (using Joker as a wild card). For the two-card hand, the highest pair is the best hand possible. Pairs beat unmatched cards every time.
Players must arrange the cards in their hands so that the five-card hand is higher ranked than the two card hand. For example, if your two-card hand is a pair of aces, your five-card hand must have two pairs or better. Hands must stay secret throughout the duration of the game.
After the hands are arranged, players place their two stacks face-down on the table. When all are ready the dealer exposes their hands. Players then expose their hands, comparing their five-card hand with the dealer’s five-card hand, and their two-card hand with the dealer’s two-card hand.
- If a player beats both hands, the dealer pays them the stake.
- If a player wins one hand and the dealer another, no money is exchanged. This is referred to as a “push.”
- If the dealer wins both hands they collect a stake.
- If a dealer wins one hand and ties the other, or both hands or tied, the dealer still wins a stake.