Pai Gow Poker
by Online Poker 777
Pai Gow Poker has become one of the most popular online poker games, as well as one of the more interesting casino games. Pai Gow is a poker game that’s loosely based on the Chinese game Pai Gow, meaning “make nine,” but unlike the Chinese game, it is played with cards instead of dominos, and using poker combinations. The ranking in Pai Gow varies from the rankings in standard five-card casino poker only in the fact that A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is the highest straight, beating out 10, J, Q, K, A.
A traditional game of Pai Gow Poker is six players plus a dealer.
The dealer uses a regular deck of cards with one joker. The joker can be used as an ace or to complete a flush, a straight, or a straight flush. It can’t be used, for example, to complete a pair, except for a pair of aces. First, the players decide how much they want to bet. Next, the dealer deals seven piles of seven cards each, and then disposes of the four remaining cards without looking at them or allowing any player to see them.
After he has dealt the seven piles, the dealer puts three dice in a cup and tosses them. He adds up the value of the three dice, and counts the players counter-clockwise to determine who gets the first hand. The next hand goes to the next player counter-clockwise, and so on. That’s when the game gets started!
In Pai Gow Poker, you actually have two hands instead of one! There is a higher hand, composed of five cards, and a lower hand composed of two cards. When you get your cards, you need to arrange them into the two hands. The five-card hand must be a higher poker value than the lower hand. If not, you will forfeit the round and lose your stake. The five-card hand is just like a regular poker hand, except that the combination and the two-card hand can either be a pair or just two cards. It’s too small to be a flush or a straight.
When you’re done arranging your hands, you put your cards down on the table and wait for the bank. The player who is the bank turns his cards upright and forms his hands. When the banker is the casino’s table operator, he has to lay out the cards by specific rules. Sometimes, the house co-banks with a player, and in that case, the player must play by the house’s specific rules.
One by one, the banker goes around the table, clockwise, starting from the person who received the first hand, and compares the arrangements.
Your five-card hand is compared to the banker’s five-card hand, and your two-card hand is compared to the banker’s two-card hand. If both of your hands are better, you win whatever amount you staked (minus 5% for the casino). If both of your hands are worse, the banker wins your stake. If one is better and one is worse, it’s called a push, and no money changes hands. If there’s a tie, the banker’s hand wins.
Being the banker is the best way to make more money, because the banker wins in ties. To keep things fair, in many casinos, players take turns being the banker, the banker is marked by a white square called a chung.
Strategy for Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker is a game of very careful strategy, because you need to balance between a strong high hand and a strong low hand. At www.poker777.com, we’ve summarized the basic strategy for you into 10 easy pai gow rules.
1.If you have a Pai Gow, meaning you don’t have pairs, a straight or a flush, use your highest card for the high hand and the next two for the lower hand.
2.If you have one pair only, with no straight or flush, you have to use the pair in the higher hand, so use your two highest cards (outside of the pair) in the lower hand.
3.If you have two pairs and an ace that isn’t part of the pairs, then put the pairs in the high hand, and put the ace in the lower hand.
4.If you have two pairs and no ace, then use the higher pair in the higher hand and the lower pair in the lower hand.
5.If you have three pairs, use the lower two pairs in the higher hand, and the highest in the lower hand.
6.If you have two three-of-a-kinds, use the lower three-of-a-kind in the higher hand, and the top pair in your lower hand.
7.If you have a flush and two pairs… wait, this one’s complicated, so let me explain. Say you have 2,4,5,6,7 in diamonds and 2 and 5 in hearts. You could break them up to a flush, and leave a 2 and a 5 for the lower hand, or you could break the flush and make two pairs. Right? So the better strategy is to break up the flush, and play it as two pairs in the higher hand.
8.If you have a straight and two pairs (it works pretty much the same as a flush and two pairs), you should break the straight, and go for two pairs.
9.If you have a straight or a flush, then use the highest two cards you can without breaking the straight or flush for your lower hand, and leave the straight or flush for the higher hand.
10.If you have a full house, use the three-of-a-kind for the higher hand, and the pair for the lower hand.
Pai Gow Poker Tips
Pai Gow Poker is a card game, so the element of chance is very significant. No matter how good your strategy, your luck is also essential! There are a few things that are really important to remember in Pai Gow Poker, and we here at Poker777.com advise you to memorize these rules before you go on to play Pai Gow Poker whether online or in a real casino!
1.Remember that one strong and one weak hand is less likely to lose than two average hands! A push is better than a loss.
2.Remember that the banker stands to win the most. Try to be banker as often as possible, and try to get other players to make higher bets when you bank!
3.ALWAYS be sure that the two-card hand is a lower hand than the five-card hand!! We can’t stress that enough! If you get this wrong, you automatically lose!
4.Remember that you have to win with BOTH hands to win, so you want to keep both hands as strong as possible.
5.If you need help, most casinos will allow the dealer to tell you what the casino’s rules are.
6.Like all strategy games, be sure to try a free online version or a low-stakes version to get the hang of the game before you start betting a lot of money.
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