Online Pai Gow Poker
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How to play Pai Gow Poker.
About the card game Pai Gow Poker:
Pai Gow Poker is a card game played with a 53-card deck—a standard deck of 52 cards and one Joker. In this version of Pai Gow Poker, the banker (or house) always plays as the dealer and covers all bets, and the player only competes against the dealer. The player receives seven cards, which must then be “set” or split into two poker hands: a five-card hand and a two-card hand. Once split, the player’s two hands are compared with the dealer’s two hands to determine the winner. The bank pays the winner—minus a 5% commission—and the game ends.
For each game, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals out seven cards into each hand—the dealer’s cards remain unknown. The player must then “set” or split their seven cards into two poker hands: a five-card hand and a two-card hand.
Splitting cards and rules on the Joker
Pai Gow Poker places only one restriction upon splitting the initial seven cards: the five-card hand must have a higher poker rank than the two-card hand. The only other twist during the game is how to play the Joker. The Joker can be used to complete a five-card flush, straight, or straight flush. Otherwise, the Joker counts as an ace.
Ranking The Hands
The hands are ranked according to standard poker rules with one exception: the Ace-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. Straights rank, from highest to lowest: Ace-K-Q-J-10, Ace-2-3-4-5, K-Q-J-10-9 … 6-5-4-3-2. Also, keep in mind that the best two-card hand is a pair of aces; the two-card hand cannot have a flush (since a flush requires five cards).
Determining The Winner
The player’s two hands are compared with the dealer’s two hands to determine the winner. If both the player’s five-card hand and two-card hand has a higher poker rank than both the dealer’s hands (5 card and 2 card), the player wins. If both of the dealer’s hands beat both of the player’s hands, the dealer wins. If either the player or the dealer wins only one of the two hands, the game is a push and neither the dealer nor the player wins. When either the five-card hands or the two-card hands rank exactly the same, the equal hands are called “copies” of each other. The dealer wins all copy hands. For example, if the player beats the dealer in the five-card hand but copies the dealer with the two-card hand, the game is a push.
When the player’s two hands beat the dealer’s two hands, the player wins an amount equal to the original bet minus a 5% commission. When the dealer’s two hands beat the player’s two hands, the banker wins the player’s original bet. Finally, when the game ends in a push, neither player nor dealer wins, and the player keeps the original bet.
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