OBJECTIVE OF PAIUTE: Create a winning hand!

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-5 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: standard 52 card deck

RANK OF CARDS: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2

TYPE OF GAME: Draw/Discard



Paiute is a card game which originated from Hawai’i. It is a game similar to Knock Poker, however, players can ‘go out’ upon drawing a 6 card hand.

The game is suited for 2 to 5 players using a standard Anglo or Western 52 card deck.


A dealer is chosen at random or by whatever mechanism players wish to use. The dealer shuffles the pack and allows the player to their right to cut it. After, the dealer passes each player five cards. Cards are dealt face-down and one at a time. Once the deal is completed, the next card on the deck is flipped over face-up on the table- this is the wild card.  Whichever card is placed on the table is the wild card denomination for the remainder of the game. The rest of the deck is used as the stockpile. The top card of the stock is flipped over to create the discard right beside it.


Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, play moves clockwise.

During a turn, players grab one card. This card can come from either the stockpile or the top card from the discard. That player then discards one card from their hand. If choosing from the stick, you can immediately discard that card; however, since the discard is face-up, you cannot discard the card drawn from that pile- it must be a different card. Until a call, players keep a consistent 5 cards in hand.

If a player has a winning combination they may call after they draw. If the player who called isn’t the dealer, that round of the game is finished, and each player has 1 more turn to create a winning hand.

A winning hand has 5 or 6 cards. You are not required to call if you have a combination, you can continue to attempt to improve your hand. However, if you call, you must place your hand face-up on the table. If the combination is of 5 cards, discard the 6th before displaying them. However, if you have a 6 card combination you need not discard. Players take their last turn as usual.

The Winning Combinations (high to low):

  1. 5 of a Kind. Five cards of equal rank.
  2. Royal Flush. A-K-Q-J-10 from the same suit.
  3. Straight Flush. Any 5 cards in sequence.
  4. Four/Two. Four cards of equal rank + 2 cards of equal rank.
  5. Three/Three. 2 separate sets of 3 cards of equal rank.
  6. Two/Two/Two. 3 separate pairs.

If the stockpile is exhausted during play, shuffle the discard and use it as a new stockpile.


Paiute may be played for stakes, albeit typically small ones. Prior to each deal, players pay in an equal stake (mutually agreed upon) to the pot. The winner takes the pot, which is the player with the highest ranking hand. In the event of a tie, which is rare, the players split the pot equally.

Nakoa Davis

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