Pai Gow Poker Rules

Pai Gow Poker Rules

Pai Gow Poker rules bring together games from two countries – the US and China. Rules of Pai Gow, a Chinese dominoes game in which players have to gamble, and poker, a US card-room game have been included in the game. The game requires the use of a standard deck of 52 cards and an additional Joker. You can use the additional Joker in place of an ace, or to make a flush or straight.


Pai Gow Poker is played against the house. So, your chances of winning or losing are not affected by the number of players at the table. The key aim of each player is to make the best hand possible. Compared to several other types of casino banking games, it is slow. This is because, there is a lot of scope for the player’s and banker’s hands landing in ties. One of the benefits is that it allows you to play more with a small bankroll than do other games.



In the game, any player can take the role of the banker. For this, you will have to request the casino to let you be the banker. If a player acts as the banker, others at the table will have to play against him. The banker will win all ties with other players and he will get to collect a large percentage of their losses. In case other players win, he will have to pay them from his bankroll. In games where the player gets to be the banker, the house will take on the role of the banker every alternate hand.


Players will have to place wagers in specific slots on the table. The dealer will then roll the dice to decide the player to whom cards will be dealt first. Each player gets seven cards. They will have to make two hands such that one set has two cards and another has five. The latter should be placed in a section marked as the ‘highest cards’ and it should contain cards that have the most value. The remaining two cards should be in the section for ‘low value’ cards. In case you place the higher scoring cards in the low value cards, you will lose the round.


The best five card hand you can make will be a royal flush, while the highest two card hand will have a pair of aces. If a five card hand has a joker, it should have four aces to make the best combination. A player’s five card and two card hands, should be the better than those of the dealer. In case the player wins a hand and loses the other, it will be a push where no money will be lost or won. However, in a situation where the dealer’s and player’s hands match, the former will win.


Hand Rankings:


Five Aces

– 4 aces and 1 joker that takes the place of an ace.


Royal Flush

– Ace-King-Queen-Joker-Ace (suited)


Straight Flush

– 5 number cards in order (suited)



– 4 card of same rank (example: 3-3-3-3). The 5th card will be considered if both the player and banker have the same hand. The highest 5th will win.


Full house

– 3-of-a-kind with a pair. The highest 3-of-a-kind will win if it is a tie.



– Ace-King-Queen-Joker-Ace (unsuited)



– 5 number cards in order (unsuited)


The other hand-rankings are: 3-of-a-kind, 2 pair, pair and high card.